“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, 28 bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
How do we show agape love to others even our enemies? The Word instructs us in this endeavor. As Christians love is foundational. God is love and we as His children are also love but how do we express this love.
Sad to say but some Christians even in their own church don’t show love. Loving in Christ is based on truth, compassion, respect and honor. Love is not jealous. Love does no show contempt. Love does not seek to be above another. Love is not abusive. Loving someone is not about getting them drunk or high. Love does not gossip or condemn. Love lifts one up. Love respects the gifts of another person. Love lives in harmony. Love does not abandon.
Barbara J Couch, MDiv.
Spritual Support & Care Consultant
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NRSV)
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are upon us. These are the days where some people forget what’s really important. Stores are crowded. Parking lots are busy and accidents increase. This is the world we live in and we know what goes on during the holidays. It is not something new to us.
However, how we handle the stress and friction of the holidays is up to us. What’s your plan of action? Are you still looking to Jesus as your compass and anchor? Are you praying before going to meetings, work or out shopping? Are you being good to yourself and not indulging in things that will hurt you?
The Bible reminds us we can cast our care on to Jesus because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). We don’t have to be worried or stressed out about things that don’t belong to us or about people we have no control over.
What’s your plan for the holiday season to keep your inner peace?
Blessings and Peace,
Barbara J Couch, MDiv.
What do you do when you wake up feeling anxious? What do you do when you have feelings or thoughts that interfere with your life and responsibilities?
Often when people experience anxiety or uncomfortable feelings they do things that they think are helping them like spending money, sexual activity, drinking or using drugs (prescribed or other), they lash out at their loved ones, etc. But as Christians we have tools to use to get through. What are those practical tools? 1. Go to God and His throne of grace praying for understanding of your situation and asking for release from or to get through the feelings, thoughts or situation. 2. Renew your mind with the Word of God and allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit not your emotions and feelings. 3. Take the right actions instead of reacting to your emotions or a situation. 4. Remember your Christian foundation of faith. Remember what is true about you and the evidence that has been presented. 5. Speak to another Christian you trust making your confession and received the grace God has for you.
There are things that are not beneficial for a Christian to do when they are feeling anxious or having thoughts or other feelings that interfere with their life like, 1. isolating yourself, 2. shutting down communication with God, 3. letting yourself be led by your emotions and feelings, 4. being mean to yourself and 5. forgetting who you are in Christ.
I hope you found these words to be helpful for you or for someone you know. Peace and blessings to you.
Barbara J Couch, MDiv.
But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
MATTHEW 5:44 (AMP)