Should you really go and love yourself?

When we are full of ourselves, we miss God’s glory. But how could we tell if we are bound by something not pleasing to God when it looks so simple and harmless, and we do it every day?

As I write this, I wait for the train at the platform. An hour remains before I am considered late for work. Compared with any other day (from the start of the year at least) this has been the latest I’ve waited for the train to come. I usually hop on and get going by 7:30 AM.

What caused this slight time difference is maybe because of the morning ritual that I have at home. I spend more minutes trying to fix my appearance than taking a bath or setting the room because.. I don’t know! To please people I see on the road? To please me and gain false confidence? To.. please my husband? My workmates?

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I don’t know why I do it, but I have been bound by it for a long, long time. A decade’s worth that I am even willing to be late for the train than have no brows at all, which is entirely ridiculous because nobody has ever gone out of their way to say Hey! Your eyebrows look gorge today!

But on the other hand, people get recognized by their work, their manners, and their overall work ethics when they aim to arrive at work on time.

Yes, I dare say that coming to work on time is good manners just as dressing well and saying ‘please’ because it’s selfless. You decided to skip the meaningless ritual because people need you early. Work starts early and do we dare steal time from a company who put their trust in us?

This shoots off to even more significant decisions in life. Do we choose a home, a parking slot or a partner in life, based solely on our selfish ambitions?

“I want this home because it’s huge and I could have a large, soft, Instagram-worthy bed here.” Even if it’s a pain to get to.. or is too vast for you to maintain. Are you buying it for the family or only to fulfill a selfish want?

“I will park here because it’s convenient to me. When I’m just going to grab a cup of coffee.” Discounting the fact that you are healthy and able to walk. What if there are families who arrive with small kids and old people?

“I will marry this guy because he is so rich and cute and I would love to have him in selfies from now to forever. Not to mention, have all the Louboutins I want to my grave. Oh wait, I can’t cook, but it’s ok he loves me anyway.” Did we ever consider how he indeed is as a person? How and what could we give him to meet his needs in return? How come some rich and good-looking couples who marry end up divorced?

Even for men, do we court a woman because of our desire to fulfill our personal whims? We marry her no matter our bank savings. Even though we don’t have specific plans for growth? How about her needs?

The bible gave us a warning:

2 Timothy 3: 1-2

“But mark this: There will be terrible things in the last days.

People will be lovers of themselves.”

Friends, how much do we love ourselves compared to how much we love Jesus? I know I have loved myself too much for the longest time and I consider my husband and son as God’s way of directing my eyes away from myself and towards their needs.

Albeit not perfect and I struggle every day, I pray to God to convict my heart and reveal to me the things I do in vain and for selfish goals. He may grant me the wisdom and the humility to change what I can.

“So are you saying it’s EVIL to love myself and dream big for myself and achieve everything I want? Because I deserve it and I worked hard for it?”

No. But do not be deceived. Sometimes we get, sometimes we don’t. But consider everything we have as bestowed by God’s grace and blessings.

(REF: Philippians 2:3-4 and Psalm 34:7)

Have you thought about your family, friends, work, and workmates today? More deeply, have you given thought and prayer for the world today? How can we deny ourselves, have more of God in our lives, and be a blessing to others?

Let me pray for you: May God help you realize the things in your life that need change. Let all your decisions be made out of love and be blessed by God as part of His will. May He catch your heart and meet you WHEREVER YOU ARE right now and break the chains of doubt and self-hate to complete your healing. Amen.

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By the way, I look up now, and I am about to approach my train stop! I have 30 mins. left to get to the office and with conviction I say, I will make it. UPDATE: I did make it.

All in God’s glory.

Are you worrying about anything RN?

This verse is too comforting it deserves a space in my blog. I hope you too could be comforted by this:

“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work, praising him always.”

Philippians 4:6

The Passion Translation (TPT)

18 things I learned this 2018

I skipped my 2017 year-end blog last year because it was too difficult a year to write. Needless to say, I wasn’t well at that time.

I started 2017 up to the early months of 2018 with negative emotions – anger and hatred toward other people. I lived every day nursing an evil thought of feeling superior to anyone else. And it was by God’s will that this translated into frustrations in the household and felt deeply by my loved ones.

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My husband – the gracious gift God has bestowed upon me is also His key instrument in changing my life for good. God allowed things to happen so He could help me look within my heart to catch the virus determined to destroy relationships. And sorry for the faint heart, but the light shone on it and found the virus to be the devil.

This 2018 I have:

  1. Struggled with knowing that what people think about me is a reflection of how I see the world.
  2. Learned that it’s better to be kind than to be right.
  3. Learned that faith cannot be imposed on anyone.
  4. Learned that I am not perfect.
  5. Chosen silent cries over angry confrontation.
  6. Learned my role in life.
  7. Changed a few things about myself that resulted in believing that others can change too, in God’s time.
  8. Realized that some things beyond our control are always within God’s control.
  9. Worked on the idea that there’s a possibility that God is absent in our lives because we don’t call on Him.
  10. Realized that I need to work on surrendering everything to Jesus. It’s easy to be rocked when troubles come. I am a work in progress.
  11. Decided that there’s only ONE I aim to impress.
  12. Learned the greatest sermon ever given is found in Matthew Chapter 5-7; this needs to be MEMORIZED to serve as CONSTANT meditation through prayer.
  13. Realized that it’s more important to have a PERSONAL relationship with God than to just know him.
  14. Realized that we need to be warier in practicing our faith in front of others for malicious intent to please people.
  15. That knowledge and faith is NOTHING without ACTION. – still struggling. But praying.
  16. Strengthened the belief “Everything happens for a reason.”
  17. Learned that a true Christian is JOYFUL, gentle and kind.
  18. Acknowledged that when we delight ourselves in the Lord,  He will give us our heart’s desires.

As the year come to a close, I wish for us to ponder on our relationships.

Do we have friends we no longer talk to? Are we carrying any bitterness toward a person who hurt us? Are we consciously avoiding some people whenever we see them in the workplace? Are we deliberately keeping our kids away from our in-laws or parents because they “can’t meddle with our affairs”? Do we spend time with our officemates more than we spend time with our husband or wife? Do we listen to our husband with respect and not belittle their thoughts or ideas? Are we loving our wives enough to the point of considering her feelings above ourselves or anyone else’s? Do we have idols in our heart?

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Are we divided?

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I have a friend. We’ve been friends since kids. But some 9 years ago, a virus infected my heart, let’s call it pride, which prompted me to believe that I did not need her in my life. And true enough, I’ve had a career, a family, and a son – enjoyed my life as it is – without her friendship.

Some weeks ago, a common event reconnected us. “What were we even thinking! Not talking for 9 years?!” We’re still the same crazy individuals who click together in the idea of fun and humor – like nothing’s changed. Turns out, all that grudge and hurt feelings, and hatred we felt years ago seems so tiny and immature now as we see it. But it still didn’t change the fact that that small seed of hate, caused a decade of missed chances to be a ninang, a friend, a travel companion, or simply a “person to lean on.”

So much laughter, fun, and wisdom from someone who could have been a source of all that, were wasted.

But you know, if you are living a truly Christian life, no amount of sin or imperfection could separate us from the path that Jesus intended for us to walk in. Every broken piece of our life could be restored. Renewed. Made whole again.

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Christians see everything as “possible.”

First, we need to realise that we have a real enemy. And the enemy is NOT our parents, spouses, bosses or friends.

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As humans, we see the world as imperfect, poisoned, decaying and destined to fail. But when we see the world through God’s eyes, we realize our roles and purpose – and that is, to be instruments of light in the world.

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And when we see the world like this, forgiveness becomes easy. Compassion and humility become our default mode when dealing with people we do not understand. We have a fresh perspective that allows us to search our lives inwardly and find that we are no better than anyone else. But God uses our gifts to serve His purpose.

 

Have a Blessed New 2019!


Storytelling since 2016

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