A while back I was having a discussion with a friend. She had opened up to me about some things she had done and didn’t feel good about because in her spirit she felt that it was far from anything God calls us to do/be. I began listening to her and then sharing some advice from what I’ve learned in my spiritual experiences and from other spiritual leaders in my life.
It was one of those situations where your advice would leave the other person, like, “oh snap – did she really just go there?”
Like I said in one of my older posts, any relationship I have whether family, friends or romantic I like a foundation of honesty. So often, with my friends that’s what I do – I get honest even when it can hurt because I know that by being honest we can work on a solution together, where appropriate. I also think that when you’re honest with someone it shows you actually care for their wellbeing.
Here’s my point in this post, which kind of has nothing to do with the above.
Since I started my walk with God I’ve encountered a few people with different standards/ideas that they think being a Christian requires.
Depending on where you are congregated, the church will have certain regulations that they believe their congregation should follow. In order to try to get my message across I will give this example: imagine that someone from another church tells you, “you really shouldn’t curl your hair – by doing so your changing the way God made you.”
Now also keep in mind, let’s say you’re already congregated in a church that doesn’t believe in females wearing makeup, cutting hair, no jewelry, no wearing pants (male clothing), etc. But the one thing you still see most submitted females do is adjust their hair. So when someone tells you this it leaves a sour taste, you may even get bitter and defensive over their comment.
So what do you do?
Well like I was saying before, sometimes were challenged in our beliefs. I’ve been challenged a few times and I’ve come across others with more “strict” beliefs. So here’s what I’ve learned to do, and I thank God for this ability – I listen to their comment, react and then study my reaction.
I study my reaction in the way that, if I have become bitter, I’ll ask myself why? Why do I feel so bitter and why did I get so defensive? And I basically sum it down to two categories – did I become bitter/defensive because it impacted my flesh desires? (Ex. Ugh but I love curling my hair, it makes me feel pretty and now I won’t even be able to curl my hair – as if not wearing makeup is hard enough) or did I react like that because I know in my spirit that God states biblically otherwise?
What I’m trying to say is that when someone tells you something, study whether your reaction has come from the Holy Spirit (keep in mind the fruits of the Spirit) or your own ideas, desires, etc.
When you feel unsure about whether it really is something biblically true, then ask God to reveal it to you and/or give you confirmation about what you just received.
Sometimes were called to change where it can get uncomfortable for our flesh, the importance is that it’s done by what God calls us to do/be.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV