Thursday, October 1, 2015

Prayers from the Bathroom, A Little Respect and a Smile or Two, and Giving to Those We Don't Care For

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 27-29.

I used to get caught up in being angry and resentful when people were rude or insensitive to me.  I can’t say that I don’t ever get caught up in those human emotions anymore.  Fortunately, these passages will pop into my mind in the middle of those feelings.
I realize that God wants me to pray for these people rather than waste my time being angry with them.  I think anger can be a very counterproductive emotion, at times.  I remember a time when I was working under a very insensitive-demanding supervisor.  I was almost to the point of tears at work when I went into the bathroom because I didn’t want anyone to see me crying.  This passage popped into my mind, so I prayed for the supervisor and for God to bless her.  I was only expecting God to make me feel better so I could leave the restroom without anyone realizing I had been crying.
When I left the bathroom after saying that quick prayer, not only did I feel relieved but the supervisor was much nicer to me.  I really wasn’t expecting that to happen.  Since it happened this way the first time, I have gone to the bathroom to pray many times over the years.  Every time I have done this, the situation was much better afterward.  It’s amazing to see how God is personally involved in our lives.
It’s important that I do not respond to these people in like manner.  Coming back with an equally hateful or insensitive remark isn’t being the example God wants me to be of how He works in my life.  When I pray for these people, I’m putting them in God’s very capable hands.  Actually, it would be wonderful if these hurtful or rude people would have their lives turned around by God who can cause miraculous changes in anyone. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. Luke, Chapter 6, verse 30.

I think God wants us to give freely to those in need.  I’m not sure about the interpretation of the second part of this passage.  I have taken it to be an answer to a dilemma I have with giving to others.  I think there is a fine line between empowering and enabling.  There are times when a person gives to others and it empowers them, giving them a hand-up to be the best they can be.  Then there are times where you give to others and it creates an enabling dependency that is counterproductive and isn’t healthy for that person.  So I don’t give to people I think are going to use the money to buy another bottle or to people who are deliberately trying to take advantage of me or scam me.
I’m not sure that’s what the second part of this passage was really saying and I apologize if I’m misleading anyone, but that’s the way I have taken it.  A good rule of thumb is to trust the instincts that God gives you.  I try to let those instincts guide me in giving.  Don’t forget giving isn’t only of our money.  Sometimes giving is by treating others with respect or taking the time to listen to their story whether you’ve heard similar stories a million times over.  Giving of your time by being there for someone else when they need someone in their corner can be a much more powerful thing than any monetary gift.  Sometimes people who are down and out just need a hand-up, a little respect and a smile or two.

(As I read this passage while I’m editing the book, I wonder if God doesn’t want us to give even if we think someone is going to buy another bottle.  Who are we to say whether our kindness might leave a positive impact on that person which goes far beyond anything we might ever realize.  As I said originally, trust the instincts that God gives you on this subject.  Those will be right for your situation.)

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?  for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye?  for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye?  for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 31-36.

God is telling us He wants us to be nice, considerate and giving to everyone, especially those who aren’t nice, considerate and giving to us.  He says it’s easy to be giving to people who are nice to us, so that’s not very difficult.  We are really doing a bigger thing when we are giving to those we don’t care for, those who aren’t nice to us or those who don’t look like people we would ever associate with. Click on the Post title to read more.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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