Don’t Complicate Things
Written On: 10/27/2015
Devotional by: Bryce Malone (@609turtle)
Too often we are way too hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up when we make a mistake, or get down on ourselves when we sin. We hold ourselves to an extremely high standard, not to mention the people around you will often hold you to one even higher! You must have a successful job, a great family life, a perfect relationship. You always have to “look the part” or dress a certain way to represent who you are etc. I’m stretching what I mean a little bit to get the point across, but ask yourself what standard do you hold yourself to and how do you react when you do mess up?
We need to ask God what His standard is for our lives. What does our creator expect from us in this life He’s blessed us with? Through prayer He will give us all a different answer, but using our Bibles we can also easily find what God expects from us. We need to act in a righteous manner, love others, love kindness, stay humble and ultimately live like Christ to the best of our ability.
When we do what is righteous and act according to the words God has provided for us He will bless us exceedingly for obeying His commands! James 1:25 says “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” The best part is, when you come to truly know God, you know that keeping His commands will bring true happiness and unlimited blessings. Also, His commands aren’t difficult to keep, especially when you open yourself up to Him so he can help change you. Don’t make the mistake of placing all the weight on your own shoulders trying to obey his commands, but let Him takes that weight on His shoulders when you hand over all your burdens and problems to Him; after all, that’s what he commands us to do, because He knows we can’t do it alone! He lives inside each and every one of us, we just have to open up that part of us so that we can willingly grant Him access to it so He can support us.
Being kind to others is one of the easiest tasks we could ever be asked to do, yet so many people fail to do it repeatedly throughout the course of a single day! God’s word tells us:
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:21-32)
Kindness is one of the characteristics that God has, that we can easily have ourselves. It doesn’t take much to say a kind word or two, or give a kind gesture to someone you pass on the street or in traffic, it could mean the world to them. Kindness takes the selfish focus off ourselves and (sometimes) unknowingly places our focus on the needs of another person temporarily. There is a reason you yourself feel happier when you are kind to others!
The next thing we all need to also work on is being more humble.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
There are countless numbers of examples in the Bible where the failure to be humble caused a downward spiral of failures! Self-glory and pride causes us to place ourselves on a pedestal we have no right to be on and upsets God! When we are humble, and kind, and walk with God with these two (of many more) important characteristics, He promises to take care of the rest! It all comes back to us being WILLING. Submit to God, realize His way for us is better than our own ways, after all, who knows our hearts and minds better than the One who created them?! When we walk in this place that is when true blessings begin to add up in uncountable numbers. Walking with God isn’t a battle of earning promotions like a boy scout camp, you don’t get a new medal every time you do something good, instead you receive blessings from the creator of the universe and even greater, your relationship with Him can continue to grow. Don’t place a heavy weight on your shoulders in your journey with God, but focus on doing some of the simple things He promises will be beneficial to ourselves and others; being kind and remaining humble.