Do Not Fear those Who Kill the Body

February 21, 2015

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Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

A common theme in my earliest journaling entries was fear, particularly fear of other people. When I had an opportunity to talk to my pastor about my work issues and the stress it was causing, he was very blunt with me. He steepled his fingers at his chin and leveled his stare at me. I was crying and upset, and he said, simply, "So what? Why do you care what they are saying?" 

Why did I care? I had teenagers spreading rumors that I had posted naked photos of myself on a social media account. They were spreading rumors that were not only embarrassing and cruel and wholly untrue, but also rumors that could potentially get back to my principal and community. Through my tears and frustration, I relayed this information. I was married. This was my good name and reputation at stake because some kids were mad over grades or tardies or detentions. 

Again, he asked me, "But if it's not true, why do you care? Kids are going to talk about their teachers. Do you think people don't talk about me? This is just a part of being in a leadership position."

I admit there was truth to his statement, but it didn't help the hurt and anger I was feeling over the situation. Even though I knew it wasn't true, and could prove it wasn't true, just the fact that people I knew and spoke to every day would purposely try to hurt me, well, it hurt. It hurt badly. I wanted validation for my feelings, but I wasn't expecting this.

He continued, "You are focus too much on what's going on down here." He motioned around him before pointing up at the ceiling, "You've got to take your focus off of them and put it back on Him. Kids are always going to talk about their teachers. Is this always how you are going to react? Don't people know you well enough to know that you didn't do it?"

I admitted that yes it was true. The people who mattered in my life would obviously know that the rumor was ridiculous and totally unfounded. They would know that teenagers are often foolish and don't realize the real world ramifications of their actions. It was also very true that I spent most of my time worrying about the things of earth, the temporal and temporary, and very little time focusing on the unseen, the eternity stretched out before me. 

He let me finish blubbering before saying something that I never in a million years would have expected a pastor to say to me. I came into his office looking for sympathy and a kind word or two or a quick prayer, but instead he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I'm not trying to say that God's telling you to suck it up... But I'm pretty sure God's telling you to suck it up." 

Ouch, right? But really this was the reality check, the kick in the pants I needed, not only to reprioritize my life, but also to turn my eyes to what really matters- GOD. For so long I had been focusing on the negatives in life- the people who hurt or frustrated me and situations that made me impatient or frustrated. I got so weighed down with the weight of the world, that I never truly realized what was ultimately important and essential. When I came back to work, my pride had been hurt, but my eyes had been opened. When co-workers tenderly asked me how I was doing, if I was going to be okay, I had an inner strength that had never been there. "Oh, I'm good," I assured them. "Because I'm not focusing on them anymore," and like my preacher I waved my hand around the empty desks in the room, desks that would soon be filled with those who want to hurt and embarrass and "kill" the body. Then I pointed heavenward, "I'm focusing on him."

December 12, 2014: Go straight to the Lord! Thank You for Your Grace. Thank you for showing me the things within myself that I must change. Thank you for showing me how to change. Thank you for being there always, giving me strength, helping me find peace. Please keep me from getting discouraged. 

Today I feel like I definitely, for real, heard the Holy Spirit talking to me! I recognized that Satan was trying to drag me down today- to make me angry and stressed. My back was hurting, my curling iron broke half way through curling my hair, being "too busy" to do my Bible study and journaling, but I REFUSED, Lord, and here I am with a million "more important" things to do, but I'm with you. I am continiuing to focus on You, the unseen, the most important, and not all there other interferences- they can wait. You and starting my day with You is way more important, and I ma thrilled to finally recognize that. 

My day could have continued to be crappy because my focus would be on that, but I know I can't allow these things to drag me down because ultimately THEY DON'T MATTER, and You do! I feel like this is a huge step! I want perfect this morning- I swore and I got angry. Thank you for having Sean speak up to remind me not to be that way. Thank you for showing him how to pray for is sinning, but trying momma! That was so wonderful! Today's devotional was seriously written just for me, so I know that's the Holy Spirit telling me what I need to hear today. Thank you, thank you for giving me this wonderful gift. The glory is all Yours and I bask in the knowledge that You have trusted me and believe in me and You are giving me the Holy Spirit to guide and encourage just when I need it most. What a wonderful feeling. 

1 comment :

  1. Ouch. I know I put too much stress on myself with unimportant matters. I just want to be liked! We all need this kick in the pants, so thank you!


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