Monday, August 11, 2014

Taking Courage

Every time I perceive hurt, rejection, slight, or lack,
I have the opportunity to practice turning--
 turning away from those feelings
 and turning them into something
that isn’t natural.

Anger, frustration and hurt are natural responses.
Self is responding to the injustices
it perceives taking place.
Sometimes those are very real.
But the question isn’t whether
those feelings are valid or not.
The question is whether those feelings
are going to keep us in natural response
or whether they are going to lead us
to become kinder, more gentle,
more compassionate people.

It takes courage to choose compassion.
Because we have to trust that our God
cares about what has happened to us
and will make right—in His way—
what might have been wrong.
A supernatural response requires
turning from self and toward another.
We step away from our self-focus and
the judgment process attached.
Instead, our desire is to live
authentic lives, as Christ lived His—
to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I am finding that when I am hurting,
He asks me to go comfort another.
When I feel rejection,
He asks me to reach out to another.
When I think I have been treated wrongly,
He asks me to practice loving another.
It's not only the last thing I might want to do,
it's often the last thing I feel like I CAN do.

Jesus said, “Take courage. I am here.”
Matthew 14:27
When we "take courage," 
we can turn away from our natural responses
and exchange them for responses that 
represent His heart for others.

We tend to associate courage with bravery.
It is actually a heart response to His presence.
There is a divine connection between courage 
and compassion, kindness, and gentle patience.
It is a key that releases us from 
the natural realm of self-focus.

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