Let’s Stop Girl Drama

If there’s one thing I have learned while growing up, it’s that girls can be ruthless.

Girls are notoriously known for sparking, manipulating, and obsessing over drama.  Consider the media, where films like Mean Girls and television shows like The Bold and the Beautiful have garnered large audiences from portraying women as being vindictive and hateful to one another for asinine reasons.  I can’t count the number of times I have heard my younger sister complain of other girls tweeting mean things or slurring off at one another in public over petty things.  As a young woman myself, I have been caught up in drama before, but I am the least bit proud of it.  After considering how I’ve looked at other girls in the past with harsh feelings, I now want to change my way of thinking.  Today, I propose a change for all women:

We’re all God’s daughters.
Let’s treat one another with kindness, love, and respect.

Now you may be thinking, “you have no idea what she’s done to me!”, or, “I hate her guts!” I’m not going to lie to you, even as a Christian, you’re still going to have these thoughts initially.  It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to change your way of thinking, and I’m still in the process of changing mine.  Despite all of that, if we as women work towards this common purpose, we won’t have to worry about how we handle drama in the future.

In times of strife…

Imagine that one of your friends is talking to another mutual friend about you in a derogatory way.  She may be saying that you’re ugly, that you’re annoying, or she may be starting a rumor about you that is untrue.  Whatever has been said, you find out about it, and you become upset.  If she’s your friend, why would she be saying hurtful things about you?  What should you do?

“But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” -Galatians 5:15

The Bible warns us in the book of Galatians that if we seek to retaliate on someone who has wronged us, that we may be prone to let that person consume us.  Consider your friend who has been talking badly about you:  do you really want this person’s negativity to consume your thoughts, to get inside your mind, to make you question your worth?  Hopefully, the answer is NO.  Therefore, we should not fight fire with fire, but fight fire with water.  Next time this sort of situation occurs, let’s aim to solve the problem as Jesus would.

 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
-Matthew 18:15

The ideology from the verse above, though it says “brother”, works for the female population as well.  Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew to talk to the person who has mistreated us alone, without anyone else around to interfere or allow for further points-of-view.  Relating back to our situation, when you meet with your friend to talk about what has been said, approach her with an open mind and a heart of forgiveness.  If your friend continues to belittle you or refuses to apologize, simply agree to disagree, turn the other cheek and forgive them.  The key thing to remember here is to forgive them, even if they are not sorry, and to pray for them regardless of what happened.  Retaliate harsh words with forgiveness and prayer, not fire, and you won’t have to worry about everything burning to a crisp in the process.

In times of jealousy…

Truth be told, this could break out into a hundred or so mini-situations, but we’ll focus on the main aspect:  Jealousy.  Someone seems to have it better than you, and you’re ticked off about it.  Your ex-boyfriend may be treating his newfound love better than he treated you, and you’ll wonder why he didn’t do the same for you.  Your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend may be attempting to create a wedge between you and your boyfriend, and you’re scared that she might be able to steal him back.  Some girl may be winning the heart of your long-time crush that has no idea that you exist, and it infuriates you to the core.  Been there, witnessed all that. It all stinks.  Jealousy makes us act really dumb sometimes, so we need to work to combat it.

 “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”
-Proverbs 14:30

See that?  Jealousy will destroy you.

Whoever she is, whatever she’s accomplished, she’s not better than you.  On the flip side, you’re not better than her, either.  This life is not a competition to see who scores the hottest guy, who looks the best, or who makes the most money.  God created us all individually, to live individual lives, and He has orchestrated all of our lives not according to one story line, but to our own (guess the word) individual script.  So if she gets the guy you wanted, fine.  Pray that they’ll be happy together.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
-Matthew 5:44

It’s easier said than done.  I know you’d rather say mean things about them, accuse them of promiscuous behavior, or what have you. I’ve done it, but I’m not proud of it; however, when you pray for someone who you consider a threat, you’ll begin to feel better after a while.  The jealousy you have accumulated will soon dissolve, and you will be at peace.

Hush and Let God Handle It

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
-James 3:5

Whenever you get the feeling that you’re about to embark on a dramatic escapade with someone, pause, reflect, and shut up.  Brash, I know, but it works.  When you pause, you’re allowing yourself time to think through the situation without doing something that you’ll regret.  When you reflect, pray about the situation. Look to God for guidance.  Whatever you do, don’t react on your own instincts.  The above verse points out that our tongues are powerful, and can cause an immense amount of strife between opposing forces.  Girls, we’re infamous for tearing each other down through hateful speech.  God made all of us… not just you, not just her.  God loves all of us the same.  We’re all God’s daughters, so let’s aim to treat one another as such by praying for one another, and loving one another as sisters in Christ.

 

Have a good one, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

 

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A Message to Parents

No, I don’t have kids, but I definitely know lazy parents when I see them.

Don’t lie; I know someone came to mind when you read the heading above.  We all know of lazy parents who don’t discipline their kids.  If you rack your brain and none come to mind, then check yourself, because it may be you! 😛 Yeah, I’m going to be quite brash today, so go ahead and buckle your seat belt for this wild ride of truths that parents in modern society need to hear.

Truth 1: Raising a Child Takes a Village… but You Should Be the Tribe Leader, Not the Village Idiot

The old saying of “it takes a village to raise a child” is true in that people besides the child’s biological parents have a hand in helping to raise the child.  Grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and friends all may play a part in caring for the child; however, because they did not bring the child into the world, they should not have to hold more responsibility for the child than its parents.  I’m a firm believer that if you engage in actions in order to bring a child into the world, then you should step up and take care of said child once they are born.  This means that you should tend to your child (when you’re not working to provide for your family) instead of pawning your child off on their grandparents or someone else.  Now, I’m not against letting Grandma babysit every now and then, but if your kid spends more time at someone else’s house than their own, then there is obviously something wrong.  I know that in many cases in today’s world that either both parents have to work, or the child only has a single parent to take care of them.  Nevertheless, if a parent truly loves their child, they will make time for the child and be their primary caretaker instead of floating the responsibility to someone else.

  “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
-1 Timothy 5:8

1 Timothy 5:8 states that people who do not provide for their own families deny their faith.  At first glance, you may think, “just because I always allow someone else to fix a plate of food for my kid while I scroll through Facebook on my phone doesn’t mean that I’m not a follower of Christ.” And yes, that is somewhat correct; however, God calls parents to be an example for their children (Proverbs 22:6), and to act responsibly (Galatians 6:5).  If a parent chooses to ignore these teachings, then they are not attempting to honor God’s word.  If a parent is not working to honoring God’s word, then they are not exhibiting true faith in God, and therefore neither will their children.

Truth 2:  Children Don’t Learn Respect on Their Own

Just like learning to use the potty, reciting the alphabet, or learning how to read, children need to be taught how to respect people and property.  Being respectful is not a trait that exists inherently in human beings, but one that is learned through watching and interacting with others.  Children have to be taught to share, to take turns, and to be quiet at certain places and times.  Again, the responsibility to teach children these aspects of respect belongs to their parents.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
-Proverbs 22:15

Now, the “rod of correction” mentioned in the Proverb above does not necessarily mean that parents should beat their kids every time they mess up.  Instead, it implies that parents should guide and correct their children whenever they are lead astray or do something wrong.  After being around “new school parents”, let me clarify what I mean by correcting children:

Example:  The child is running around the grocery store, yelling at the top of their lungs.

  • What you should NOT do:  Yell at your child to stop, to knock it off, or to come back.
    • Why?  Simply yelling at your child to stop doing something is basically an empty threat, because your child will eventually figure out that you’re not going to do anything to them about their misbehavior besides asking them to stop it.  Besides, it shows your laziness as a parent to be quite honest.  To be even more honest, you’ll probably provoke the child to yell more if you yell at them, and you’ll end up causing a bigger scene.
  • What you should do:  Approach your child, make them look at you, and tell them how you plan to discipline them face-to-face.
    • Why?  Think back to your childhood:  the scary momma’s-gonna-get-you-face was a lot scarier than when she yelled at you from across the room.  When you approach your child and tell them that there will be consequences for their actions, you have demonstrated to them that they will have consequences whenever they misbehave.  Eventually, depending on the consequences, the child should begin to refrain from misbehaving in that manner.

Another thing, lazy parenting is a huge part of why some kids grow up to be uncontrollable brats.  If you notice, the kids who run around all over the place and never clean up after themselves don’t come from families where the parents actively seek to show their child right from wrong, but from the ones where the parents turn a blind eye to their child’s bad behavior or rely on others to correct their child.  It’s as simple as that.

Truth 3: Raise Them Up to be Followers of Christ

Want to know a fool-proof way to raise your child up to be a well-disciplined, kind, and respectful person?  Raise them to be disciples of Christ.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

If you raise a child in a house that rarely mentions God’s love, then they will barely know God’s love.  If you raise a child in the ways of the world, they will become like the world.  If you teach a child the love of God and help them develop a love of God’s word, then those teachings will reflect in their daily life.  If a child is full of the love of God, they are not immune from misbehaving; nevertheless, they will have the Holy Spirit to help guide them from bad behavior.  Children learn from watching their parents, so give them something good to watch.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

Featured image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716880536360/

Comparison: The Ultimate Killjoy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, my second favorite former President of the United States, is attributed for the six words above that put into perspective for me how vile it can be when we compare ourselves to others.  Stemming off from my post from last week, this week’s focus is how to combat that disgusting desire of comparing ourselves to those around us.

“She’s skinnier than me.”

“He’s better at a sport than me.”

“I can’t do anything as good as them.”

We’re all guilty of saying these things to ourselves.  There’s always going to be one person who does something better than you, or seemingly does everything better than you, or who you think looks better than you.  There are going to be things you want in life that are going to be rewarded to other people rather than you, and it’ll spark your jealousy.  You’ll start to think, “why did they get that promotion over me?” or “why does he like her and not me?” The questions will flood your mind to the point that you’ll drown out every good thought you’ve ever had about yourself, replacing them with toxic thoughts of comparison.  Comparison is a bully, a bully that has been pounding my mind, and the minds of many, for years.

 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
-2 Corinthians 10:12

Comparison is a product overthinking, and overthinking, (though at first glance of the word, you would think it would produce intelligent thoughts), more often than not produces nothing but absolutely detestable filth that will rot your mind to the core.  Overthinking takes place when we try to take the wheel for our lives rather than allowing God to steer us clear of the pitfalls we will inevitably fall into if we choose to ignore Him.  Comparison, overthinking’s spawn, is a deeper version that tells us that we can’t succeed in our lives because we aren’t as amazing as other people.  In actuality, comparison is one of the stupidest things we can use our minds for, as Paul points out in the verse above when he says, “but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”.  Overthinking a situation usually does not improve the circumstances, but making false comparisons will lead you to become insecure, anxious, and will virtually ruin the said situation with all of the negative thoughts that have been compiled.  Overthinking is bad, comparison is worse, yet we still continue to feed those demons.  Why?

What we aspire to be like is what we aspire to please.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
-Galatians 1:10

When we dig in deeper at the root of comparison, we find that it’s not merely a mind problem, but a heart problem.  Society manifests in the minds of millions daily that we should aspire to keep up with the Joneses if we want to fit in, and I’ve heard that it only takes around twenty-one days to form a habit.  Multiply the twenty-one days that made constant comparison a habit by the average lifespan of a person, and that perspective is no longer the product of a habit, but the product of a deeply-rooted belief.  The belief that we should compare ourselves to others, model their behavior, and chastise ourselves for not living up to their standards is not how God calls us to live.  In Galatians 1:10 Paul tells us that if we strive to please others, we are not serving Christ as we should.  When we compare ourselves to others, we are basically marking a set rubric created by society up with red marks in ways that we pale in comparison to those who have set the bar; however, socialites and bigwigs didn’t set the highest bar.  That, my friends, was Jesus Christ.

Conform Renew Your Mind!

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
-Romans 12:2

That Paul guy was a pretty smart dude, but not because he compared himself to other apostles.  Paul was a pretty smart dude only because he constantly strove to perform the will of God in all that he did in order to please Him… not the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Romans, or the world for that matter.  Paul didn’t conform to this world full of empty aspirations, but was steadfast in the word of God and His teachings.  Paul was transformed, literally from Saul to Paul, by the grace of God.  When has society ever transformed someone for the better, especially when comparison is involved?

One last thought…

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” -Psalm 139:14

You is fearful. You is wonderful. You is marvelous.
God made you *YOU* for a reason.
Stop comparing yourself to the devil’s lies.

 

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m My Own Worst Enemy

My biggest enemy is myself.

The devil takes many forms here on earth to cause us stress and tempt us to turn away from God’s guidance.  Sure, there are visible forms, such as drugs, alcohol, and pornography, but sometimes he tries to get inside our heads.  You see, Satan uses unclean spirits in order to allow us to be depressed or anxious.  When he gains control over your emotions in this way, Satan can cause just as much damage to a person’s well-being as drugs and alcohol.  He’ll try to destroy you from within, turning your own mind against you, making you despise yourself.  I’m here to tell you today that there is a cure for depression and anxiety, and it’s not in the form of any type of medication or therapy.

My Personal Battle

All of my life, I have struggled with shyness.  Throughout my years as a K-12 student, I barely ever talked in class, unless I was spoken to first.  The friends that I was able to make basically looked at me as a tag-along, because I rarely contributed anything to conversations.  Many of my former classmates would openly express how weird it was that I never talked, and if I ever see any of them now, that’s what they still remember about me.  As I got older, I was afraid to venture out and do normal teenage things like driving around after I got my license, or going to games at my high school.  It wasn’t until much later on in my life, possibly a year or two ago, that I was looking at quotes on Pinterest and saw a post about social anxiety.  For the longest time, I thought that I just had an extreme case of shyness, and that I was a complete freak because it makes me nervous about going through normal social interactions.  For example, as weird as it may sound, I always feel awkward whenever I can’t put my change back in my billfold fast enough because I feel like the cashier or other shoppers standing behind me are judging me.  My entire life has been made up of awkward social interactions like that, and I hate it to be quite frank. When I looked more into what social anxiety actually is, I found that a lot of people actually go through the same things as me; however, I have yet to see anything about a cure.  Thankfully, I came across one soon after.

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
-1 Peter 5:7

For the longest time, I would beat myself up over my social anxiety. I’m a perfectionist too, so I get upset with myself if I mess up on things, especially in front of other people. Whenever my family or friends would question me as to why I wouldn’t do a normal task, such as walking across a crowded restaurant to go to the restroom by myself, I would get frustrated with myself because I was embarrassed to say I was scared, knowing that they wouldn’t understand.  And, to be honest, I still do that a lot.  A lot of people, my family included, don’t know how hard it is to deal with being socially anxious because they’ve never gone through it. So, whenever it was giving me a hard time, I’d go upstairs to my room for hours at a time, trying to calm myself down.  A couple of years ago when my anxiety was getting pretty bad after going through a bad breakup and facing rejection in the dating world, I started reading the Bible.  Verses like the one from the book of 1 Peter above really put into perspective for me that I was going about fighting my anxiety the wrong way.  Sitting in my room feeling sorry for myself is just what Satan wants me to do.  Satan wants me to hate myself, to wonder why God ever put me on this earth, and to want it all to end.  Satan has made me think pretty ugly things about myself, but whenever I started focusing more on what God’s word says and praying, I began to get better.  Sure, I still have bad days.  Yesterday was pretty awful, but it served as inspiration to write this post.  So, in reality, Satan didn’t win.  God did, and He always will.

The Cure

If you’re going through depression or have anxiety, I know a cure.  You won’t have to pay a cent for it, because that price has already been paid on the cross.  All you have to do is open your heart to the word and love of God, and He will take every last one of your burdens away.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
-1 Corinthians 10:13

You are not alone.  Thousands of people are going through the same feelings as you.  People everywhere are doubting their worth, hating themselves, and even considering suicide because they don’t know how to stop the pain they are feeling.  All of these bad feelings, these anxieties are the handiwork of Satan.  Satan is playing mind games on you in order to turn you away from God, to make you think that you are crazy and have to handle all of this on your own.  The truth is found in the verse above, that no temptation on this earth, visible or mental, is unique to only you.  There are other people going through exactly the same kind of emotional struggle as you, and God will not allow for you to be tempted more than you are able to handle if you cling fast to His love.  Jesus, my friends, will be your escape.

Jesus, please be my escape.
Please help me overcome my own anxieties.

Goodnight, and God bless!

-Allyson 😀

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Beware of Prosperity Theism

What is Prosperity Theism?

According to Wikipedia, Prosperity theology is defined as:  “a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing is the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations (possibly to Christian ministries) will increase one’s material wealth.”

Televangelists, such as Joel Osteen, are famous for preaching prosperity theism to their congregations.  Consequently, Osteen’s congregation at Lakewood Church is currently the largest congregation in the United States, with over 40,000 people attending each week.  Now, if prosperity theism is drawing so many people to the church, why is it a bad thing?

Problem 1:  God Never Said “Love Me For Financial Gain”

Sorry Joel, but nowhere in the Bible does it state that God solely seeks to increase our material wealth if we believe in Him.  Actually, the Bible says this:

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
-1 Timothy 6:7-10

Hmm… so prosperity gospel teaches that God loves you only if He provides you with monetary gain, even though the Bible clearly dictates that the love for money is the root of all evil?  Maybe they’re too busy counting that money  to read their Bibles…

But… you know who did promise material gain if you follow him?  Satan.  He even tried to get Jesus to fall for it.

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
-Mark 4:8-10

On another note, if prosperity gospel were true, let’s consider the book of Job.  Job, at first, was a wealthy man because he honored God’s commandments and loved God more than anything.  But, what happened in the second chapter of Job?  God allowed Satan to test the faith of Job by taking away all of his material possessions, ridding him of his family, and making him physically ill.  If the heart and soul of prosperity gospel were true, God would have never allowed Job to go through trials, because prosperity gospel preaches that it’s God’s will for people to be happy.  Now, I’m not saying that God is a bully who picked on Job for absolutely no reason; by the end of the book, Job passes the test of faith and God rewards him with more than he originally had.  The point, however, is that God’s purpose for allowing Satan to tempt Job was to show Satan that true faith in God will convict people to not fall into the temptations of sin in their time of despair.  You see, true faith in God involves loving and honoring Him in all situations, whether you are rich or poor, and expecting nothing but His love and guidance out of it.  Conversely, prosperity gospel states that if you aren’t rich, you aren’t loving God enough.

Problem 2:  Self-Centered Expectations

Another glaringly obvious fault with prosperity gospel is that it focuses mainly on how we can benefit ourselves from following God, instead of how we can best serve God.  The Bible tells us that we should have a servant’s heart, and not brag on ourselves.

“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
-2 Corinthians 4:5

From what I can tell after reading about the beliefs and teachings of prosperity gospel, its followers believe that you should exalt yourself for doing good deeds because it means that you are doing the will of God.  However, this contradicts two main teachings of the Bible:  that deeds alone will not get us into Heaven, and the concept of humility.

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.

Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
-Matthew 6:1-4

Jesus says that if do good deeds, such as giving to the poor, that we should do so in secret and not boast about our righteous actions to others.  Additionally, we are to act righteously in order to honor God, not ourselves, and to seek reward for the glory of God rather than a reward for ourselves.  The entire concept of Christianity is that everything we do, everything we believe in is for the glorification of God.  We were made in the image of God, but we were not made for God to serve us; we were made to serve God.  Therefore, the belief that He is solely here to reward us for our good deeds is asinine, and completely contradictory of the teachings of God.

Problem 3:  “Loving, kindness and generosity gets you to Heaven”…

Um… no.  I came across this video for the first time yesterday, and I’m completely terrified that people actually believe what Osteen, along with Oprah, are saying about Heaven.  Our acts of love, kindness, and generosity are not what died on the Cross at Calvary to save us from our sins… that was Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ, as it states in the Bible multiple times, is the one and only way to Heaven.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
-John 14:6

If our acts alone are what ultimately wins us favor with God and gets us a ticket to Heaven, then why would God send Jesus to die on the cross?  In reality, our works are futile without faith.  We can’t rely on our own good deeds to get us into Heaven, period.  Additionally, we can’t go by the world’s guidelines for what good deeds are; we have to rely on God’s guidelines that are plainly stated in the Bible.  Worldly guidelines often go against the teachings of the Bible, and are misleading when it comes to concepts such as getting into Heaven.  The only way to get to Heaven is to admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died for your sins, and confess your faith in God.  It’s as simple as ABC, really.

So, why am I doing this?

The purpose of this week’s blog post is not to bash prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen.  Rather, I am aiming to reveal how ultimately misleading prosperity theism is.  If people actually believe that we can get ourselves into Heaven merely by promoting ourselves and thinking of God as an afterthought, they are falling for Satan’s trap.  True salvation only occurs through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin, and actively humbling ourselves in order to please God.  If we ignore the fact that we are to turn away from our sins, then we are not truly believing in Jesus or God, because we are choosing to ignore the possible consequences of our sin.  Therefore, God’s purpose for placing us in this world was not to reward us with material possessions, but to reward us eternally in Heaven if and only if we accept His Son and actively seek to do His will.

Thank you for your time, and God bless,

Allyson 😀

Featured image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324540716876052599/