October 31, 2018

DAY THIRTY ONE of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt


***
The Wrap-Up & Release...
I can't believe we made it! 

I hate to tell you this... but
now is when the hard work truly begins.  



Now, the call is to take what we have been learning here,
and be intentional in putting it into practice out there!  

Sidenote: You know that after all of these words, for all these days in a row... Imma take a little break for a few days! However, I wanted to let you know that I'm oh so honored that you have joined me on this journey toward Becoming a (King* or) Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt! (*I see you male readers!)

It's counter-cultural... and it doesn't come naturally to us, I know! But if the world is going to know us by our Love... man, you guys, ...we've got to get better at majoring on the positives and what we DO have in common, rather than pointing out the negatives and focusing on all the ways we are different!

I will never tell you this will be easy. 

It is always a choice... and not one that our fleshly heart
pushes us towards. But the more we choose it... 


...--the more we follow through and extend grace and stop to consider the other side, a different perspective, or the slight possibility that our opinion may be wrong... the easier this gets! 

It's not easy all the time... 
  But it does get easier!

It does.

My Honey and I have been saying the same thing for well over a decade... maybe two now and that is this: "We're not easily offended! You're gonna have to try really hard with us!"  

We say it jokingly but we have learned to live it out in truth!

It's not that we are immune... or that we don't experience difficult situations or relationships. We do.  

It's that we have learned to put the things we covered this month into practice and over time, it has gotten easier to not take up an offense or hold on to a grudge.

We've learned to let things go... to not hold on to hurt or anger... to not let fear whisper-shout louder than faith echoes deep down quietly... to not allow something to eat away at our spleen... I mean, right?



Unforgiveness, Offenses, and Bitterness all carry the potential to turn into Hatred and Meanness! And when that happens, they just tend to simmer just below the surface of All. The. Things! It takes just a tiny spark to cause an explosion... plus - gah! - it makes you literally physically and emotionally SICK! Ain't nobody got time for that!

Jesus is always our example and man, He had some situations occur that we would say He would have been justified in not being kind... or in taking an offense... or in getting even! (Hello there, sons of Thunder... we hear you, brothers!) 

But Jesus always took the high road... He always extended grace, He let Kindness Draw 'em in close... and Love cover up and soak right on through!

And while He knew the Truth and their hearts like we never can and never will, He still insisted on giving them a little wiggle room... a little space to breath and change their minds... 

It was only a couple of times that anger or frustration seemed to motivate Him and, really --it wasn't anger as much as it was heartbrokenness! When we are hurt or disappointed, sometimes it comes off as irrational anger or passion. There is a thin, fine line where this does NOT turn into sin and Jesus alone has walked it!

We started the series talking lightly about the necessity of Believing the Best and Being Kind.  We talked about Focusing on the Positive and how we will find what it is that we seek!  

Then we dug in to the heart of the matter and how we must remember not to Jump to Conclusions or Ascribe Intent or remain limited by our (limited) Perspective!  

We moved on to the topics of extending the Golden Rule, of practicing Going First, and finally touched on Grace (for us and for 'them'!)

Next, we tackled the vital practices of Forgiveness, Healing Prayer, Making Amends, and Letting Go!

This week we gave practical Tips and Ideas on Being Kind to various categories of people (spouse/significant other, kids, extended family, co-workers, neighbors, city leaders, & strangers!) and I attempted to seriously HOOK you UP with an incredible Resource List of Books that have truly helped us to learn to walk this out!

In full disclaimer, I want to wrap this up with the truth... The title of this series came to me because it is something I have whisper-declared over myself, under my breath, for over a year or two. 

Because... as much as this is true in our lives... as much as we have put it into practice and have learned to make wise choices, it's still not easy!

Humans, man!  
We are a messy, broken bunch!

Relationships can be hard no matter what kind they are...
and when they overlap into multiple categories,
it can get even trickier!

Add to that the fact that my Honey and I are both seriously not gifted in confrontational communications. We are both internal processors and we choose our words carefully after weighing them out on the inside for a while to make sure that we mean them. 

Not everyone (read: almost no one?) is wired like this! 

So we have a hard time not shutting down in self-protection mode sometimes.  We communicate well with each other but that is because we have grown to communicate in the same way, so we get each other and --bonus-- we really do know each other and know each others' heart! But we are sadly lacking in skills to speak up in light of difficult situations or when surrounded by confrontational tones, or when we feel we are not being heard or valued.  (We are learning... but it's still hard for this Enneagram 2 and 9!)

Sometimes what is needed IS a little space... a little wiggle room and grace extended and prayers sent up and an offering of the benefit of the doubt! This part, we are good at! 

But sometimes, once you have done that... what is needed next is a conversation and honesty to clear the air as well as any possible misunderstandings or miscommunications.

That may be what is needed, but it should be done after bathing it all in prayer and listening for His guidance and leading! Because, as we talked about... sometimes we're called to make amends and sometimes we are called to let go! 

And sometimes it's only after the letting go happens that hearts can be wholly healed and are ready to move forward into whatever is next! 

But whatever is next...
I believe it will still be begging us to
Be Kings and Queens
of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt
by Being Kind and
Not Being So Easily Offended!

We used a lot of Scripture throughout this series, but the one that just won't leave me is this one:

"Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One! Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near.
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,  then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things." ~Phil 4:4-9 The Passion Translation

I mean...? Joy and Prayer and Gratitude and Peace?  
Who doesn't need and want more of those things in their life, right? I know I do!  

Actually disciplining our flesh to put these verses into practice will enable us to receive all four of those things on a daily basis! If that won't also enable us to be kind and to be kings and queens of giving the benefit of the doubt, I don't know what will!  

And, truly, I believe putting this portion of Scripture to work in our normal every day, daily living will also empower us to:

Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.


...and that is my heart and I believe the call of every believer!


Today is Day Thirty-One of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt! If you click over to the official Homepage' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

I hope you have enjoyed this series and will continue to let it teach and lead you in becoming Kings and Queens! 

For we are royalty, and I think it's about time we start acting and living like it, don't you?

If you are a Subscriber, you will receive our monthly newsletter straight to your inbox tomorrow, Nov 1st (and then it will be gloriously quiet around here for at least a few days!)  

The Newsletter features things that don't always find their way over here on the blog and it gives me a chance to be a little more personal with Y'all! Subscribing to this blog simply means that once a week you will receive an email linking all the posts that were available on the blog, just in case you missed something! If you'd like to sign up for the free newsletter, click HERE!

Thanks so much for joining me
on this journey of
Becoming Kings and Queens,
sweet readers! 

May we put it all into practice
and let Love lead us!
Now, let's go out and
Change the World
by intentionally Being Kind
and Giving the Benefit of the Doubt!



4 comments :

  1. Always learning! And way to go...we did it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the counsel of being saturated in prayer. We can saturate ourselves and saturate those who are in conflict with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have also been times when I have prayed that God would erase the conversation from my memory so it would not be on repeat creating deeper wounds unnecessarily! (And He's done that! It's SUPER helpful! LOL!)

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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