Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ever made a Bad Choice? Me neither!

I wrote this article for a teen magazine but I think we can all learn something from it.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tender-hearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.           1 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)

How you react in situations says a lot about who you are and what makes you different from the rest of the crowd.woman thinking

How do you react when your friend decides that you’re not so cool anymore? How do you react when that rumour going around about you is the furthest thing from the truth? How do you react when asked what you are doing Friday night and you reply, “Going to youth” and you get the “your one of those people” looks?

I have experienced and lived through each of those scenarios, and I didn’t always react in a way that portrayed who I was striving to be: a follower of Jesus Christ. In some cases I made the situation worse and in others I made myself look like a fool. But hey, that is a part of developing character and figuring out who God created us to be. Right?

I can admit that I didn’t always make the best choices and honestly, I don’t expect you to either. Sometimes wrong is how we get to right. There is always a learning curve. Don’t get me wrong, I am not giving you permission to go out and make stupid choices. (1 Cor. 10:23)

But if by some small chance, at some point in your life you make a bad choice, please know that it is okay. You need to understand that you must learn from your mistakes and continue to blossom into the awesome woman of God that you have been created to be!

1 Peter is a letter written by Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ to Christians who were being persecuted and suffering because they chose to be followers of Jesus Christ. Through this letter Peter encouraged believers to live lives of integrity--to be examples of Jesus Christ.

In our North American society we do not see the persecution that Peter saw and experienced in his life. But at times we do suffer.

We can suffer by being mistreated by friends or acquaintances at school. By being different and choosing not to do what everyone else is doing. Or by being judged because of our “Christian” label.

How should we choose to react when these types of suffering enter our lives? Peter tells us not to retaliate with actions or words. Then look at what Peter instructs us to do when someone says something unkind to you. Pay them back with---- a blessing! WHAT!!! Are you serious?

If you have been on the receiving end of having unkind words thrown in your direction this could seem like an impossible task. A blessing is what they need and this is what scripture is instructing us to do and what God wants us to do.

When I was 16 I spent my summer working as kitchen staff at a camp. One evening while everyone at the camp was sleeping, we were robbed. They broke in the kitchen and stole whatever they could take out the window. Tons of food, my stereo I had left there that night, they threw the knives in the walls and just made a mess. It felt like such an invasion and a personal attack. We scrubbed the kitchen with bleach from top to bottom and it still felt dirty. It wasn’t until I gave up my anger and prayed for the people responsible for the break in that I could feel at peace and comfortable once again.

1 Peter 3:14-15 says, “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”

Have these verses written on your heart. Peter wrote these words about 2000 years ago so that when you or I struggle with feelings of suffering that these words were there to encourage, strengthen and give us hope. Suffering produces character; there is no one in the past, present or future like you. You are unique! Your character is unique! You have been created for a unique purpose!

Worship Christ with your life and if someone compliments you by asking, “What’s different about you?” Be prepared to share with them where your hope comes from.

To see how to do that let’s read what Peter has to say in verses 16 and 17, “But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!”

Thank you Peter! What an encouragement to live a good life!

Take time to apply it to your life: (grab your journal and spend a few minutes thinking about these questions) What do your reactions say about your character? Take time and evaluate what you can learn from good or bad choices that you have made? Do you know how unique you are? What Makes You Unique?

1 comment:

  1. Good to see another post! Thanks for the chat yesterday; it is nice to see someone else inspired by similar joys! Bless you!


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