Friday, January 30, 2015

Stop Waiting for Life's Handouts

Cue the elevator music, because when you're stuck between floors in life, you might often feel like you have to wait things out. Life isn't like that, and in most circumstances, we have work on ourselves to see the change we want.

Illness, debt, character flaws, our physical shape. 
Where we live, how we live, and who we live with.
Our relationships with others and our relationship with God. 

When has passively waiting for your credit score to rise, waistline to shrink or personal relationships to improve actually worked? Have you ever woken up with a burning desire to deny yourself an extra hour of sleep, just to get your Bible reading in for the day? No, you had to dedicate yourself to these things.They all take immense amounts of discipline, and waiting around for our life to improve without any effort on our part is foolish and neglectful.
Yesterday I found myself in a conversation with a college friend whom I've fallen away from. We rarely talk, but when we do have the yearly check-in, we inevitably make our way over to her desire to improve upon the hard things in life. And I always bring up being responsible for your own life. And then, the gospel.

I am not saying that we have chosen to have a chronic illness or a toxic relationship with someone. Sometimes those things happen. They might be put in place to test our resolve, and in the grand scheme, bring us to God on our knees. Sometimes those things improve our view of the world and make us who we need to be. After all, as Voddie Baucham said last week at the conference "the only way you get your "Best Life Now" is if you go to Hell when you die."

Life is not meant to be easy, (and Osteen is incredibly wrong in suggesting that it should be). You will have to go through hardship, and when you do, don't assume it's because you didn't pray hard enough or give enough money to a certain ministry.
And, since I have you here...  Jeremiah 29:11 is NOT telling you that God desires you to have an easy life. You have to take every verse in context. and this verse was written to Israelites in Babylonian captivity. Not you.
Financial woe often follows irresponsible spending and saving. Relationship problems often follow a stubborn, controlling or (insert any personality flaw) attitude. The fact that you fall away from people might be because you neglected the relationship and some things can't be easily mended. The reason you have diabetes might be because of poor eating habits. And, most importantly (and hard to swallow), if you follow the way of this world, you can easily be led to pain and suffering.

Without God, we are put on Earth to consume what we have and have fun doing so. Irresponsible sex, drugs, self-serving actions easily fit in with that worldview. With our eyes focused on God, we are here to glorify him, which is all we ever want and truly take joy in. Unless your life is centered on God, life will be a series of stressful events that we can only aspire and fail to fix on our own.

The conversation ended fairly quickly once I started being honest. And, while I left upset for my friend, she knows that if she asks for my opinion or is seeking a way to 'fix' everything- I'm sticking to my beliefs. And, right behind my faith in God is my belief that we can't just wait for things to improve. You need to do the work.

So tell me...
How do you tell someone what their life reflects the choices and the intentional care that they've put in it?
How do you tell them to quit waiting for life to turn lemons into lemonade, to be intentional about life?
Every Friday hundreds join the Five Minute Fridays writing flash mob, 
where bloggers get together to write on a common topic or specific word. No extreme editing; 
no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. 
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Five Minute Friday - 4


  1. Found your post really interesting. I'm coming out of an abusive relationship. I didn't choose this. I didn't see it coming. He was a gentleman. I didn't intentionally ever think I'd be in that sort of relationship but I have intentionally started to rebuild my life (our life; I'm now a self-employed, single Mum, with two small children). I find generalisations really hard to deal with, because I know that whilst there is a category 'battered women', every battered woman I've ever spoken to, or made contact with and heard stories from, their stories are always **highly individual**. None of them intentionally chose to have that relationship, but all, every single one of them, when they were able to (because leaving is DANGEROUS, aside from being TERRIFYING), they intentionally chose to leave. Even when this meant (and it **always does mean**) many hardships beyond the scope of imagining of most people. I thank you for your post and feel happy for you that you are so secure in your beliefs and that this belief gives you comfort. Have a lovely day, Helen

    1. Thank you for the candid reply, it's something no person should ever have to go through (and in the instances such as these, I don't think this post applies).

      And, as you said, every abused person is different, and it's impossible to generalize those. I'm happy to see that you were courageous enough to get yourself and your children away from your husband and will pray that you find your way. I appreciate the comment for being so constructive and honest :)

  2. Your post reminds me of the 'footsteps in the sand'. Some good thoughts to get the day going, so appreciate your honest approach to your friend. I have a DIL who is the most negative person I know, but she says she is going to turn a new corner in her life and think more positively. Hmmmm We shall see.

    1. It really is hard to talk with someone who thinks the world is against them, but all we can do is be honest and pray for them. It's been a while since I've read footsteps in the sand, but I guess I can see some comparisons. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Ahh the Jeremiah 29:11 went there ;). It doesn't even say "easy" life, it says hope and a future...but I guess the word prosper is in there and people sure do run with it. I sometimes repeat that verse to myself when I'm feeling hopeless..but then I always hear in my head..." That was meant for the captive Israelites Angie".
    Same thing with Romans 8:28..even though it's my life verse. " And we know that in all things God works for THE good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" It doesn't say my good it says the good. What I think is good for me isn't what God always means for the greater good. So although both of those verses I cling to for hope, they both need to be taken in context.
    We always have the choice to act or's so hard to be proactive when sometimes circumstances seem to force the reaction. It all comes down to being in the word and being intentional. Like you said;). Great post.

    1. Yes! I'm glad you enjoyed the tough love, and I might have to make a post at some point about "taking verses in context" since it's a pet peeve of mine.

      I'm with you on being proactive. We can wish for things to just get better, but we're told to put in work. But, it's hard sometimes to remember that!


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