Thursday, February 11, 2016

It Takes Courage To . . .

It Takes Courage To . . .

            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather do your own thing.
            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather throw in the towel, curl up in a corner and cry.
            - Find something to be thankful for when so many things are going wrong and you’d rather have a “pity party.”
            - Focus on and enjoy your own blessings when others seem to have it “way better.”
            - Make do with what you have - to be content with it and find joy in it - instead of always thinking you need more in order to be happy.
            - Do the right thing, especially when it’s hard and unpopular and you have so many reasons to not do it.
            - Keep a vow when you have so many excuses for breaking it.
            - Stand by your convictions in a world that doubts, criticizes, and mocks you.
            - Make your family a top priority when you’d rather just think about yourself.
            - Set your mind on things above instead of on earthly things.
            - Stop comparing yourself to others and others to yourself.
            - Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes instead of just judging how well he is doing on his journey.
            - Go the extra mile when no one else does.
            - Help shoulder someone else’s burden when you’d rather save your strength for your own.
            - Open up and be honest with others, taking off the polished, smiling “Good Christian” mask and finally being real.
            - Be transparent before the Lord, opening up your soul to Him, opening up all the closed-off parts of your heart and letting Him in.
            - Take some time every day to be still with the Lord when life is so busy.
            - Pick yourself up again after life beats you down again.
            - Maintain hope when all seems hopeless.
            - Learn to do without something you desperately want, letting God’s grace be enough for you and glorifying Him regardless.
            - Finally let go of a prayer request or a dream, putting it fully in His hands and saying “Your Will be Done!  Whether You give or take away, I will praise You!”
            - Trust that God loves you, sees you, and cares about you when you are so used to being overlooked, pushed aside, or having to take care of yourself.
            - Trust that He will catch you when you fall, when you have lost all confidence in yourself and have no strength left to stand. 
            - Stop letting others define you and start finding your value and worth in the Lord.
            - Trust that God will make something beautiful out of all your messes.
            - Let go of  the control and trust that God will help carry your burdens, that He will help work things out without you having to be everything and do everything for everybody every moment of every day.
            - Be obedient while letting God decide how to use your obedience, how to bless it, and how to weave it into your future.
            - Know that you matter when the world says you don’t.
            - Overlook other’s faults instead of nit-picking.
            - Refuse to gossip or tear others down in order to make yourself feel better.
            - Tackle the plank in your own eye instead of the speck in someone else’s.
            - Say “I’m sorry,” “I was wrong,” “I don’t know,” “I need help,” or “I need You!”
            - Forgive others when you want to hold a grudge or seek revenge.
            - Let yourself be forgiven and forgive yourself.
            - Extend grace to someone when you’d rather pass judgment.
            - Extend grace to yourself when you’d rather punish yourself.
            - Make a wrong right again, fix something you broke.
            - Let yourself be loved.
            - Love others when they don’t love you back.
            - Think of someone else when you’d rather be selfish.
            - Finally realize that you are worth taking care of, too.
            - Work when you’d rather rest.
            - Rest when you’d rather work.
            - Let go when you’d rather hold on.
            - Hold on when you’d rather let go.
            - Follow when you’d rather lead.
            - Lead when you’d rather follow.
            - Look up when you’d rather look down.
            - Look around when you’d rather look inside.
            - Look inside when you'd rather look around.
            - Look forward instead of back.
            - Look back when looking back is what is needed to move forward.
            - Step out in faith when you’d rather retreat.
            - Retreat when you’d rather charge ahead but God says, “Don’t.”
            - Wait when you’ve done all you can and now it’s God turn  to move.
            - Say “No” when you need to say “No” and “Yes” when you need to say “Yes.”
            - Say what needs to get said, especially when no one else will say it.
            - Do what needs to get done, especially when no one else will do it or when it's a small job that no one else notices.
            - Dance when you’d rather cry.
            - Let yourself finally cry when you’d rather be dancing.
            - Simplify, prioritize well, and pare it all down to what matters most.
            -Tithe faithfully, trusting that God will meet your needs.
            - Bend a knee when you’d rather raise a fist.
            - Pray “Lord, change me.  Break me.  Humble me.”
            - Cling to God and keep going when you’d rather give up.
            - Let God be God and you be you.
            - Wake up every morning and say, “Thank You, Lord, for another day!”  And make the most of it!

            You are stronger, more courageous, and more successful than you know!  Just by finding the strength every morning to get up, face another day, and do what needs to get done!

            “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

            “ . . . ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness.’”  (Matthew 25:21)

            Your turn.  How would you finish this sentance:  "It takes courage to . . ."?

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