We live in a disturbing world. Finding love, finding peace, and finding rest is more a seeking decision made in the midst of turmoil than it is a surprise discovery on a fun-filled adventure.
And yet we desire love, peace and even rest from the turmoil that is in our world. Where do we find these? How do we find these? And after we find them, how do we get them to stick around? How do we build on them? How do we stand firm?
Can we truly be peaceful in the midst of such turmoil?
Do you ever have to check your heart? I know I do.
Checking my heart is my responsibility. But checking it against what? What is a good plumb line?
Mark 12:30 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31. The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." NASB
These words are of course the ultimate plumb line. WRITE THEM ON YOUR HEART! These are the two most important COMMANDMENTS.
And yet, in my days I find that I could use a little more guidance. Not that the following are commandments. Instead they are more like tips of discipline that make my life a little easier.
It's kind of like deciding how to respond to things that come up in my day before they come up in my day. I already have an answer and don't have to labor over what to do in these situations. They have served me well over these 30+ years and I thought I would share them with you.
They are a good instruction and help me stand firm. These tips are drawn from. Psalm 15 below:
Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
Psalm 15 NLT
So at 60, I feel more confident in sharing these principles or tips I have gleaned from Psalm 15.
I wrote them down in my mid-thirties on a Sticky Notes and put them on my mirror. I read them every morning for years as I was a teacher, a single mom, and a bible leader. I hope they help you.
1. DO WHAT IS RIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!
This is always my fall back thought. What is the right thing to do? I know that the more I begin my day in His word, the more often this comes to my mind when I am given a decision during the day. If we do what we honestly believe is the right thing to do, we will always make better decisions. And we stand before God knowing we really believed it was the right thing to do. And I mean really - not something that feels right, but IS right and we all know the difference. (a blog topic for another day!)
2. SPEAK TRUTH in LOVE!
Check my mouth. Am I speaking truth? And even more importantly, am I speaking it in a tone and with a deep desire to love whomever I am speaking to?
3. STOP the GOSSIP!
Don't start it, and don't spread it.
I have found my greatest awareness over this is fasting from words. That means stopping my talking. Literally, going silent. Either in a silent retreat, or asking family members to allow me to be silent for a few hours, or a day, or even a few days. It makes me more aware of WORDS.
4. DESPISE SIN, HONOR FAITH
Walking hand in hand with the three prior points puts me into a mindset that I remove myself from those who sin and I encourage those faithful followers. Because if I come down on those flagrant sinners - I am neither showing love, nor stopping gossip. So, on my knees is the best place for me to handle those flagrant sinners. And leave them with the LORD - He can handle them.
5.KEEP MY PROMISES
Hard to do in this world of nanoseconds. But I desire to. I fail, but I apologize and I take responsibility for my mess up. I am human. But, I strive for this.
6. DON'T EVER EXPECT TO BE REPAID.
If I lend money, I have done it after prayer. I believe in helping those that need help when I can. And I do. But there have been times when I have been stopped from giving someone money they have asked for. Not often, but sometimes. In my prayer, I have not sensed that moving forward and giving is what I should do. But, when I do give. I give it with no expectation of it ever being returned. I am blessed when someone holds to their commitment of paying me back in return. But to prevent me from becoming frustrated or resentful if they never do, I just consider it gone.
7. STAND UP FOR THE INNOCENT.
I haven't found this to be difficult. Some people with a different lifestyle, or in a different environment might find this difficult. Years ago I had to help children in situations that were not favorable for their families. And I stood up and asked them to get help and helped them get help. I have also been in missions and have had to deal with this. But in my world today, not so much. It was not easy, I don't say it is. But I know it is the right thing to do. And that leads us right back to the very first instruction: DO WHAT IS RIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.
Such people will stand firm forever.
Now, to me, that has been a good life.
I'm not done yet. I'm still kicking - and LOVING LIFE.
But these have proven the test of time.
I pray that I will always ask God to cleanse me heart
check to see if these principles are still in my fiber.
I beg Him to keep me faithful.
May God bless your day,
Because HE IS the I AM, i am
robyn rochelle cox
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Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?