Good morning, and welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:
Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
I know we are in the last days because in society today good is bad and bad is good. Everything appears to be backwards and upside down. Very few care about facts and truth and morals. Very few care about others. Life means very little. And, the rise of narcissism is staggering.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV), Paul states:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
In the last year alone, I have witnessed some of the most heinous and ugly of behaviors from people who call themselves “good,” “moral,” and/or “christian.” I have seen members of families rip loved ones apart because they weren’t getting attention. I have seen friends treat others they call friends like garbage. And don’t even get me started on how others drive in their cars. Sanctity of life has clearly gone out the window in most humans’ minds. It’s all about being first, getting in the lane ahead of every one no matter who they have to cut off, and being on cell phones ALL the time. We officially live in a “me”-centered society.
In my Bible studies this week, I happened upon Philippians 2:3. I appreciate this verse. I love this verse. And, I 1000% agree with this verse.
My mother lost her best friend (my dad) 2 1/2 months ago. All I want to do is anything and everything for my mama. I want desperately to alleviate her pain. When I read Philippians 2:3, I think about my mom. I think to myself, “I do want to put her above me. I want to help her so badly because she is my mom and I love her. I want to give her the space she needs. I want to help her with the chores she asks me to complete. I want to sit in silence and hug her.” And the thoughts continue. I pray for my mom like crazy. All of this is my natural desire. I can’t fathom doing anything else but helping her.
But in the past 2 1/2 months, by the actions and words of people who should be some of the closest to her, I have realized that not all people think like I do. Not all people read Philippians 2:3 and agree. I am shocked by the cruelty and selfishness of people. I shouldn’t be shocked. I’ve read 2 Timothy 3:1-5 many times. I’ve pondered on Paul stating, “Avoid such people.” But until the loss of my dad, I didn’t fully understand the level of depravity that humans are willing to go to while believing they are good, decent people. It’s insanity.
So, how does a woman who loves Jesus with her whole heart and soul reconcile Philippians 2:3 with 2 Timothy 3:1-5? How can I value others above myself AND avoid the kind of people Paul lists in 2 Timothy?
I think the answer is to do both. I think that I keep on the path of valuing others above myself. I keep on helping my mom as best I can. I keep on working with my students at school as best I can. I keep on loving my family and friends as best I can. AND, I avoid that which leads to sin as best I can. I stay focused on God. I remember the words of Jesus in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” The key here is to not let my heart become troubled or afraid by the happenings in this world, including my personal world. I just keep on being the woman God wants me to be, and leave the rest to Him.
Are you struggling with the pervasive ugliness that is infiltrating our world today? Do you have loved ones in your life that are shocking you with their narcissistic ugliness? Just remember that Jesus gives peace. Lean in to Him today and He will grant you HIS perfect peace. He will take your worries away and make your heart fearless even amidst all the current ugliness!
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes