Human nature really has some demanding ways. We are constantly wanting the things we cannot have or wanting the things that we know are bad for us. This poses a challenge and what do many of us do? Yes, you said it. We go after the challenge. We chase what we know isn’t good for us. We lose sight of our good morals and values ending up in some really messed up situations. We exhaust ourselves. And we put our faith in challenges that were never meant for us. This causes us to lose hope and most of us fall into distress. Basically, we cause our own storms then we want to act out when the rain comes pouring down almost drowning us. We receive so many signs where the things we chase after is just wrong for us but we continue to indulge. The more we indulge, the more pain and disappointment we will receive. We can act like kids and blame John or Jane for the pain we feel but to keep it real – it is “us” who cause our own pain. In other words, we sometimes self-inflict pain upon ourselves. We know that the pot is on the stove. We see that the pot is smoking. Our hands can feel the heat. But human nature! We go and touch it anyway. And what happens? We get burned or scorched. We curse at the pot knowing that we KNEW it was hot. This is exactly what we do when we constantly want things we cannot have or the things that we know is bad for us. Wanting something we cannot have causes us to live in consistent disappointment. We chase and chase knowing deep down we will never catch it. And we look like fools chasing after it. Wanting the things that are bad for us does nothing but tear us down and drain us emotionally, physically, spiritually and sometimes, financially. It’s almost like we are drinking poison knowing that it is going to kill us. And again, we look like fools indulging in anything that is bad for us. The best challenge we can chase after is becoming a better version of ourselves each day. When we become better, our lives get better and we can deal with whatever life brings better. In order to become a better version of ourselves, we must chase after God. He can be caught and He is good to us and for us. God is the Author of “Being Better.” He can bring all of the RIGHT people and things into our lives. God’s Word reminds us, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.
So many of us focus and hold on to the pain others cause us. I have been there so many times. The finger is constantly pointed at the ones who hurt us. We want so badly for them to pay for their mistakes but at the same time, we won’t them to change for the better. It is wrong for us to wish them harm because we definitely can’t judge others because we also make mistakes. It is not our place to punish them. They have to answer to God; not us. Sometimes, the pain caused to us by others hurts so bad that we will want to wish them all the harm in the world. Yes, pain goes that deep at times. From my own experiences, I will tell you that it is best to allow God to handle those who hurt you. Don’t ever miss out on your blessings because you are desiring curses upon them. And don’t ever indulge in revenge – the type where you go out and do the same thing to them as they did to you. If you choose to do this, then why would you even waste an inch of your time indulging in pointing a half of a finger when you are now doing the same? And what you do to that person is also a seed that you are sowing. The Bible tells us, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19 NIV). Don’t pray that something bad happens to them but pray blessings in their life. Yes, it is very difficult to do this when your heart has been shattered into pieces but it is what God wants us to do. And God will help you through it all when you allow Him to. As bad as it feels, sow a seed of respect and kindness. No matter how hard you cry, sow a seed of respect and kindness. No matter how it seems like joy will never come, sow a seed of respect and kindness. It will come back to you. This I do know. God is the BEST HEALER when it comes to pain, along with TIME. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.
I had encountered a painful heartbreak awhile back. It ripped me to pieces. Many laughed at me saying I got what I deserved. Others laughed and mocked because they simply thought it was funny. Several stopped speaking to me. Even I didn’t want to speak to anyone or talk to anyone. See, pain can work two ways – for the bad and for the good. Of course, the devil uses it for bad. He uses pain to pull you into depression, shame, guilt and regret. But the Lord uses pain to build you up higher than you have ever been before. He uses pain to open your eyes and for you to welcome His wisdom and strength. When God allows pain to break you, He gets the opportunity to rebuild you in Him. When you are rebuilt in His Love, Comfort and Strength, you will stand stronger than you have ever stood before. That is what God did to me and I thank Him for it. Because of that breaking, I am stronger and wiser. And I still have a heart that feels no shame and loves even more. That pain was a mountain that I thought couldn’t be climbed but I viewed that in my own strength, which failed. With God, any mountain can be climbed. I don’t worry about who is against me because God loves me. He is for me. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:15 NIV). Be Blessed. -S.L.M.
Pray for discernment when listening to the advice of others. Look at the way they live. Pay attention to their behavior. A great thing that I have ever done was listen to my own advice. My own advice lead me to knowing that God’s Advice is the Best Advice. Once I made peace with who I really was in the mirror, my reflection started to change. I took heed to the encouragement that I gave to others. I embraced the truth that I spoke to others. In the process of helping others, I helped myself. God helped me to help myself through others. I am grateful for that. Some people in this world will give you great advice and will help with anything you may be going through. You can vent to them and what you say is never repeated. These are God-sent people. Then there are those who give you the type of advice that you THINK will help you but it will only DESTROY you. They won’t help with you with anything that you are going through, only enough to get a status on what’s going in your life. When you vent to these people, the things you spoke will be spread with twists and turns. And most of them will possess a lifestyle that is far from in order. When you go through trials and need to vent, vent to Jesus. Pray and ask Him to send earthly beings into your life that you can trust and also ask God for the discernment to know who they are. They are out there. I have some great ones in my life and am thankful for them. I told God at one time that I regret venting my pain and frustration to many people the last few years. I almost hated myself for it. But God awakened me to the reality that I did exactly what He wanted me to do and that was realize who was FOR me and who was really AGAINST me. He showed me that I did well exposing my weaknesses to them because NOW, they see how far I have come because of HIM. They see my strength now. And He sent some great people in my life. So when you are going through difficult times or need to make decisions, vent it to GOD first. Take in what He shows or tells you. He will give you the advice you need.James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” –S.L.M.
It’s really sad to know that many people will settle for LESS when their value is MORE. They don’t realize who they are nor who they belong to. When one recognizes who he/she is in the Lord, settling for LESS is never an option. What does settling for LESS mean? It means “down” days outweighing “up” days. It means feeling or thinking that you can’t do any better. It means settling for a “piece” when you can have a “whole” of something better. Settling for LESS means you opt in to get little when God wants to give you more. The BEST thing that I could have ever learned is KNOWING WHO I AM IN THE LORD. The BEST thing you can learn is KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN THE LORD. God says we are freed from oppression (Psalms 107:2). God says we are heirs to all creation (Romans 8:16-17). God says we are protected by Him (Isaiah 46:4). God says we are a light unto the world (Matthew 5:14). God says that we can win with God (Romans 8:37). When you know who you are, you won’t settle for anything less than how God defines you. Be Blessed. – S.L.M.
Any time you allow yourself to “hate” a person, you are giving that individual power over you. In many cases, hate is derived out of envy, jealousy, bitterness or unforgiveness. Hate is a strong word. It is a strong emotion. Your heart is a home; both hate and love cannot live there. Eventually, something will go wrong. Conflict will start and the home will be torn apart. God doesn’t want us to hate anybody but to love. He didn’t say we had to trust others or follow them. He didn’t say that we had to be a fool for others, either. But He did say for us to love them. I had to learn this the hard way in life. I had much bitterness towards others in the past and for what? It did me no good. I was feeling miserable and the people I had bitterness towards was living their life and could care less how I felt. The truth is – most of the people you hold grudges against, won’t forgive or even hate, probably don’t even care. Their lives are still moving regardless of how you feel towards them. That is truth! I allowed that bitterness to take my joy away in the past so many times. It is not OK for you to allow others to steal your joy. It is not OK to hate others. Ephesians 4:31 NIV says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Your negative emotions have a tendency to spill out and affect your family, friends and also your mental being. The best thing any of us can do is love others just as God loves us. Many of us do God wrong daily yet He still loves us. He wants His character to live in us. Hating others is only a mark against us that we are going to have to answer to when God sends His Son back. None of us are perfect. We all fail God daily. We all make mistakes. Yet, God still and will always love us. If it is someone today that you are having a hard time forgiving and are harboring hate towards, allow God to help you forgive. That is a burden He doesn’t want you to bear. Forgiving sets you free from all of that. Unforgiveness, hate and bitterness are heavy chains. When you hold on to these chains, they weigh you down. Release the chains. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.
Chasing after a woman or a man is a definitely NO-NO! First of all, a person who truly loves you will not even allow you to chase him or her. True love doesn’t have to be chased. When we chase people, it is more like we are trying to “force” them to love us. That forcing stuff honestly doesn’t work. Sometimes, when we force stuff, it has a tendency to pop loose or break apart. We should pursue God FIRST. When our pursuit is Him, we have no need to chase anyone or anything. We have no need to force anyone or anything. Pursuing God first allows everything else to fall into place. Some who know me are probably reading this and saying, “Who is she to talk about chasing people?” Well, allow me to answer. I have done the chasing before. So I honestly feel that I am highly qualified to speak on it. I know what chasing can do and where it can lead…and that is….to a whole lot of agony and disillusionment. If you are chasing right now, please stop and take a breath. Then, look up. That is where your TRUE LOVE is. As a matter fact, God’s love is all around you. Pursue it and watch how everything else falls into place. Take off your running shoes and hand them over to God! “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT). Be Blessed. -S.L.M.
I was talking to someone about the Super Bowl last night. There were so much ruckus about many being for the Atlanta Falcons taking place among others. There was talk about no one really caring that much for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. To keep it real, both are great teams. It doesn’t matter how some view Tom Brady. The fact is – the New England Patriots won. But many are still criticizing Tom Brady along with the entire team. Now let’s take this to the other side. Isn’t this the way some of us act when others seem to be better off than we are. Isn’t this the way we act because others appear to be “winning” in life but some of us feel like we are “stuck” or “losing” in life? We can be some selfish and jealous human beings at times. Tell the truth and shame the devil! Focus on persevering in your own life and do so with the Lord as Your Guide. Once you do, you will not have any precious time to be criticizing or pouring negative judgment on someone else’s perseverance in their life. If someone seems to have it all, be happy for them and know that you can have just as much or more if you do the same. Victory belongs to the Lord and those who operate with Him on their side will persevere to that victory. Be Blessed. -S.L.M. “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).
Well, it’s February 1! I have been taking a break from writing on my WordPress blog but I am back with more stamina and wisdom! Many often associate Black History with the word, “slaves.” Why? Because this was a time where African American went through so much. They were labeled as slaves but they were freed. They invented many great things but did not receive much recognition for it all. But thank God – He paved a way for us all to be segregated! But look at many of us now – some of us are slaves to SIN. Let’s be real. Some of us are slaves to MONEY, SEX, JOBS and OTHER PEOPLE. Being a slave to these things take us through so much and most of it is not ever good. We do any and everything to please others but we get no recognition at all. I am not here to judge anyone but I do speak of what I know. Being a slave to all of this means that some of us are chained down or addicted to all of this. When it comes to these things, many of us will do any and everything to get it all. And when you are chained down by these things, nothing GOOD comes from it. We idolize “these things” and don’t focus on God. These things can give us pleasure for a short time but eventually, that pleasure ends. And then….misery or failure kicks in. Allow God to unlock the chains of those things that lead you down a path of misery and failure. Allow Him to free you from those things that weigh you down in life. Stop idolizing things or people who can never give you temporary pleasure. God gives permanent pleasure. Allow Him to set you free from the “bad things” so that you can bless you with the “good things.” “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.
Knowing the truth about how God sees you keeps you from believing the devil’s lies about you. Fooling around with listening to the devil can cause you to disregard your value. The devil will come in and whisper negativity in your ear. You won’t function at your best. You will always think that someone or something is out to get you. You won’t think that you are good enough at anything or for anyone. The devil will keep you from feeling, thinking and doing your best in life. God sees the best in you and wants the best for you. The Lord values your worth. In His Word, He tells of the love and greatness he has for you. His Word is Truth. Don’t waste your precious listening to the devil. He is a liar and only wants to destroy you. Spend time listening to the Lord. He is The Truth and wants to build you higher than you have ever been before. The lies of the devil are designed to keep you in bondage. Knowing who you are in Christ frees you from that bondage. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT). Be Blessed. –S.L.M.