Live an Uncommon Life
- Thursday, February 12, 2009
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Susie Larson's new book, The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary, (Moody Publishers, 2008).
Following the crowd is easy to do. But that will only lead to a common, ordinary life that falls short of the potential God has in mind for you. If you dare to respond to your circumstances with uncommon faith, however, you’ll become a godly influence on all those around you.
Here’s how you can leave the common life behind and pursue an extraordinary life:
Humbly accept acceptance. When other people reject or betray you, don’t sink to taking the low road of reciprocating pettiness and gossip, building cases, and forming allegiances. Instead, regularly remind yourself of who you are and whose you are in Christ, according to the Bible: loved, called, accepted, chosen, cherished, and forgiven). Accept God’s unconditional love for you while inviting Him to point out anything in you that might offend Him. Pray for your accusers, asking God to bless them, because the more they’re drawn to Jesus, the more like Him they’ll become. Forgive your accusers, with God’s help.
Thank God for everything good in your life. Pray for someone who is dealing with even tougher circumstances than you, and reach out to her through a note or gift. Get enough exercise and rest to stay healthy. Face your flaws honestly, but realize that they don’t diminish your value. Refuse to let other people define you, because God already has. You can understand who you are once you understand whose you are. Embrace the call to become more like Jesus every day. But remember that no mistake of yours or rejection of others can change the fact that your identity in Christ is secure. Thanks to your relationship with Jesus, you will always be fully loved and completely accepted.
Get back up after getting knocked down. Ask God for the courage you need to get back up after the messes of life knock you down. Even though your pain may sometimes seem more real than God’s presence, choose to believe that God’s promises are still true for you, and trust that God can use whatever you’re going through to accomplish good purposes in your life. Pray for the strength you need to overcome fears and discouragement. Refuse to be bound by your past defeats or daily insecurities. Expect God to make all things new in your life as you place your trust in Him.
Choose your battles wisely. Not every battle is yours to fight, and not every wrong is yours to right. Instead of hoisting too many problems on your shoulders (a commonplace way for women to become anxious and weary), ask God to help you discern only what problems He specifically intends for you to handle for each day. Let go of any problems, realizing that God has the power to fix any problem you come across and you might make things worse by taking matters into your own hands when you’re not supposed to deal with a particular problem.
Recognize that you’re not called to defend every ill word spoken about you or walk in fear of what other people think of you. Refuse to respond to gossip or engage in spiteful conversations. Live to please God, not other people. Simply commit every day to living as faithfully as you can and entrust your reputation to God. Even when other people don’t understand you, God does, and that’s enough.
Fight key battles. When you face conflict, ask God to help you win these important battles: to forgive those who hurt or offend you, to receive a fresh dose of God’s grace each day, to stand against evil by guarding your heart, to humble yourself before God and be willing to obey Him, and to persevere in the midst of challenges until God intervenes. Remember that God is with you every step of the way.
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