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Thursday, December 17, 2015

No discipline seems pleasant at the time…but I am not just talking about finals…

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

I have been reading over this verse as I study for finals. It pretty much sums up studying for me – it isn’t pleasant, in fact, it can be pretty painful at times. But, I know that it will all be worth it, and I will feel at peace when all my finals are done.

However, I don’t just want to talk about finals in this post. I want to touch on some more important things in life as well.

The verse above is found in Hebrews 12, a passage about how God disciplines us for our spiritual good. There will be trails in our life, and we will be bogged down by sin, that is why looking to Jesus and keeping our focus on Him is so important.

Sin. We all commit it, sometimes without even knowing we are committing it. A sin that is easy to miss is one that I find myself personally committing on a regular basis – selfishness.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Being selfish has to do with being too focused on me instead of on Him and how He has called me to bless others.

So how do I stop being so selfish? Maybe by thinking of one thing nice I could do for someone else today, instead of freaking out about how much studying I have to do to get a good grade on this exam. Maybe it is focusing on what gifts I will bless others with this Christmas, instead of making a list of all the things I “need.” It is hard to take the focus off yourself, but remember…

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

Now time for the best part of this post (and a time for a sentimental moment) – recognizing a few people in my life from the list of many that have done such a great job of taking the focus off of themselves, and in the process, blessing me greatly.

First is the worst (I hope you know I am kidding, I love you!)

 Zach – Thirty-one months ago you came into my life, and I couldn’t be happier. You have blessed me with your many puns, and on a more serious note, the way you care about me. Thanks for being my best friend.

First and one half (if that makes sense)…

Zach’s family – Along with dating Zach came meeting all his family, what a blessing! Some people don’t particularly like meeting their significant other’s family, but I have absolutely loved the experience. You have welcomed me into your home and invited me to family gatherings, shared stories, and blessed me by your kindness. Thank you. 

Second is the best.

Rachel – I can see God’s joy radiate just by being around you. You have definitely blessed me in more ways than I can count over my lifetime. If you could stop growing up I would really appreciate it.

Third is the one with the treasure chest.

My Family – Thanks for always being there, to laugh with me when things are funny and to support me and love me when things aren’t so funny. You don't get to choose your family, but I would have chosen you guys in a heartbeat if I had to make the decision. 

As we receive His blessing, and then in turn, take the focus off of ourselves to bless others…

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

May He be your One Strength. All glory to Him. 

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