Whoa! I struck a nerve in many of you with my "Mind Your Own Beeswax!" post! And, that's exactly what I meant to do. Thank you for your input. I'll have to say, several of you made me stop and think about my position on unsolicited advice.
I guess the main thing I walked away with is that I need to always consider the motive. Really, that's the bottom line. So, I'm going to strive to do that. I'm going to try my best to ask myself, "Okay, why are they telling me this?" If the answer is that they love me or care about me, then I need to be more open to advice.
Good thoughts, people. Good thoughts! See, I'm always in need of a little refinement! :)
On a totally different note~
Last week, I had the wonderful privilege of speaking to a precious group of ladies. This was one of them:
I can't remember her name for the life of me. She was so sweet. When I finished speaking, she asked in the most candid way, "Lindsey, how can I have joy? I lost my mother and father last year."
I'm always a little caught off guard when people ask me for any advice about how they can change their lives. But, as Christians, we're commanded to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15). So, it doesn't really matter if I'm caught off guard, or not, I must be ready to justify my joy. And, that's not always easy to put into words.
This morning, as I was thinking about this very thing, I thought, "There are so many emotions and feelings that arrest us and cripple us, rather than prepare us to share hope."
Satan's biggest playground is our minds. He seeks out our most vulnerable spots, and starts waging war on our trust, hope, and joy. At least, that's how it is for me.
So, how do we have joy? How do we overcome when Satan is working overtime to overcome us?
Really, it's easy.
Spend more time with God's thoughts than you spend with your own.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Our thoughts generally lead us to negative places of fear, defeat, and hopelessness. God's thoughts aren't like that. He tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2). And then Philippians tells us in verse 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
These are God's thoughts. Think them.