In this wonderful, cold season we are often prompted with a lot of questions that determine our life choices: what college should I attend after High School? Who should I hang out with? Should I date this person I like? How am I supposed to get along with this person I don’t like? What am I supposed to do with my life? I don’t know about you, but I could use some wisdom in my life. Let’s see if James (Jesus’ brother) can offer us some advice on how to renew our minds:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” [ James 1:5 ]
It’s just that simple- get on your knees, get in God’s Word and ask for wisdom! I asked God for wisdom at 16 and started off reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. I am not Buddha, Gandhi, or King Solomon; I have, however, had God blow my mind with his wisdom because He is so good. Ask, and you shall receive!
You may be wondering what it looks like to have God’s wisdom. James, our expert on wisdom, tells us:
“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace –loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” [ James 4:17 ]
There you have it! Surrender yourself to God and ask him to help you renew your mind and He will make you into the kind, wise person you were created to be!
BONUS challenge: Commit to reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. A proverb a day keeps the enemy’s lies away!
Peace and grace to you,
Hey everybody! James here. You are still fully surrendered like you were this summer, right? You’re still in the word and prayer all the time, and you’re in authentic community right? Things are going almost perfectly, and you are at the top of your spiritual game right? (Cynical laugh) If you are like most of us, the answer to one or all of these is “no.”
Somewhere along the way we all “miss the bar” spiritually, emotionally, socially, and so on. We all fail. We all hurt others, and we all hurt ourselves. I am convinced that the biggest danger to Christians today is not temptation but the guilt and shame that come from sin. All too often, we will mess up. We repent, turning towards Christ. But for some reason we cannot seem to forgive ourselves as Christ has forgiven us. This guilt and shame perpetuates more fear, more hiding, and more sin. There are so many Christians who let their guilt and shame turn into self-hatred, and not grasping God’s grace fully, allow their self-hatred to fester and grow. I have been one of them without even realizing it. Does this ring a bell to you? If so, grab your bible and lean into God’s truth with me:
So do yourself a favor and forgive your worst enemy- you! Talk to a trusted friend, a pastor or a mentor. Break the sin-cycle you are trapped in and let Jesus shine through you!
Peace and Grace to you,
Imagine this. You wake up peacefully; the light of morning is quietly peaking through the curtains. You turn over slowly, allowing yourself to sink deeper into the warm comfort of your covers. Everything is still, you are at rest, and the anxiety of the world is light-years away.
Suddenly, you look at the clock. You realize you forgot to set your alarm and you only have 15 minutes until school starts or you have to be at work. Your mom is screaming “we have to leave NOW for school” and you can’t even figure out what to do first. “I still need to shower”, you think, “and I was going to finish my homework early this morning because I was too tired to finish it last night”. “Oh, I have to remember my book this time because I was docked 5 points for forgetting it yesterday.” AAAHHHH Jesus help me!!!
And then, you remember: Jesus. Oh yeah, I wanted to spend time praying this morning. Oh well, God will wait for me to talk to him when I have time….Does this situation sound way too familiar?
Busyness does not always give rise to productivity. I have recently been reminded that apart from God, I can do NOTHING (John 15:5). Truth is, God wants to be your comfort in the midst of your busy schedule. He wants to be a part of everything you are involved in, not just the church stuff. He wants EVERY BIT OF YOU, and He wants to make your burden light.
Cast ALL your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Did you miss that? HE CARES FOR Y-O-U! He is a wonderful Father, and He hates to see his children in distress. That is why He wants you to know that He can hold your stress: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Be still, friends.
Much Love, from Caitlin Hines
|Author + Photographer >> Caitlin|