Thursday, June 13, 2013

Guest Post with Rebecca Heckendorn

 I'm off to my second day at Silver Dollar City, so today we have a special guest! Rebecca Heckendorn is a dear friend of mine and has sweetly provided a guest post during my absence. Enjoy!


1 Corinthians 13

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling symbol. And thought I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    "Charity [Love] suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

    "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."

{Bold mine}

Love.  It is a word that describes many things. 
It describes inanimate objects- food, clothes, books, special items- and how we “enjoy” them.
It describes the feeling between a parent and child.
It describes the feeling between a husband and wife.
It describes what we feel towards our God.
It describes the feeling between friends.
Finally, it is a word that is used in a commandment.

John 13:34-35 
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love for one another.”

It is a word that is used a LOT!  It is easy to lose the true meaning amid the chaos of everyday life.  Too easy.  (maybe need to put this up under your list of what it describes as you have moved on from that and the word ‘finally’ just doesn’t fit with this paragraph) 

Do we love one another?  Do we show it to each other- to our brothers and sisters in Christ?   In our actions, not just our words!

I have a hard time remembering to love.  I don’t always want to.  It is much easier to be selfish than it is to show love. 

I was pondering this question the other day.  What does living out a life of love really mean, and how should I go about doing this?   How do we apply this verse?  The Lord showed me a few ways…..but first, I have to go through a few things I have learned over the years.

Did you know that life never gets easier?  I used to think that “if I only did such-and-such” life would be better.  (I would get married, find my life-purpose, have children, have more children, have more of this, have less of that, etc.)  What I have learned is that life never gets easier.  It gets harder as I grow as a Believer and Satan attacks stronger.  Through these very light “battles”, God is training me, fitting me up for His purpose.  Refining me. 

OK, OK, back to my main point.  I wanted you to understand something.  Your life will never be “easy”.  There will always be something that you need to work on, that you have to work through, that you need to do.  Always.  What I’ve realized or learned, though, was that just as I had various hard lessons going on in my life, so did someone else.  Every person out there has a story, and usually the stories are hard. 

When you are talking with someone- a friend, someone you just met, the person sitting next to you at the Dr’s- and you are visiting with them, who do you tend to focus on?   Do you focus on yourself and how you are the prettier one of the two?  That you have better clothing tastes?  That you know how to apply makeup better?  That you know this subject best and will “win” the conversation?  How you have all this knowledge that you can “teach” to this person?  How your opinions are better?  That you know
the Bible better? 

Are you thinking about how your words will make them think you are so smart, or are you realizing your words will leave a mark- either for their benefit or their hurt?   Are you thinking that your opinions can cause growth or be a stumbling block?   Are you thinking that you can lift them up or tear them down?  Have you even thought that your choice of words is important?

Do you look at the other person and try to see what they need?  Or what is going on in their life?  That they could be hurting inside, scared, confused, angry, or joyful about something?   Maybe, even though you have all “knowledge”, they just need some tender words of comfort.  Do they know the Lord Savior?  Maybe, even though you have the “tongues of men and angels” they need someone to point them to the only way.  Are they struggling with self-worth, confidence, who they are- life?  Maybe they just need some love!

When you walk into a room at a party, do you focus on yourself- am I standing straight, are my clothes “in”, who do I know?  Or do you walk in and look around seeing souls.  If you run in the same Christian social circles like I do, most of the souls are saved, but that doesn’t mean they never hurt or ache. 

There are many Christians in different phases of their walk with the Lord.  If I am visiting with someone who is a newer Christian, someone who is just starting out on their walk with the Lord, there will be several areas that they have not been taught by the Lord, yet.  Maybe it is something like entertainment choices- books, movies, etc.  As we are visiting, I have two choices.  I can be condemning or judgmental or sarcastic or rude about Christians who watch “sinful” movies.  OR I can be thoughtful in my word choices, kind, pointing the way to the Bible and not my opinions, and show this person that they have a responsibility in their choices. 

I still get my point across and hopefully deter this person away from movies that distract from what is holy and pure (Philippians 4:8), but I do it in a way that is with Love!   I do it in a way that can encourage and fan God’s fire in this person- the desire to obey and serve our Lord!  Or I can do it in such a way so that I come across as a self-righteous, condemning, stick-in-the-mud who is just out there following a legalistic set of man-made rules, and giving myself no pleasures in life.  Which is a better ambassador for my Lord? 

I wish that I could say that I have this down, that I do this in my every-day life, but I would be lying to say that!  I don’t.  I would much rather serve myself than serve my Lord!  Serving myself always seems easier, but serving my Lord always brings me the greatest joy. 

What does it mean to love?  It is hard to pinpoint, but what I do know is that, often, loving is hard.  It isn’t just cooking food or cleaning up or running errands or saying “I love you”.  It includes everything!  There are so many different ways to love, so many different people to love, and so many times to do it!  As you go this week, try to look past the facade people put up.  They do it well!  Try to see what they need, what they are hungering for.  Sometimes it is as simple as an extra hug.  Or a quick email of “thinking and praying for you today!”.  Or a handwritten card.  Or words that uplift.  Words that are renewing.   Or it can be in your conversation. 

When you are conversing, loving them means listening!  That is hard to do at times!  When you are in a “debate”, don’t be focusing on what you will be saying next, really work on listening!  And don’t only be listening to yourself, listen to the Holy Spirit.  You don’t know the words that this person needs to hear to point them back to God, but the Holy Spirit does!  If you are willing, God will use you as His vessel to minister to that person.  You will probably never know it, either.  That is OK though.  There will be plenty of time in heaven to go back over all those conversations!!!  :D  Learn to listen with your heart to the words that are never spoken by this person.  Try to hear between the “breaths” and see who they truly are.  Not a perfect person.  None of us are that.  But someone whom you can bless!

Whatever the need, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you- you will then find that you are ministering without ever knowing it!  Speaking words that someone needs to hear that you didn’t even necessarily intend for that person, yet those words reached out like a soothing salve to the ache on their heart.  Our God is amazing, and He will use you to His best purpose!  Let Him! 

In Christ Alone,
Rebecca

Rebecca is a 22 year old country gal who keeps herself busy on her family ranch.  She loves animals and working with them, baking/cooking, sewing, keeping up with friends, watching movies, reading LOTS of books, and all things tea and coffee!  She has completed her Medical Transcription training and hopes to be doing that soon to support her trips to Hobby Lobby.  You can find her sporadically blogging at www.aprairieprincess.blogspot.com

Thank you for your delightful post, Rebecca!
*Image not my own*
Share:

4 comments:

  1. Nice job, Rebecca! I think you hit the nail on the head. It's so easy to only think about yourself and not realize that other people are hurting or having problems, too. Thank you for the reminder!! It has greatly encouraged me to try to see past my own needs and see to the needs of others. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good and thought-provoking! This comes at the end of a week of the Father "reviewing" the principle of love with me, of thinking of others more than myself. You gave us some great, practical ways to do it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. GREAT words of encouragement, Rebecca! Thank you for reminding me of what a selfish, sinful person I am so I can now turn my eyes off of me and reach out to another!! If we don't sometimes look in, it is hard to see clearly when we look out. <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rebecca, this was beautifully written! Exhortation given in such a loving manner is received by fertile hearts. I am grateful for the reminder to be mindful of others and less of me. He who loves us so much continues to be patient with us, sanctifying us each at the pace and timing that is perfect for each individual. I pray your words are received and used to glorify Him as we enjoy Him to the fullest.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me your comments! I read every one of them! May God bless your day.