We all know those people. The ones that are constantly under a grey cloud saying poor me. They are always in their frustrations and act as if the world is out to get them. They think no one could possibly understand their pain. And sometimes life does feel this way and “You are allowed to grieve, be sad and frustrated. But! You do not have permission to feel sorry for yourself.”(Father Mike Schmitz).
Things come up, we have long days, our boss is a jerk, someone annoyed us, things don’t go according to plan, and traumatic events happen in our lives but we have to learn to accept that life is difficult. We are not promised an easy life or a pampered life but like Father Mike says, we are called to be like Jesus. Jesus never once felt sorry for himself, not when he was being rejected, prosecuted or hung on the cross. It is in our troubling times that we can really grow. Isaiah 40: 29-31 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
We use our hard times to make excuses for why we can’t share our gifts and Christ light with others. For example you don’t go to church because you had a long week and you were tired. Or you couldn’t go volunteer because you had a long day at work. Or you didn’t want to go hang out with someone because it’s been a rough week and you know they are going to complain the whole time. These are little ways that we can continue to show others Christ love but we miss these opportunities because we are stuck in our own little world where only our own problems matter. I am not saying that you shouldn’t give yourself time to process your day. You own yourself love too but make sure you are asking daily, where can I serve today?
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 10-13
Think about this for a minute. Are you able to be content no matter what the circumstance maybe be? How do you handle minor and major inconveniences? Do you get fussy, snappy or crabby when things are not going your way or you are dealing with annoying people? Do you shut off from the world and your own responsibilities such as, going to church, checking on friends and family, working out and taking care of yourself, when life is not going according to your plan?
Feeling sorry for yourself does two things according to Father Mike.
Remember to grieve, remember to feel what you are feeling, but don’t fall into poor me. Life will always keeps moving even when you wish things would pause. Don’t let go of your power to serve and show love.
Watch Father Mike talk more about this by clocking the button below!
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” - C.S. Lewis
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” - Ernest Hemingway
“These are a few ways we can practice humility:
To speak as little as possible of one’s self.
To mind one’s own business.
Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.
To avoid curiosity.
To accept contradictions and correct cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one’s dignity.
To choose always the hardest.” - Mother Teresa
Consider Others Before Yourself
Philippians 2:3-11 says:
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
All for God’s Glory
1 Corinthians 10:31 says:
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
God’s Strength, not my Weakness
Daniel 4:34 says:
“When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reasons returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and promised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.”
Lifted Up by God
James 4:7-10 says:
“7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Mark 4:35-41 “ 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’
41 They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’
What are you worried about? With that question I am sure a few things popped into your head.
Maybe it was family, finances, or future plans. I want those worries to soak in. I want you to
confront the things that are worrying you right now. Now ask yourself, “What did I just
accomplish by worrying?” More than likely you answered by saying nothing. It did not change
anything; all it managed to do was get you worked up. “And which of you by being anxious can
ass a single hour to his span of life?” Luke 12:25
Jesus does not want us to worry. He tells us so many times in the bible not to worry and to trust
in him. So why are we not listening to him? What is making you believe that you know better
than God does? What is making you not trust in his plan for you? Meditate and pray on these
things that are stopping you from trusting him in him and making you worry.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
In the begin Adam and Eve felt no shame for being naked. That was how God created them. That is until they ate from the tree and from that moment they became shameful of their nakedness. And when God found out that they felt shame he clothed them. Now flash forward to our world today. I know walking down the street there will be stomachs showing, boxers hanging out, and shirts cut so low that nothing is hidden. But why is this problem for our relationship with God? Why would God care what we wear? “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 for you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 God has given us a temple and when you objectify yourself with the clothes you wear you are not glorifying God by your body. One of my most favorite speakers Jeffery Dean once said that we should be Christian Sexy. What he meant by Christian Sexy was that we should be such a faith filled woman or man of God that our souls are “sexy”. That our passion for Christ is above all what makes us beautiful. So rather than trying to make men or woman lust after you causes them to sin, but being so faith filled that people find our souls beautiful and to be someone to admire.
Here’s the situation: There is a sinking boat with 15 people on it, some of these people are kids adults and older adults with different backgrounds, ethnicities, and family history and one of them is even a accuses murderer. There is a life boat but it only holds 9 people. Pick who lives and who dies. How do you pick? How do you put more value on people than others? Don’t we do this daily? Maybe not pick who lives and who dies but we choose who we associate with and who we like and don’t like from a first glance. We judge people based on how they look, what ethnicity they are, and how together they seem. We forget that Jesus once ate dinner with sinners (Luke 19:1-10), healed the disabled (Luke 13:10-17) and forgave an adulterer (John 8:3-11). Jesus did not put more or less value on people. He loved and forgave everyone that sought to be forgiven. So as you go about your day remember that in Jesus’s eyes we are all God’s children, we are all loved, and we are all equal.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Today’s topic is a little “scarier” than normal. I’m going to talk about Satan. A lot of times as Christians we want to only talk about the positive side of believing in God the loving and forgiving God. But we forget to mention that there is also a hell. There is also someone that is trying to take us away from our God. One of my most favorite quotes is “The greatest trick the devil has ever pulled was making the world believe he doesn’t exist.”
What do you think about when I say Satan? Do you think about a guy with horns, a snake, or maybe you just think of pure evil. Or how about the sins that you have committed and the bad things that happen to you? A lot of times people question God, asking him “why did you let this happen to me Lord?” We are always so quick to question God and blame him but we don’t even consider the option that the devil might have had a toll on the situation. In Luke 8:12 it says “The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” The devil has quite a bit of power, is persuasive and tempting and he will try his hardest to pull us away from God. In those bad times he wants us to question God because if we start questioning God maybe we can be pulled away from the path and start on the wrong path causing us to sin and do things we regret and sometimes that regret makes us think that we have done so much bad that we could never do good and that’s where the devil wants us. Because then he’s going to keep whispering in your ear the temptations and using the people around you to keep you away from Christ. So we must fight that, we need to stop blaming God and start considering the fact that the devil has power too and if you let him pull you away from God and question God then the devil is winning for the moment. He more souls he can take the farther our world gets from everyone knowing and believing in God the almighty.
This week we went a different route and had an open discussion on current events and how they affect our faith life. We discussed topics like, Planned Parenthood, ISIS, the recent mass shootings and police in the media. We talked about all of these at length and had no trouble describing each one, the problem arose when we simply didn't know what to do about them. As Christians and Catholics, we are called to be servants of the Lord. We are called to be advocates against evil and acknowledge the one, true, King. So what do we do? Wednesday I told everyone my biggest pet peeve, ignorance. Ignorance is what leads to prejudice and violence and the idea of superiority, that's what I believe at least. Having this conversation as a group was so important to talk about the path society is headed right now and we were given the opportunity to share and learn together. At the end of the night we went around and asked how we can do our part to make a change, getting educated and sharing the knowledge is first, giving everyone you know a chance to learn something new. Go out into your community, serve those who need serving, talk with them and learn something new. Serve, share, and love, that's what we came up with.
We deal with stressful situations every single day of our lives. We worry about impressing our boss, making sure we pay the bills, family, drama, the list could go on forever. But have you ever thought how you have been handling that stress? Do you over eat? Under eat? Maybe you don’t get enough sleep or too much sleep. Either way have you asked yourself, am I dealing with the stress in a spiritually healthy way? What I mean by that is yes, some people deal with stress in a heathy way but do you turn to God first? Or do you turn to something else first? If you turn to something else first then can it really be spiritually healthy?
But you might be thinking well I calm down first and then I talk to God. But here the thing God is the only thing that can actually give us a peace of mind that we are actually searching for. In Philippians 4:6-7 it says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” God tells us that his peace exceeds anything we can understand.
So here’s a challenge pray to God for a peace of mind but also thank him for people he has given you and the situations you have been through.
My name is Carly and I am on the leadership team for FIGHT club. I help with making sure everyone knows what we talk about. I will be writing most of these posts on meetings that we have, but every now and again there will be a guest blogger. Please tell us what you think. I hope you enjoy:)