The Negative and the Positive
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:21 NLT
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." - Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Determined. A good trait . . . or a negative one? Synonyms for determined include purposeful, adamant, single-minded, unswerving, unwavering, intent, insistent, steadfast, persevering, persistent, strong-minded, strong-willed, dedicated, obstinate, inflexible, and immovable. Hmmm. Steadfast and dedicated sound pretty good. But inflexible and immovable? Not good traits if we refuse to be moved by needs of others and God's desire for us.
What kind of determination do you have?
Consider this …
Our natural tendency tends more toward the negative and can make life hard. "When I don't agree with, like, or think things are being done fairly, I feel compelled to take charge immediately." A my-way-or-no-way approach.
A different approach may seem difficult but can make life good. "I will choose my battles wisely. While being bold to stand against what I believe to be wrong and stand for what I think is right, I will control my anger and consider God and others in my approach."
Today's scriptures teach this approach. There are times Christ would call us to bend, to submit to one another. And there are times we need to stand firm. To press on. Determined to do things God's way.
Father, help me have the kind of determination that pleases you. Not just stubbornness, wanting to have my own way. But flexibility, considering others and most of all pleasing you and doing what you want me to do. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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