Focus Verse: Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Lawd, why do people insist on forcing me to cause them to label me as a mean person? Yup, this heart still ain’t where it should be. Keep working Holy Ghost, keep working. I need them words AND my thoughts to be acceptable in Your sight!
“Tiffani the first thought that comes to your mind definitely shouldn’t be the first response out of your mouth. Think a little longer, that second one is much nicer. Don’t mind me, I’m just engaging in that dying daily stuff my guy Luke and nem be talking about.”
This was a Facebook status that I posted yesterday, intended to be sort of humorous but sort of not. I was sent a message that could have evoked a not so pleasant response from me if I allowed it to. Instead, I thought about a more appropriate and graceful response.
The Bible tells us in multiple places in the New Testaments, Luke being one of them, that if we want to follow Christ we must die to ourselves. Our fleshly responses and actions should consistently be replaced with those that are pleasing to Christ. Luke knew just how important this dying is, that he encourages us to do it daily.
We have to be very careful because the very thing that God gives us as a blessing, the enemy will try to use against us as a hindrance. I never want to use the blessing of being quick-witted for the tearing down of God’s Kingdom. Often times we use, “that’s just who I am.” to justify our unfavorable actions. Who you are should never hinder, who God created you to be in Christ. “That’s just who I am” is not an excuse to never change.
The world is so adamant about promoting “be real, speak your mind, keep it 100” that we as Christians can get caught up and sometimes tricked into believing our “I’m just being real” is necessary. If your realness isn’t smeared with the love of Christ, then honestly you have been tricked, my friend, and have now become an instrument used for the advancement of the enemy’s agenda.
This is why it is important again, that we are consistently denying our flesh, consistently renewing our mind, and consistently meditating on things that are acceptable in the eyes of Christ, not man.
I challenge you today to consistently be mindful of your reactions towards others and how you treat them.
Reference Verses: Romans 12:2; Psalm 19:14
Prayer: Father God, You are so patient with me. Thank You for Your grace that You extend to me when I am undeserving. I don’t always act and say things that are pleasing to You, please forgive me. Honestly, it can be difficult to not speak my mind or keep it 100. I so desperately want to please You in every area of my life, but I know that I can’t do that without You. I ask for Your help as I consistently make the decision to deny myself, endure whatever comes, and follow You. In the name of Jesus, Amen!