Relationships have a way of showing our weakness. If I had not been in a relationship, there are so many things I wouldn't have learned about myself. And in this relationship, there were so many good times. At first it was hard to know what to do with the memories. But as I move farther away from the relationship, I am able to think back on those memories and recognize that they were God’s grace to me at that time. I am beginning to recognize God’s hand in every good moment and every hard moment.
Jesus was not unfamiliar with political turmoil, oppression, and war. Israel was under the oppressive rule of Rome when he walked the earth. There were riots, starvation, sickness, and political uprisings. Jesus had firsthand experience with conflict. And yet his purpose on earth was not to bring political peace or an era where the nation of Israel would be free from tyranny. And His purpose was not to passively allow the oppressors to take advantage or exploit him.
Social media was first intended to be a way in which communication with friends, business promotion, and the sharing of ideas could be easy, accessible, and helpful. While this may still be somewhat true, with the introduction of Instagram and other image-focused platforms, we can see a shifting of the purpose of social media. We are no longer mostly interested in connecting with others, but we are literally creating an image of ourselves to be consumed by others.
Most rom coms go the same way - two individuals on completely separate paths fall in love, experience relational conflict, and overcome it through their feelings for each other. We’re fed the message by our movies and media that as long as two individuals love one another, it will work. But our generation isn’t buying it. We see the effect of broken relationships all around us and wonder what we are missing.
We live in a time where tolerance and acceptance is the anthem of our culture. We are told to love and not judge. And usually that means accept anything, even if it doesn’t line up with our moral convictions.
How are we supposed to know we aren’t messing up God’s plan for our lives? How are we supposed to know this is the right person to date or marry? How are we supposed to know this is the right college to attend? Since we are searching for God’s will, we get caught up in an endless cycle of anxiety and indecision because we don’t want to mess up God’s plan. As a result, we sit and wait, hoping that God will show up and do something for us.
In reality, I’m sure that no one is surprised that I’m not perfect. But in my flesh, I desire to be thought of highly. If people know that I still struggle, then they won’t think I’m a good Christian. The flaws in these statements are twofold. These lies can only be debunked with the truth of the gospel that has the power to loosen the chains that binds us. Read on to find the truths that have helped me find freedom in Christ.
What is it that draws our hearts to the beauty of Christmas? Why is it that we are so sad when it’s over? It’s not the overcrowded malls, or the message of Hallmark’s movies to find the “spirit of Christmas”, or even the delicious treats that come with the holiday. There is something so much deeper, so much more beautiful than our hearts realize.
We live in the age of dream-seekers. Of heart-followers. We’re told that in order to be happy in life, we must follow our hearts and chase after our dreams. Then, and only then, will our lives truly have meaning.
“Follow your heart.” It’s Disney’s mantra. Nearly every princess ends up with a dashing prince because she was listening to her heart. She found that fulfillment came from being true to herself.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if it worked out that way? If we listened to our hearts, and ended up with a fairy-tale ending?
But there’s a just one flaw.
Recently I was praying fervently for something. I had dreamed about it for a long time. But it seemed like God was saying no. Again. I was crushed. Then it clicked. I had missed the point that God was trying to show me. He doesn’t withhold Himself. If I walk uprightly in the Spirit, the desires of my heart will be in accordance with Him.