Getting Sucked into Comparing Yourself to Societies Norms

Have you ever observed people or yourself feeling taunted by social norms?

I’ve noticed the history of this for myself, spanning back to childhood, and I’ve noticed it time and time again for others I encounter in my work, where people have fallen into the hole of comparing themselves to others and comparing themselves to socially accepted norms and measures of ‘success’. Granted, it’s a pretty darn big hole, so actually, it’s not that hard to fall into! When I’ve witnessed this Comparison Conundrum as I like to call it, it’s like hearing a cry echoing from deep within the hole, which sounds a bit like this:

  • Everyone else is married now, and I’m not. Something’s wrong.
  • Everyone else is buying houses now, I guess I should too.
  • I’ve got this job but it’s not really a career like other people have.
  • They’ve found their passion, I still don’t know what mine is.
  • I’m falling behind.
  • I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
  • I want to ‘switch lanes’ in life but I don’t want to go backward. It’s too risky.
  • They are successful and did it that way; I should do it that way too.
  • They are thinner/more attractive/more fashionable/more successful/braver/stronger than me. I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.
  • I’m not capable like them, I guess I’m just not destined to have a life like them.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This hole is so easy to fall into because often we’re invited into the hole, with our mind reinforcing that we’re falling behind via negative thoughts, supported by well-meaning people telling us that we should do this and that. So, of course, we’d then end up in the hole when everything points that way. Our mind reinforces what we see and hear, telling us it is true and if only we could figure out what we need to be and do in order to be like everyone else, then everything would be fine, right?

Except, you’re not everyone else. You’re you. No one is like you. No one. You make your own decisions about what you need and want, and when it feels good to you. If you want a house right now, buy one. If you don’t, don’t. If you want to travel, travel. If you want a big career, have it. If you want to do volunteer work, do it. If you want to be single, be single. If you want kids, have them. If you don’t, don’t. Do what feels good to you, not what others tell you that you should feel good about. And when I say others, I primarily include in that all the advertising, all the propaganda and all the mass media messaging we see day to day that conditions us in a way that we don’t even consciously realize. Start listening to the one thing you can trust – your soul. Your soul is your true self, below any rampant negative thoughts that are leading you astray.

And you might say, “I can’t hear my soul. I don’t know what it’s telling me!”

To which I would suggest that you be still and quiet as often as possible. Listen without fear of what rises up from within you. You do know what you want and need. You do know what makes you feel good. And, let your signals guide you home.

Listening to the advice of others, proffered from their own paradigm, will never triumph over your inner knowing and divine guidance.

  • Do you compare yourself to others?
  • Do you compare your situation and status to that of others?
  • What prompts you to do that?
  • How does that make you feel?

If you’re feeling sad, alone, disconnected, lacking, not enough or plain old exhausted from it, then give it up. Chose to let it go and be open to exploring who you are and what is important and meaningful to the real you – that is, you below any negative thoughts, and conditioning and any fear. We all have negative thoughts, we have all been conditioned and we all have fear. If you are alive, then you have experienced all of this, it is impossible not to. But now you are awake, and you have the choice to either be defined by these things or to break free.

Being someone you are not, in an attempt to live up to social norms, means that signals will eventually intervene to help you. As Marianne Williamson says, “The universe is self-organising and self-correcting”. If you are not aligned to who you really are, your true self, the natural order of the world in which we live will eventually assist you to see this. Intervening signals are not always pleasant, but they are signposts to help us head in a new, better, healthier, more beneficial direction. When things in your life ‘turn to custard’, it could well be because you are not in your flow, you might have accidentally swum into someone else’s flow. So, get out of their river and get in your own

Here is my final word on this subject, and when I say it to you, know that whatever I write is really a message to myself as much as it is to you. For in saying it to you I am reminding us both:

  • NEVER compare yourself to others. EVER.
  • NEVER try to be someone else. EVER.
  • You were born extraordinary and unique.
  • Any time you compare yourself to others, trying to be something else or like someone else, you deny the beautiful individuality that you were gifted when your soul chose to come into this life.

Create your own norms in life. The norms of society have no bearing on you unless you choose them. At all times, be yourself. There is nothing more magical, perfect and beautiful than you being you.

Photo credit: Pinterest

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The Wait Is For Your Good

Have you ever waited on God, but the wait began to feel like a weight, one that was holding you back from happiness? I’ve been there, and more often than I like, I go back on emotional visits. I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for, but I’m sure I can relate.

Have you ever waited on God, but the wait began to feel like a weight, one that was holding you back from happiness? I’ve been there, and more often than I like, I go back on emotional visits.
I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for, but I’m sure I can relate. I’ve waited to be accepted to my dream college, on job offers, to meet friends in a new city, to get married, on promotions and new job opportunities, to start a business– the list goes on. From time to time, I’ve felt discouraged, doubtful, and, frankly, over it.
Not too long ago, I was in a season of waiting, and I was sitting on my bed, crying out to God and telling him I couldn’t endure waiting any longer. I was the end of myself–ready to take things into my own hands. Then God, in His infinite wisdom and love, said to me, “If you make a mistake I won’t love you any less.”

Honestly, that’s not what I thought He’d say. I was expecting a verse that would convict me for my desire to make a move instead of continuing to wait. Instead, God comforted me. I was feeling ashamed, yet He showed me grace.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful. For he cannot deny himself. — 2 Timothy 2:13

God Cares for You

In that moment, I realized that God really does hear my (and your) cries, and He understands our struggles. Now this isn’t to say that He approves of disobedience, but He’s not holding our mistakes and sins over us. He longs for us to know the depth of His love and grace so we can be assured that as our loving Father, He knows best, especially when it comes to timing.

Truly following God is hard because it’s a war to keep the faith. It’s a struggle to be patient and when you feel “ready”. It can be frustrating to be faithful to God when you constantly feel overlooked. It can be confusing when you feel like you should be progressing in your career or life, but keep hearing God say, “Be Still”.

The good news is those feelings don’t change the Truth. God is good and faithful to fulfill every promise. He is not a man that He should lie. He is the Alpha and the Omega and sees the end from the beginning. His timing is perfect because He is the author of all things

The Wait Has a Purpose

So take heart and hold on. If you’re weak, ask God to be your strength. Don’t let doubt make you settle for less than He’s promised you, and don’t let the fear of missing out make you rush into something you’re not ready for.

The wait is about BECOMING. It’s about growing in your faith, deepening your trust in God, and developing the fruit of the spirit. It’s not punishment, it is preparation. It can be painful, but it is also purposeful. Don’t despise it. Ask God to help you wait with purpose and contentment and to reveal His will for this season of your life. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the wait instead of enduring it, and thrive until your time comes.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see – Hebrews 11:1

Photo credit: Pinterest

Expectancy Is Not Pride, But Faith That God Is Who He Says He is!


Have you ever felt like it’s arrogant to ask God to do things when you pray to Him? For example, maybe you have thought that you can’t ask Him to heal you when there are so many others who need healing? As if His power to heal is limited. Or maybe you want to pray for someone else to be healed, or receive provision, but you feel like you don’t have the authority to request such things from God. You may even feel like your bothering Him and wasting His time. I have felt like this often, and because of that I have often prayed very safe prayers. I would not say prayers expecting God to actually perform miracles, and I would tell myself it was because I was being humble. Truthfully, it was because I didn’t believe that He would actually do the things I was asking Him to do. I was not approaching Him with the expectancy that He was fully able and willing to give good gifts to His children for the glory of His name.
After being confronted with an idea from some other believers that God actually wants us to pray and act as if we are expecting miracles and breakthrough, I decided to go to His word and see what it had to say on the matter. I found myself reading one of my favorite stories in the bible. It’s the story in Mark 2 where a group of men have a friend who is paralyzed. They want to get their friend to Jesus to be healed, but Jesus is teaching in a house and there are too many people in their way to get to Him. Since they cannot carry their friend through the crowd, they decide to take another route. These men cut out a hole in the roof of the house, and lower their friend to Jesus. The word says that when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the Paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

That man picked up his mat and walked out of that place fully healed, because his friends had the audacity to believe that Jesus is who He said He is. They believed it so strongly that this group of men knew that if they got their friend to Jesus, their friend would be healed. They acted in persistence in accordance with that belief. What’s amazing is that Jesus didn’t look up through the roof and say, “What in the world are you guys doing! Can’t you see that I’m teaching here? Are you trying to twist the arm of God? What makes you think I would heal your friend before everyone else here who needs healing? How arrogant of you!”
Yet, this is how I found myself praying, as if I was expecting such a response. I would pray as if God was angry and annoyed with me approaching His throne. The truth is that the Kingdom of God is at hand! God is an amazing, loving Father that longs to bring heaven to earth. Because I am washed by the blood of Jesus, I now have full access to Him. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in me. And it is not my Father’s will for people to walk around broken and hurting. It is my Father’s will to usher His children back into the kingdom. It’s His will to heal, restore, and poor out His love in ways that are beyond our human comprehension.

This is true for every single person who has been washed by the blood of Christ. As He is, so are we in this world! You have the Spirit of the living God dwelling inside of you, which is utterly amazing! But the real question is, what are to doing with it? Are you reaching out to others with expectancy? Are you acting as if you know full well that God longs to heal, restore, and pour out His love on people through you, so that He can bring them home into a loving relationship with Himself?
What roof do you need to cut a hole into today? What is that thing in our life that you have been looking at and saying, “The line is too long. There is no way I can get to Jesus. I don’t want to bother Him.” If you truly believe that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He can do, your expectancy will carry you up on the roof and you will gladly cut out a hole to get to Him. Expectancy is not pride. It’s faith that God is who He says He is!

Ensured Success

Person on the mountain top

“Why am I not successful in what I am doing right now…”
“I’m giving this everything I’ve got but it’s not working…”
“I feel like I have been stuck here forever…”

If you are an individual that has been striving to live a successful life, then you have probably asked yourself similar questions to these along the way in your journey. This is a place that I have been familiar with in my life and it wasn’t until I started asking different questions that I began to receive answers. Once I realized that I was asking the wrong questions, I stopped and asked God what He thought of what I was doing to be successful…

“God, what is your success plan for my life?”

Have you ever stopped to think that what you are doing may not be what God has for you to do? Often we as believers forget that we are no longer our own. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) We may have our own plan and some things that we want to do. However, no matter how good our intentions may be, we need to remember that if we want to be successful in what we do then it needs to be God’s plan for us, not our own. I am not saying that the direction that you are going in is wrong. It may just be that you are focused on your own success and personal gain instead of the bigger picture of the success that God has for you.

Years ago in my personal life, I had a goal to have a certain amount of money in my bank account before being out of my early twenties. I had purchased and paid off a nice sports car, and owned rental property before the age of 21; things were on track and going very well. However, the economy took a very negative turn and messed up my plans. I realize now how unhappy I was through that season of my life, even when things were good; what was keeping me going was my drive to achieve my goals.

Since this time, I have grown up a lot and now understand what it means to follow God’s success plan for my life. Today, I can say to some extent am successful, not because I have that certain amount of money in my bank account, but because I am following God’s plan for my life. The craziest part about this is that the plan isn’t much different than my plan that I had for myself, what changed the most is my motivation and my reasoning for success. Now both of these things are God-focused instead of Alex focused.

As you go through your day, think about the goals you have set for yourself, and then surrender them to God. Know that the success that He has planned for you is far greater than what you have for yourself. Always remember that God will ensure success in accordance with His plan; not our own. Success is obtained by trusting God’s plan and surrendering our own. Success is obtained by trusting God’s plan and surrendering our own.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

Killing The Ungodly With The Godly: Breaking Bad Habits

By: CHRISTINE LAILANI GINETE – ROME

Human skull and crossbones drug addict concept

Are you struggling with breaking bad habits and addictions? Here are 5 strategies for breaking bad habits that will help you finally break free.

When it comes to breaking bad habits, there is no denying we’re all guilty of them one way or the other. They can range from severe to mild. For the mild ones, they are easier to overcome. But for the severe ones, this is where the struggle is real. How can we overcome bad habits through God’s grace accompanied by our own efforts?

Breaking Bad Habits with God’s Help

1. Determine if the bad habit is severe or mild.

Or in other words, is it an addiction or just slight misconduct? If it is the former, this might require medical intervention with a professional. But, accompanied by spiritual guidance through mentoring or coaching sessions.

If it is the latter, this will involve a change in the lifestyle or interests. One possible way is to look for other meaningful hobbies if, let’s say, you have this habit of spending most of your free time on social media. Though social networking has its good side, it also has its bad side. Or if it has something to do with chronic lateness in everything, then a shift in the lifestyle might be required. Creating a calendar of activities or a to-do list, for one, might be able to help.

2. Create a resolutions list.

Or much better, a faith goals list. When we hear the word “resolutions,” often nothing happens. But if these are faith goals, we are not just believing in ourselves that we can make them happen, but we believe for God to work on our behalf. As the Bible says,

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:17

3. Connect with a spiritual family.

The spiritual family is one of the best groups to go to when it comes to therapy sessions. Because for those dealing with extreme cases of addiction, the healing needs to be deep within. There is no best way to go when it comes to spiritual healing except for the source of life – God.

4. Involve your closest support system.

This support system is your family and friends that are closest to you. We call them your “accountability partners.” They will check up on you if you’re making any progress at all. Ask for their feedback, too, but be open-minded when they give you suggestions including a rebuke. Often, being rebuked because the truth is too painful more than the addiction or bad habit, itself. But we can always remember they are “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) because they care.

5. Apply a reward/punishment system.

Having a system is a good approach if you’re aiming to reinforce good behavior and eliminate the bad. Progressive schools apply this concept to children as a way of teaching discipline. Reward yourself if you were able to meet some of your faith goals. But it is also necessary to list down and apply the consequences/punishment to yourself if you fail to achieve the targeted goals. You may do this either by fasting or removing something you can’t live without every day. For the reward, you may treat yourself by buying that new jacket you’ve been eyeing on lately or go on an out-of-town trip.R

All in all, these strategies when it comes to breaking bad habits won’t be helpful if not accompanied by self-discipline, self-control, and lots of quiet times with the Lord. We all deal with our inability to control and discipline ourselves in some areas of our lives. But this is the perfect reason why there is a God, and we need Him. If we need to change and break habits, we need an even more powerful force to help us subdue them. Only God can change hearts because nothing is just too hard for God; even when it seems impossible for man (Matthew 19:26).

If you want more, you’ve gotta give more.

If you finally made it to where you think God has called you, hold on tight because you’re about to be moved forward again. The moment you are comfortable, is the moment for advancement.

God takes you from season to season because in each season you learn more and grow. Once you’ve learned enough to move ahead, through your willingness to serve, He moves you forward. We become comfortable because we have learned all we can learn in that season, therefore, it is pointless for us to stay there. If we stay in our comfortability, we will become stagnant and we will not continue to grow or learn. Comfortability leads nowhere fast. You may be in the place, setting, job, season, state, relationship, etc; that you know God has called you to but with no new challenges or opportunity to grow, you are literally limiting yourself. If you’ve officially reached your life-long goal and you have no goals or plans to follow that, then you’ve capped your growth right then and there.

Let’s be honest, the only thing God asks us to do is be obedient. He gives us more than we could ever need or deserve and yet what are we giving Him? Are we giving of our time, money, or even our lives? If yes to any, how much are we truly giving? Are we giving to the extent that makes us comfortable or are we truly stepping out in faith and giving God EVERYTHING we have. After all, all that we have is from God’s tremendous blessings in the first place. I heard a song that said “You can’t take away what the world didn’t give” how awesome is that? Just try to wrap your brain around that concept for a moment. Only God has the power to take away what He has given, so if we belittle and devalue what He has given us, what’s to say He doesn’t have the power to take it away?

If we’re totally honest, it is kind of depressing when you give someone a gift and at the next special event you see them re-gift it or even worse, give it back to you. How do we think God feels when He gives us a gift and we don’t put any value on it, receive it, or even give it away? When we show no care and put no effort into it, I’m certain God feels the same as we do in those moments. We have to remember, God created us in His likeness, so our emotions resemble His, therefore, He has all the same feelings and emotions we do. With no doubt, His emotions are to a greater extent because we are His children. When God gives us a gift, He wants us to receive it, put value on it, and invest in it. When we put nothing into it, there is no reason for Him to give us anything else. Yet, for some reason, we pray relentlessly asking God for something, He answers our prayers, we receive the gift, and then after the monotony sets in, we devalue this gift we unceasingly asked for. God sees us pushing this amazing gift aside and He also hears the prayers of us asking for more. Eventually we stomp our feet, we yell and shout God down, as if He isn’t listening to us, and we wonder why we aren’t getting anything more.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at this from God’s perspective. He gave us what we asked for, we pushed it aside, we can’t even appreciate and grow in what He gave us, why would He give us more? So we could throw that to the wayside as well?

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” -James 4:3

It’s all about give and take. God can give and God can take away. If we devalue or put a gift above God, He has the power to take it away.

“I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May His name be praised!” -Job 1:21

He is a jealous God who only asks for our willingness to obey His commandments. Why do we complicate everything so much and ask “what’s in it for me”? What if; we asked God for something, He gave it to us, and we gave that thing 100% of what we have? Whether it be time, energy, love, ect… Just watch and see how God blesses your faithfulness, obedience, and diligence.

The concept is simple, if you want more, you’ve gotta give more. Not out of selfish desires but true obedience, love, and passion to do all you can for God. When obeying God, strap yourself in because He will take you on the most exciting journey, throughout your entire life and walk with Him.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7

7 Dismissive Reaction of Social Media on People and Users

Closeup of man on social media

If you can’t imagine your life without social media, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen a victim to the evil power of social networking. It also means that you’ve experienced one (or more) of the negative effects of social media on society.

Don’t pretend you’ve never heard of these. While social media can have a positive impact too, that doesn’t mean it’s all hearts and flowers. Unfortunately.

How Unpleasant is Social Media

Let’s explore the darker side of social media and exactly how (and why) it’s bad for you. You’ll be surprised to learn the negative effects of social media are both physical and mental. It can change your perception of the world and yourself, and not always for the better.

Don’t believe us? Then read on to find out some of the negative effects of social media. And if you recognize any of them as your own symptoms it may be time to consider stop using social media altogether.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Do you spend more than two hours per day on social media? Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood. In fact, you’re more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So how to use social media without causing yourself psychological distress? If you turn to the same research (and common sense), the recommended amount of time you should spend on social networks is half an hour per day. So, as with so many things in life, it’s all about moderation- Anya Zhukova

2. Cyberbullying

Before social media, bullying was something only done face-to-face. However, now, someone can be bullied online anonymously. Today everyone knows what cyberbullying is, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person. And since screens hide our faces, you can even be a jerk on sites like Reddit without realizing it.

While social media made making friends easier, it also made it easier for predators to find victims. The anonymity that social networks provide can be used by the perpetrators to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers.

These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases. You’ll be surprised to find out that cyberbullying isn’t just affecting kids, but also full grown adults.

If you are being harassed online, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that you can take steps in order to get back your dignity.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born at the same time as Facebook—and it’s one of the most common negative effects of social media. FOMO is basically a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience or emotions that someone else is getting.

This fear is constantly fueled by your social media engagement. The more you use social networks, the more likely you are to see that someone is having more fun that you are right now. And that’s exactly what causes FOMO.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

This one probably comes as no surprise, but social media helps you to form unrealistic expectations of life and friendships. The networks that do it most are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those are the social media platforms that severely lack online authenticity.

One simple way out of this is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram celebrities and YouTubers who earn millions, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. The Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Channels: Should You Subscribe?

5. Negative Body Image

Speaking of Instagram celebrities, if you look at the most-followed accounts on Instagram, you’ll find beautiful people wearing expensive clothes on their perfect bodies.

Today, body image is an issue for many people of both sexes. Of course, seeing those perfect in accordance with the society standards people on a daily basis makes you conscious about how different you look from those pictures. And not everyone comes to the right conclusions in this situation.

6. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

On top of increased rates of anxiety and depression, spending too much time on social media can lead to poor sleep. Numerous studies have shown that increased use of social media has a negative effect on your sleep quality.

If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular and that this is affecting your productivity, try and avoid spending a significant amount of time on social media. If you still have trouble sleeping, here are some more tricks to help you to sleep peacefully.7 Simple Online Productivity Habits That Can Change Your Year

7. General Addiction

using smartphone

Social media is often described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. With the worst social media apps being Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat when it comes to addiction.

Don’t know if you’re addicted to your social networks? Think when was the last time you went a full day without checking your social media accounts? What if your favorite social networks completely disappeared tomorrow; would it make you feel empty and depressed?

If you just realized you’re addicted to social media, don’t worry, as most of us are there with you in varying degrees. And it’s not necessarily a reason to go and wipe yourself off all those social networking platforms.

However, if you think quitting is the best solution for you, we won’t stop you. In fact, one of our writers tried quitting social media once, and it was an interesting experience.

As with everything else, social media brings both good and bad things into our lives. At the end of the day, you’re the one who decides whether there’s more help or harm in it for you.

Maybe all you need is find the right site for you. Perhaps switching from Facebook to Twitter, or from Instagram to YouTube. Or maybe you’re done with all of them altogether and are ready to delete your entire social media presence for good.

If that feels a little too extreme consider doing a social media detox every once in a while instead. Because the non-nuclear option should always be your first choice.How to Do a Social Media Detox (and Why You Should Right Away)

It depends on what you benefit from social media. It can make you or break you.

If you have any additional say on this post, please feel free to drop your comments.

Finding Jesus Through Addiction

I’m positive there will be people who read this with no clue how to understand what the article is about. I apologize to you in advance. My prayer is that there will be a few individuals who either suffer from addiction themselves or have someone else they are close to in which this article will produce a little peace and patience for those being affected.

You may or may not agree with the message I have in this article. This has simply been my experience and the message I have been led to share after spending time in prayer about the subject.

How many of us have ever been at a 12 step meeting and laughed when the one person makes the comment? “No one grows up telling themselves that they want to be an alcoholic or a porn addict, or a drug addict when they get older, or my goal in life is to one day be an alcoholic or a sex addict”

I tricked myself into believing this one thought was my curse for most of my adult life.

From my earliest childhood memories in Lagos/Abuja, I can remember my mummy telling us that our father was an alchholic and a smoker. Thank God for Jesus in his life right now. I can also remember being 19 years old on a Saturday afternoon with several of my friends, and a couple of his buddies.

We were all on the field chatting and gossiping about girls, sex styles, pornography actresses, some of my friends were even drinking beer, and smoking some weed and so on. Everything was skenchy that day. No one had any problems or a care in the world. It’s the night I specifically remember making the comment to my friends. “If this is what being an addict is, then this is exactly what I want.” Lord have mercy!!!

I spent over 10 years believing that saying those words is what created my problem. I now know the truth. Nothing I have ever said could have the power to give me the blessing of being an addict.

I now know that I have this precious gift because my life was planned long before I was born.

Every single person who suffers and recovers from addiction has been hand-picked by God. He chooses us because normal people could never live through the horrible lives we create through our addiction and survive to help others carrying the same cross. Normal people could never handle the broken families, loss of jobs, or seeing our children go without in order for us to get another buzz.

Having family and friends grow to the point where they want nothing to do with us. Sleeping in cars, begging people who pass by on the streets for change, just to get another beer, or data to watch porn is something you have to experience in order to relate and provide comfort. There is no doctor, college degree, medicine, or self-help book that could ever help a person recover from this. Only Jesus and the special ones of us that He picks, who have lived through it ourselves.

God blesses us with gifts.

He also gives us the opportunity of killing ourselves with them or using them to point others to the cross. He allows us to make a choice of going to meetings, fellowship, or gatherings talking about our struggles with others, and going out of our way to encourage or inspire another person who is having a more difficult time than we are. God allows us to admit when we are wrong and make amends to those we have wronged in the past. He places people in our lives who can teach us how to serve Him first and others second. Only then will He bless us. God chooses us to be addicts.

If you are suffering from addiction, there’s absolutely nothing I can tell you about your struggle you don’t already know. There’s one thing I can tell you. The feeling is amazing once you’re finally able to stare Satan in the face and laugh at him. This only happens once you have learned how to allow God to fight your battle for you.

The other part of the problem

This message is also for the person who looks down on those who are suffering. Addiction is a life-threatening matter. It’s not as simple as not drinking or using, or watching, not at first anyway. The battle we face is real. You staring down your nose at something you don’t understand might be what ends up pushing someone over the edge.

Since when does the Bible say to love your neighbour, unless they drink too much? Is there a verse that says give to the poor, unless they watch porn? If someone is suffering from addiction enough to ask you for change, trust me when I tell you that you have no clue how bad they need a drink, substance, or means to watch porn.

This doesn’t make them a bad person. It doesn’t mean that God loves you more than He loves them. It means they were created in His image and you’re to love them the same way you would anyone else. I am not saying buy a 12 pack and start handing them out to the homeless. I am saying, when you give away change you know it will be used to buy alcohol, say a prayer for the individual while walking away.

Drop your comments if you have anything to add to this write up.

God bless!!!

Comparing Your Life to Other People’s Lives – It’s a Trap!

Man comparing two measurements

It’s easy to get caught in thinking you are the only one facing a momentary challenge in your life or long-running adversity, the only one with unanswered questions, or the only one who hasn’t figured out how to create the balance, health, relationships, finances or career success you want.

But that’s actually not the case.

Everyone faces challenges!

Everyone has unanswered questions of some sort. Everyone is working out how to create what they want. Everyone is evolving in their own unique way, at their own pace.

One way you are conditioned to feel like you’re the only one with challenges is that you are led to believe everyone else “has got it together” because most people are only showing the sanitized and happy aspects of their life to the world – on social media, in social situations, and in conversation.

Many people keep the dark moments to themselves or sharing only with those trusted and loved people closest to them. That is natural and of course in many cases quite appropriate. But it leads you into a false perspective of your own situation in relation to others.

You can easily get lost in comparison, and end up feeling alone and isolated in your challenges from this perspective. Comparing your worst day with someone else’s best day will never bring you peace.C

No one else on this planet is going to unfold in their life like you are. No one. No one else is uniquely like you. You cannot be compared. What you most need to understand when you go into comparison mode in your mind, is that you channel all of your energy away from your own creative processes. Instead of focusing your thoughts and feelings and actions on creating outcomes for yourself, you focus all of your attention to someone else and what they are creating for themselves. This leaves you no power and it is also a complete waste of your precious energy.

Just because unhealthy comparison doesn’t serve you, does not mean you can’t genuinely observe and admire the success of another person. This is actually uplifting – feeling joy for all they are being and creating. You may well feel inspired into the ongoing possibilities for yourself by witnessing them flourishing. You may see opportunities to learn from what they are doing. You may be able to apply that learning in your own path, in your own unique way, aligned with your passions, inspirations, and intuition, to aid your success.

And… you will always clearly know the difference between this form of positive observation and learning, versus pure painful comparison. The former leaves you feeling uplifted and excited, and the latter leaves you feeling sad, frustrated and deflated.

Listen to the messages your feelings are giving you.

The Greatest Success Possible

The Greatest Success Possible: Self-actualization. Self determination. Hard work. Achievement. Success. A pleased God. Reward.

I was on a church retreat recently that spoke on Jeremiah 2. During a quiet moment with the Lord, surrounded in a world of self-actualization and self-determination, a sudden hard truth impressed me. Regardless of your primary purpose or calling or destiny in this life, you’re actually incapable of doing it. Doesn’t matter what it is, you are incapable of performing the one thing you are created to do by design.

Despite your most intense focus, intention, and effort, you cannot glorify God. By your own efforts, you cannot please Him. Think about that and let it sink in. How could a finite and defective being, even one that’s been redeemed by Christ, ever please an infinite and perfect one? (Isaiah 64:6) By your own efforts, you cannot stop sinning. You cannot add one day to your life. And you cannot achieve anything at all truly great. You simply lack the capability to do so on your own.

We may immediately think of some superstar celebrity names that achieved greatness. Well greatness by our standards. Truly I tell you if they did it on their own then whatever they achieved was far less than what God designed them to be. They failed. Funny, the one thing we all were ultimately created for: to glorify God, is actually the one thing we are most incapable of doing.

Depressed? It may seem sad, but it’s by design.

“My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water. They have been for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13

The harder you try to make yourself under your own power a usable cistern, the more useless you become to God. Even when grace saves you under Jesus, if you continue to power forward under your own might, you’ll fail to please Him.

Only God can glorify Himself. Only infinite and eternal can satisfy infinite and eternal.

So the only way you can please God, your actual ultimate destiny regardless of what your calling may be, is to be as humble as possible. Be honest with your inner core of your condition of a being as useful as a broken cistern, sinful and useless under your own strength.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart O God.” – Psalm 51:17

It is through humbly becoming as much of a shell and clearing out your own determination, drive, and passions that God can finally fill Himself in you as a usable vessel. This is in stark contrast to our current culture’s understanding. It’s by breaking yourself down into a limp puppet that God can finally attach His strings. He brings you to true animated life. Then and only then when you have “self-actualized” yourself to what you really are (nothing) and have identified your greatest capability (completely incapable) is when God can finally assume control. He uses you for your real destiny. This will now be 100% by His hand alone and not one iota of your humanity.

Related Post: The Greatness of Humility

Logically, the only thing we humans are ever in control of, is the first step: removing our pride. We were never in control and capable of anything. Under God’s rule and measurement of true success, our own power and strength exists for the sole purpose of removing our own power and strength. We are to make room for *His* power and strength. Hence, the greatest thing we could ever actually “do” for God is to “undo” ourselves.

This post won’t be possible without the inspiration and support of Jesse Hunter.

Please drop your comments, and share…

Two Major Obstacles To Success

We are familiar with the two agents to success. Which are fear and doubt. It is first of all the fear of failure, poverty, loss, embarrassment, or rejection that holds most people back from trying in the first place.

I remember back in 2013, I was blogging for an entertainment blogger. That period was my first experience in the blogging path. I was learning at the same time trying to venture into mine. After a year blogging for someone else, I decided to start my own and create my own path. First of all I was really motivated in starting my own entertainment blog which I did. But at some point I was scared and decided to fall back a bit. Fear of the unknown came knocking at my door, dropping some doubt about me starting my blog. How I was going to make it famous, how will I get my readers from, there are too many entertainment blogs out there, how are you sure you gonna make it. Different thoughts came to my mind. At some point I decided to go back and work for the person I was blogging for. In all I overcame and my path to blogging from then till now started.

You know because of fear of failure and rejection, an average number of times that people try to achieve a new goal is less than one. As soon as they think of the goal, these fears overwhelm them and, like a bucket of water on a small fire, extinguish their desire completely.

The second mental obstacle, closely aligned to fear, is self doubt. We doubt our own abilities. We compare ourselves unfavourably to others and think that others are some how better, smarter, and more competent than we are. We think, “I’m not good enough.” We feel inadequate and inferior to the challenges of achieving the great goals that we so much want to accomplish.

Fortunately, if there is anything good about doubt and fear it’s that they are both learned emotions. Have you ever seen a nagative baby before? Children come into the world with no doubts or fears at all. And whatever has been learned can be unlearned through practice and repetition.

The primary antidotes to doubt and fear are courage and confidence. The higher your level of courage and confidence, the lower will be your levels of fear and doubt and the less effect these negative emotions will have on your perfomance and behaviour.

I leave you with this:

Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.

You’re Stuck In Life Because You’re Focusing On How To Have Less, Not How To Create More

By: Brianna Weist

This post was originally posted on Thoughts Catalogue.

There’s an old adage that you should “promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

It’s not only a nicer way to exist in the world, it’s also really the only way to accomplish anything.

Some people have realized this. Others remain stuck.

When people are dissatisfied with their lives, they usually can only identify what it is they don’t want to feel.

The same thing happens after a break up, when everyone’s telling you to “let go” and “move on.” But how do you do that? How do you come to a place of neutrality over something that all but cut you in half? How do you suddenly find a sense of peace when all you can do is rack your mind over what you did wrong and what it means that the future you once imagined is no more?
The answer is that you do not decide to “let go” one day. You focus so much of your attention and time on other things, and projects, and tasks, and goals and people that, eventually, the pain fades from your memory.

This is what mentally strong people understand: change is what happens when you start building a new city, rather than standing in the ruins of what’s collapsed.

You change your life not by focusing on what you want less of, but what you want to take its place.

You figure out what you really want not through desire, but through discomfort. You identify the exact opposite of your greatest fears and worries. That’s your true dream.

You cannot release anything from your life without something to put in its place. Some people do this in a healthy way, consuming themselves with behaviors that improve their lives long-term. Others turn to coping mechanisms that ultimately erode their mental and physical wellbeing. Either way, it’s the same thing, just with different results.

It’s like if someone tells you not to think about a white elephant. That’s the only thing you’re going to want to think about.

The only way to not think about the white elephant is to think about something else.
So when it comes to enacting real change in your life, stop worrying about what you want less of, and start focusing on what you want more of.

Instead of trying to lose weight, reduce calories and generally become smaller, focus instead on having more healthy foods, more movement, more wellness, more rest, and more positive thoughts about yourself.
If you do this earnestly, the weight will take care of itself.

Instead of trying to get out of debt, focus instead on having more financial freedom, more flexibility, more peace of mind and a greater measure of security.

If you do this earnestly, the debt will take care of itself.

Instead of trying to “let go” of the past, “overcome” your greatest and deepest hurts and anxieties, focus instead on connecting with people right here and now, placing your energy into learning new skills, having more interesting experiences, and doing what makes you feel good each day.
If you do this earnestly, the grief will take care of itself.

You will never be able to lessen yourself into the life that you want. That is not how this works. You cannot expect to focus constantly on what you don’t like and don’t want and think you’re going to magically create what you do like and you do want.
The work is in understanding that your discomfort is the shadow side of your greatest desire.

If you want less weight, you want more health. If you want less debt, you want more stability. If you want less anxiety, you want more peace of mind.

When you focus on the positive aspect of the transformation, you’re actually able to achieve it.

The truth is that you can mourn, grieve, cry and revisit the details of your traumas again and again and again, but the only way you heal them and truly recover is by creating a new experience in the present moment, one that immerses you so deeply, you don’t have the mental bandwidth to even recall the past.

Working From Your Holy Discontent (Finding Purpose)

So some of you are asking why this kind of deep post today. I decided to research and post more on deep inspirational and motivational articles today, compared to the circular articles I normally post.

Finding Purpose

Do you believe that your job is reflective of what your natural gifts and abilities are? If you answered yes, that is awesome.  You are in the minority and you can exercise greater influence because you believe that you are walking in your calling. As for some of us who got into jobs because that was what you were offered, or it paid well, we need to ask the question, “Are we living our best/most purposeful life?” – SUMESHNEE REDDY

In the part of my world in Africa, specifically in Nigeria. This is a major setback for most graduates. Unemployment is on the high rise, so whatever you get, you manage till you get something better or you make your decision in becoming an entrepreneur.

Do you believe that your job is reflective of what your natural gifts and abilities are?

If you answered yes, that is awesome.  You are in the minority and you can exercise greater influence because you believe that you are walking in your calling.

As for some of us who got into jobs because that was what you were offered, or it paid well, we need to ask the question, “Are we living our best/most purposeful life?”

Made to for a Purpose

The world has believed a lie that we are purposeless beings and are here to work, pay bills, save and retire as early as possible. All of which are good things, yet are incredibly self-serving. You could have started off life believing that this is what we should do; however, God says otherwise.

Ephesians 2:10 says For we his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God created us on purpose, for a purpose.

It is interesting that in Genesis we are told that everything that God created in the garden had a purpose, and God placed a seed in it to reproduce after its own kind. God created oak trees, once, with a seed within, to reproduce more oak trees. Everything has a seed within, including us. Yes, we have a seed to multiply, but its way more than that. God has given us the ability to grow a vision and to feed a passion that he has placed in us.

So, what stops us from accomplishing this vision and purpose? The fear of failure, the failure of success even. We can be in a place of comfort and complacency. Basically, if you don’t want to embrace your purpose, you will find a reason to back down, rather than take a step of faith. Perhaps someone spoke an unkind word against your vision or discouraged you, and you allowed those words to affect you deeply. Maybe the words were spoken by people who were meant to be beacons of light, maybe they were your parents.

God’s Word About You

I want to encourage you today, to allow those words to lose their hold over you and rather hear what God’s word says about you. After all, He is the one who placed this potential inside you, not your earthly parents. Let God’s truth about you, be the ultimate truth and let everything else be a lie. (Romans 3: 4 “…Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar…”)

Bill Hybels wrote an amazing book, called Holy Discontent where he speaks about an area where you experience anger and frustration with the world (For example,  Jesus’s anger when he saw the money-lenders gambling inside the temple of His Father and he made the rope and whipped them out. Matthew 21:12-13) and how that could point you to your true purpose. Together with the deep intimate relationship with God, this holy anger can be changed into a positive force that impacts and changes the course of the world. Just think of people like Mother Theresa, Billy Graham and Bono.

Holy Discontent as a Starting Place

Let’s for a moment forget about those high-profile names. Think about a young lady who grows up in a broken home, and her hearts breaks for kids who grow up in an unhappy home. She decides to become a primary school teacher so she can impact the lives of kids who grow up in this dysfunction. One of the reasons Bill Hybels is the pastor of a huge church in America today (Willow Creek Church) is due to the holy discontent he experienced as a kid. His family attended a church that was run very badly, and it was then that the stirrings of his holy discontent started.

I understand that not all of us are able to quit our jobs and go volunteer our time for a free but worthy cause. However, we can volunteer in our free time, over weekends. Also, showing love to another usually can take you a minute. This can include sending a message to a hurting friend or making a dish for some struggling friends…whatever you can do, with whatever you have, is a start.

As you continue being faithful in the little bit, Jesus will multiply it and give you more. He won’t give you more than you can handle. First and foremost, our main priority is to spend time receiving His love, daily, renewing our minds, in the word.

So, I leave you with a few questions:

  1. What is the one thing that gets you fired up and causes a firestorm of frustration to build up within you?
  2. Are you willing to let God help you in those areas, and lead and guide you by His peace?
  3. Practically, how does this look for your life?

My prayer is that you would not just conform, but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind, daily. (Romans 12:2) Remember that His love and grace empowers you and sets you free to be the best version of yourself. I love how the Passion translation of the Bible puts it:

“We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” (Ephesians 2:10 TPT)

The Weight Of Worry

By: Kaytie Zimmerman

The times in life when I find myself worrying the most, I know I’ve lost a level of trust in God. Recently I entered a season of worry and found myself trying to plan out problems that were more than a year away. More than a year!Close-up of distracted guy with glasses Free Photo

I realized how silly it was when I was playing forward scenarios that are not a present problem. Further, they were crossing my mind daily, weighing me down.

That’s the thing about worry. Not only does it put space between Christ and myself, but it places weight on my shoulders that doesn’t belong there.

What Jesus Says About Worry

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Did you catch that? I’m carrying a weight, or a heavy yolk, while Christ wants to trade me for His easy and light burden.

What does this look like in my life? For me, it has to become a daily practice of consciously releasing the topic of my worry to God and breathing in trust in Him.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34

There’s so much freedom when I can let go of my future worries and focus solely on trusting God to walk me through today. We were not designed to be a ball of stress, worry, and fear. We were made to walk side by side with a Savior who sees all and knows all. Rest easy knowing He has told us He will take care of our needs.

When God Interrupts Your Plans

By: Tiffanie Butts

Last week, during my morning commute, I was listening to the one of my favorite radio stations. A woman (let’s call her Jane) called in to share about an experience she recently had.

She began by stating how she woke up late for work and was rushing to get ready. Already 20 minutes late, she was driving down the highway and saw a man on the side of the road. She felt led to pull over, so she did. The man asked to use her phone so he could make a call. Jane hesitantly gave him her cell phone and he proceeded to call 911. As she continued to listen she realized he was calling to report a suicide…his own.

She sat there in disbelief as he communicated with the operator. After he hung up, she sat and prayed with him until an ambulance came. Long story short – he did not commit suicide that day.

This story struck me in a powerful way. Jane being late for work allowed her path to cross with a man who needed to hear about God’s grace and forgiveness.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the life we’ve been given that we forget to tune into the One who gave it to us. We’re so busy, so distracted, that we don’t realize when God is trying to re-direct our attention.

We must be willing to let God interrupt our schedules and change our plans as he sees fit.

It’s easy to get bent out of shape when things don’t go as planned (I’ll be the first to admit that I do at times). But maybe, just maybe things are going according to plan – just not our plan. I have had an experience where I only told someone that you beautiful, you don’t need to worry, God is under control. She changed her broken face to a shining face. Even just a smile to someone can help that person change his/her from committing suicide.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21

What if, instead of being so focused on ourselves, and militant about our schedules and to-do lists, we surrendered our time to God? What if we asked him to help us be more aware of opportunities to share the truth and show the love of Christ? What if we prioritized obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit regardless of our own preferences and insecurities?

Jane’s alarm didn’t go off that morning for a divine reason – God wanted to use her to save a life. And you know what? He wants to use us in the same way.

Everyday God gifts each of us with opportunities to share His love, grace, and truth with those we come in contact with – but do you notice it? Many times we are too focused on our inconvenience rather than His purpose.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” – John 10:2

Let us be a people who don’t merely hear, but do (James 1:22-25). Who follow Christ’s example, laying down our own preferences for the will of our Father in Heaven so that we may show others the love, grace, and truth found only in Jesus Christ.