Wednesday, June 06, 2012


This is the first of what I'm sure will be a several-part series I'm going to call "BUT GOD."  You see, I find there are so many set ideas and glib, deadpanned one-liners of "good advice" that the secular world lives by and likes to try to give to me. They're easy to believe, because they're so deeply ingrained into our society and the way we treat each other and think about ourselves.  However, I find they're often the opposite of the way the Bible and our Lord, through it, tells me I should act.  For me, those two little words, but God, are game-changers.

Now, whenever I'm going through a situation and I'm getting advice from all around from well-meaning friends and family members, I often get overwhelmed to the point where I have to stop and sift through it like I'm straining sand for gold.  When that happens, I take a moment to stop and listen to what Daddy says, I hear those words, but God...and then take everything anyone else is saying through the filter of what God says I should do.

For example:

The world tells me whenever someone hurts me, I have every right to be angry and I should make that person suffer whatever consequences I choose.  They deserve what they get and good for me for doling it out. That'll teach 'em they can't treat me that way!

BUT GOD says no!  It's not my job to punish others.  I'm to treat anyone who hurts me with love and grace. "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." -Ephesians 4:31-32

The world tells me I should stand up for myself, be prideful, have a backbone.  Don't let anyone see me cry.  Be a strong woman and don't let anyone walk all over me.

BUT GOD says to humble myself before Him and before others, that it takes a stronger woman to be humble than it does to be self-righteous, and that He will give me the grace I need to do it.  "Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" -1 Peter 5:5

The world tells me that when someone can't give me "what I want," I should ditch them and find someone else who can, because I "deserve better."

BUT GOD says, instead, to have patience, show graciousness, and pray.  It's not about what others can give me, but how much of God's grace I can show them. " Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love." -Ephesians 4:2

The world tells me that when something goes wrong, that's it.  No second chances.  You had your chance and you blew it.  Sorry 'bout your luck, but we're through.

BUT GOD says, of course, to be forgiving - every single time, time and time again.  "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." -Colossians 3:12-13

The world tells me (this one's my favorite) to give up, to quit being a silly little girl with crazy ideas, to stop believing for the impossible and stop expecting things from God or from others.  She who expects nothing will never be disappointed, right?

BUT GOD says to ask, seek, and knock, to approach Him with confidence, and to use the power of Jesus' name to boldly step out in faith for what He's put in my heart and expect to see miracles! "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'” -Mark 10:27

BUT GOD.  Two little words that change the entire conversation.