Tag: God

What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?

It’s really easy to throw around the word “prayer,” in a Christian culture, isn’t it?

If someone is going through a difficult time, we’ll say, “I’ll pray for you!”

If someone is struggling with making a decision, we’ll ask, “Have you prayed about it?”

If we really want something from God, we’ll tell people, “I’ve been praying about this for months, but I still haven’t seen God show up.”

I think that we have watered down the power of prayer, and the genuinely meaningful impact it can have in our lives and relationships, including our relationship with God.

Prayer isn’t meant to be a sympathetic condolence, a guilt trip, or a granted wish from a magic genie. It is a means of conversation!

Let me explain:

Picture your best friend in the whole world. Are you picturing them? Okay, cool. Now, think about how you got close to this person. Was it through brief and shallow conversations every couple of days? Was it through consistently asking and expecting them to do things for you? Was it through telling them how grateful you were they were in your life, but never actively showing it?

I’m going to guess probably not. And if so, wow, you have a pretty incredible friend! And, the truth is, God loves us even when we are being a “bad friend” to Him. That’s just the depth of His love for us. However…

If you want a dynamic, growing, life-changing relationship with Christ, you’ve GOTTA communicate with Him.

In fact, you can learn to deeply enjoy your conversations with God. In order for this to happen, it is important to keep in mind how to be a “good friend,” just like you have been to your best friend! Tell Jesus your deepest thoughts, desires, hurts, and joys. Go on coffee dates with Him. Ask Him for the things on your heart, but come from a place of gratitude. Never take His presence for granted.

All relationships are a two-way street, including your relationship with Jesus, and all healthy relationships rely on great communication.

But how wonderful that the Bible gives us a model of HOW to communicate with Jesus.. and that is through PRAYER!

The practice of prayer has recently been put on my heart, because I have realized just how important & powerful it is. I also realized how difficult it can be to determine exactly what prayer is.

I think it’s easy to get caught up in the act of prayer rather than the purpose of it.

My next few posts are going to dive into prayer: what it is/isn’t, ideas to experience growth in your prayer life, and different methods to practice prayer! I am going to call the series Powerfully in Prayer, because I think that in order to live fearlessly in faith, we must learn how to be rooted powerfully in prayer!

Today, I am going to begin by laying the foundation of what the Bible has to say about prayer! So, without further ado… here ya go 🙂

#1 Pray Alone

(Matthew 6:6, Luke 5:16)

The Bible places emphasis on praying alone. Not only did Jesus pray alone several times throughout the Gospels, Matt 6:6 says to pray in private, because God sees all!

#2 Pray Together

(see James 5:16, Acts 1:14, Acts 12:12)

Praying with other believers is just as important as praying alone! When the early church was started in Acts, the apostles were mentioned to be praying together on multiple occasions. We are also encouraged to confess our sins & pray with one another… yay for vulnerability!

#3 Pray About Everything

(see Philippians 4:6)

You know the amazing thing about God? He already knows everything you’re thinking, but wants to hear it from YOU! Don’t hesitate to tell Him about your bad shift at work, crazy idea, awkward conversation, or that thing you’re super nervous about. Pray about everything!

#4 Actively Pray… and Never Stop

(see 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18)

Do you ever feel like something happens in your life and you are constantly praying… and then you just stop? The Bible says for us to “pray without ceasing” and to “pray at all times and on all occasions”… and not only that, but to stay persistent in your prayers!

#5 What You Pray For Through Faith Will Be Given to You

(see John 15:7, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24)

This is a truth that the Bible reiterates time & time again. Those who abide in the Lord will receive what they believe. A prayer from a faithful, sincere heart goes a long way!

#6 Pray With an Alert Mind

(see Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2)

Prayer is not meant to to be a mindless activity. In fact, the Bible calls us to devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and to be alert in prayer! Practice alertness while praying, but also maintain alertness while you watch God move & work in the requests you’ve made known to Him! Remaining alert in prayer will give you an understanding of how active God is in your life and it is SO COOL!!

#7 Pray With Intentionality

(see Matthew 6:7)

Have you ever finished praying and realized you just said a bunch of fancy “prayer words” to try to sound a certain way? In Matt 6:7, Jesus says that when we pray, we should not “babble on and on” and that prayers are not answered by “repeating words again and again.” Instead, we should pray with intentionality! You wouldn’t give your best friend a surface level conversation, so don’t give God one either 🙂

#8 Pray With Persistence

(see Matthew 7:7, Ephesians 6:18)

God calls us to pray with persistence! He wants to give good gifts to those who pray persistently and rely on Him to provide. In fact, Matt 7:7 says: Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you.

#9 Ask God Graciously, With a Thankful Heart

(see Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2)

It’s okay to ask God for things! In fact, like we just established, He wants us to. However, God calls us to also pray with a thankful heart. Before we start placing our requests at the feet of Jesus, let us first thank Him for ALL the blessings He has showered in our lives.

Also, a really great practice for establishing thankfulness in your prayer life is to remember all God has done. We become easily desensitized to and forgetful of answered prayers. Instead of praying persistently for something, watching God answer your prayer, and then forgetting about it, write it down! Write down your requests and the way that God answers them. You will be AMAZED at the magnitude to which God answers prayers.

Well, there it is… 9 truths that the Bible tells us about prayer!


I hope that these help you establish some focus and direction on prayer.

Stay tuned for the next post in the Powerfully in Prayer series! Hint: It might involve prayer journaling 😉

<3, Britt

The Secret to Discovering Your Purpose

There are three things you cannot walk on campus at my university and not see:

  1. The color purple (it’s everywhere, seriously).
  2. Someone doing the “lopes up” sign (kind of like “love” in sign language, except it’s supposed to be an antelope).
  3. The slogan “FIND YOUR PURPOSE” (plastered on every banner, building… even the website).

Every time I read that slogan… “Find Your Purpose”… I wonder how many people come to GCU searching for purpose, but walk away with a mere diploma in hand.

Purpose is a hot topic amongst ALL Christians (not just the students at GCU), and rightfully so. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard:

I just don’t know what my purpose is.

I am waiting to hear from God about  ____ before making this decision, because I’m not sure if it is His plan for me.

I really want to major in  ____, but I just don’t know if that will be fulfilling God’s purpose for me.

I want to date _____, but I am afraid being with them is not God’s plan for my life.

If you are surrounded by Christian culture, I KNOW you have heard at least one of these thoughts before. Chances are, you’ve even thought one or two of them yourself. Sometimes it seems like determining God’s plan for our lives is like plugging numbers into a massive math equation, and if we don’t choose the right number for the right variable, we will have screwed up for God’s plan for us.

Here’s the bottom line: Nothing you accomplish in your life will give you purpose.

Crazy, right? In a culture that tells us that college degrees, wealth, or even raising a family will give us purpose, we have to realize that none of those things can ever fulfill us. So of that’s the case, what IS God’s purpose for us?

God’s purpose for you is simple… it’s exactly what Jesus told His disciples in John 15.

Your purpose is to love God, be loved by God, and to love others.

That seems like a simple concept, but I think the disconnect lies somewhere in finding where God’s plan for our lives intersects with His purpose for us.

Instead of asking the question: What is God’s plan for my life?

We should be asking: In what ways has God equipped me to love?

I think the key to discovering God’s plan for us is by pursuing the purpose He gave us of loving Him and loving others. However, Jesus never called us to pursue a passive love, but rather an active love.

This is why I believe that discovering God’s plan for our lives is found through an action-oriented pursuit of purpose, rather than a passive waiting game for God to “reveal” His plan.

I have found a greater sense of purpose for my life after implementing the following 4 action-oriented tips to pursue God’s plan, instead of waiting for it… and here they are!

4 Ways to Find Your Purpose:

1.)  Don’t Stay Sitting

If you feel confused about God’s plan for your life, the worst thing you can do is to stay sitting where you are at.

The key to discovering God’s plan for your life is by discovering what your God-given gifts and passions are.

For a long time, I was afraid to try anything new for fear of rejection or being embarrassed. It took me way too long to realize that the only way I could discover the talents that God gave me to give to the world is by going out and living in it. Find activities to explore and things to involve yourself in, because once you find the things you are gifted at and passionate about, you will likely feel more direction on the ways God might be calling you to love others. For example, when I realized I was both good at and passionate about writing & encouraging people, I decided to create this blog, with the purpose of loving people because of my love for Jesus! See how that works?? 😉

2.) Surround Yourself With Community

God works through people, so if you are not surrounding yourself with people, you are missing out on your purpose.

Surround yourself with a community of like-minded people who are willing to encourage you & push you into opportunities of growth. Surround yourself with people with differing perspectives, so that you can learn from them and they can learn from you. With hurting people so that you can comfort them. With joyful people to be encouraged by them. With difficult people to inspire them. With younger people to share wisdom with. With older people to glean wisdom from. Just surround yourself with people, and love them well. I guarantee you will instantly feel a heightened sense of purpose.

3.) Find a Ministry Opportunity

One key to discovering God’s plan for your life is by finding a way to live out your faith. For several years, I felt really purposeless as a person and very dry in my faith because I wasn’t doing anything with it. That’s when I started leading Wyldlife, a Young Life ministry for junior high kids, and my life slowly began to gain a greater purpose.

Ministry doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate… if you’ve found a way to intentionally show a specific group of people Jesus by loving them really well, then you’ve found a ministry opportunity.

Great places to look for these opportunities are churches, schools, organizations, the workplace, or even your own home. Just identify a group of people you have a heart for, and love those people both selflessly like Jesus did.

4.) Eliminate Distractions and Persevere

This might be the last point, but it’s very important, so hear me out.

The world wants to do all that it can to make your feel purposeless, or that God is “withholding” His plan from you.

There will be people who tell you lies about who you are. There will be failures you encounter that cause you to question why you do what you do. There will be thousands upon thousands of other people and their accomplishments to compare yourself to. Whatever you do, PERSEVERE.

Even though God’s purpose for each of us is love, His plan for you is unique… there is no one else with the same set of talents and passions that you have, and no one with the same heart.

Eliminate anything that distracts you from pursuing your purpose, and remember that only YOU can fulfill God’s plan for your life.

I hope that these 4 tips encourage you to pursue your purpose, and give you a greater sense of direction on what God’s individual plan for you might be! Remember:

Stop searching for your purpose.

Know your purpose.

Now, pursue it.

<3, Britt

To the Girl Who Feels Inadequate

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt inadequate.

I think if every girl reading this were all sitting in a room together, we would be sitting in a sea of raised hands.

I mean really, haven’t we all:

Felt inadequate in our relationships.

Felt inadequate at our job.

Felt inadequate in school.

Felt inadequate in ministry.

Felt inadequate as a person.

It’s crazy how the slightest hitch in our lives: a word that feeds into insecurities, an unplanned event, or an “off” day can drastically impact our feelings of inadequacy.

Even a thing as small as burning a batch of brownies.

I work at a coffee shop, and part of my weekly responsibilities include baking the brownies we sell in the store. A few weeks ago, I put a batch of brownies in the oven, set a timer, and walked to the front of the store to continue serving customers. About half an hour later, my manager walked up to me and asked, “Brittany, does the oven usually start smoking when you bake brownies?”

After running to the kitchen and turning off the oven that was, in fact, smoking, I removed the batch of brownies, realizing I had set the oven to 400 degrees instead of 300 degrees.

The brownies weren’t just burnt, they were scorched. Yikes.

Burning the brownies was not a big deal. All I had to do was whip up another batch, throw them in the oven, and take the extra two seconds to verify that the oven was set to 300 degrees. However, it was the way burning the brownies made me feel that was the issue. Feelings of:

“I am a terrible employee.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“I’m just not good at what I do.”

All those ugly thoughts…. from one batch of brownies.

I think our problem is this: Our feelings of inadequacy come from hyper-focusing on situational things. We come to the conclusion that because we’ve done one thing wrong, we suddenly have become inadequate in that general area of life.

I am inadequate in my relationship BECAUSE I said something hurtful that I can’t take back.

I must be a failure at relationships and undeserving of love.

I am inadequate in my job BECAUSE I didn’t hit my sales quota this month

I must be awful at my job and the weak link of the team.

I am inadequate in school BECAUSE I failed this exam I studied really hard for.

I must be stupid and incapable of pursuing this degree.

I am inadequate in ministry BECAUSE nothing impactful happened in the small group I was leading this week.

I must be incapable of pouring into the lives of those around me and leading people to Christ.

Therefore, I must be inadequate.

See the common theme?

When we tie our circumstances to our character, we will continue to feel inadequate every time we make a mistake.

The truth is, we will always feel inadequate in something if we equate our worth to what we do instead of who we are.

There will always be someone prettier, smarter, more energetic, more caring, and more enthusiastic than us.

But they can never be you.

The reason we feel inadequate is because we focus on WHAT makes us adequate instead of WHO makes us adequate.

Instead, we should say:

I am adequate in my relationships BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am deserving of love.

I am adequate in my job BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am not the weak link.

I am adequate in school BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am smart and capable.

I am adequate in ministry BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am capable of loving others and leading them to Christ.

Therefore, I am adequate.

You are adequate. Today, start believing it.. then start living it.

Abiding, Pruning & Bearing Fruit: John 15:1-11

A few summers ago, my best friend and I were taking a road trip while I visited her in Boise. On our way, we drove by a small farmer’s market on the side of the road that we decided to stop at to buy some fresh fruit to eat while we were hammocking by the lake. Best. Decision. EVER. These blackberries were hands down some of the sweetest & juiciest I had ever had.

If you’ve ever eaten fresh fruit before, you know what I’m talking about. If not.. You’re missing out!

Anyway, the reason I bring up these killer blackberries is because fruit is something Jesus calls us to produce (not eat, bummer) in the Bible. Bearing fruit, in fact, is a process that brings great glory to God… definitely something we should interest ourselves in.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that there are three steps to the process of producing great fruit: abiding, pruning, and finally, bearing fruit.

Read John 15:1-11 to follow along!

 

STEP 1: ABIDING

How many times do you wake up, look at your insanely hectic schedule for the day , and think: “I’ve got this!”

I’ve been there. It’s easy to get caught up in checking off a to-do list.

But then, as you lay in bed to drift off to sleep, you realize that not once today did you rely on Christ as you navigated your day full of work, school, friends, family, meetings, interactions, and choices. And then you realize why you feel empty.

Jesus calls us to a different posture of productivity. In John 15:4, Jesus says: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”

Being productive is great! We have the wonderful ability to glorify God with our time, resources, and involvement in various relationships and responsibilities. Here’s where problems arise:

If we are not abiding in Christ, and are instead abiding in ourselves, we are not growing, because we are disconnected from the vine. And when we are disconnected from the vine, we are not bearing fruit.

So what does abiding in Christ look like?

Slow down for two minutes, and ask Jesus to work in and through you during the day. Cultivate the characteristics of love, joy, and kindness in the tasks you complete, instead up just checking them off a list. Make the tasks you complete less about what you do, and more about how you do them.

John 15:7 says,  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Let the truth and love of Christ overflow into everything you do, and when you feel overwhelmed and empty, simply ask to be filled, and He will fill your soul.

 

STEP 2- PRUNING

So now that we are abiding in Christ, we are ready to grow and bear fruit. So what happens when we are living for Jesus and something happens that throws our hearts off track… perhaps a death, a break-up, a divorce, or a lost job… and everything in us wants to ask God this question:

“God, if I am being obedient and following you, why would you allow ______ to happen to me??”

I think the answer to that question lies in the idea of pruning.

John 15:2 says that “Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

After a little research (since my knowledge of pruning is limited to none.. I’m guessing yours might be too), I’ve discovered how interesting this reference is in understanding of the process of bearing fruit.

Pruning, by definition, is “to cut off undesired twigs or branches” or “to rid or clear of anything superfluous or  undesirable.”

So, what is pruning in the context our lives?

Pruning is getting rid of the undesirable things in our lives that prevent us from growth. Relationships that hinder us from seeking Christ, job opportunities that will eat away at the time we can devote to our ministry opportunities, or anything that can be removed from our life that will snap us into the perspective of our deep need for God and our inability to bear fruit on our own.

When does pruning happen?

In the context of real life fruit, pruning is done in the winter, which is the season that grapes do not grow. In the context of our lives, wouldn’t it make sense that we would see pruning happen in the seasons of our lives with little to no growth? The times where we are simply following Christ, but not being fruitful in Him, are the seasons during which we have the most potential to grow.

Lastly, one of the most fascinating things I read about pruning is this:

The mistake people make with pruning is not pruning hard enough. In fact, light pruning does not create an environment for adequate fruit growth, whereas heavy pruning creates the greatest quality of grapes.

So, why is ____ happening to you if you are bring obedient and following Christ?

The pruning experiences you go through are the moments you grow through. In other words, we grow through what we go through. And that’s how we bear the BEST fruit.

 

STEP 3- BEARING FRUIT

So, you’re abiding in Christ, and you’ve been pruned to experience growth… now what?

You are now prepared to bear fruit.

John 15: 8 says that “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

One of the ways we can glorify God is to bear spiritual fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You know, the fruits of the spirit? In this context, those aren’t just some intangible characteristics, but rather, the direct result of abiding in Christ and experiencing pruning in our lives.

These qualities are what make our lives plentiful. They are what makes Christianity attractive those who don’t know Christ.

But ultimately, the evidence of these characteristics in our lives are what glorifies God.

 

So today, maybe you need to be reminded to let go of your control over your own life.

Abide in Christ, not yourself.

Maybe you need encouragement that this hard season will not last forever, and good will come from your pursuit of Christ.

You will see growth after you are pruned through the hard times.

But ultimately, remember that Christ is glorified by the fruit produced in our lives.

Serve lovingly. Live joyfully. Speak kindly. And never lose faith.

<3, Britt.

Why Codependency is Destroying Your Relationship (& The Healthy Solution!)

I remember when I got my first cell phone. At age thirteen, it was everything I ever wanted… it had a sliding keypad, built-in camera, a bedazzled phone case, and was brand new. After I received it, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. I would even lay it on the bathroom counter when I showered so I could check my messages the second I got out. I would say I was possessive, obsessive, and borderline dependent on my cell phone.

I think sometimes when we get something that is exactly what we want, it is hard to not become possessive and obsessive over it, even to the point of dependency.

& I think the place where I see this most frequently is in relationships.

My boyfriend and I have had multiple discussions about dependence: being independent, being codependent, having a healthy dependence, and everything in-between.

Dependency in relationships, especially dating relationships, is a tricky topic. There should be some level of dependency in a relationship… after all, the purpose of dating is to determine if you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, which involves meshing various aspects of your life together. But how much is too much?

I think a safe place to draw the line is codependence.

Codependence, in essence, is present in a relationship in which there is a psychological reliance of one person on another. This is manifested in a way that makes it so that the codependent person does not allow the other person to have a life outside of the relationship.

Need to be with your boyfriend 24/7? Codependence.

Does your boyfriend feel the need to constantly check up on you when you’re not together? Codependence.

Are you not allowed to hang out with your friends unless your BF says you can (or vice-versa)? Codependence.

I think the problem people have with codependence is this: they have difficulty recognizing it. Just like the new cell phone I got when I was thirteen, we often become enamored by our significant other in a relationship, because ideally, they are exactly what we want. We think that needing to be together is sweet, after all, who doesn’t want to feel needed? However, what we don’t realize is that this enamor can soon lead to possessive and obsessive feelings, which can lead to dependency.

Once codependency is rooted in a relationship, it can cause individuals to lose their sense of self, and create a severe sense of mistrust within the relationship, ultimately leading to destruction.

So if codependence kills relationships, and complete independence is impossible due to the nature of relationships, what is the solution?

Healthy dependence– & here are 4 ways to identify and develop healthy dependence in a relationship!

  1. Wanting to be together (& not needing to be).

    Should you want to be with the person you’re in a relationship with? YES! Should you need to be? No. There’s a difference. Wanting to be together is looking forward to when you get to see each other, spend time together, and tell each other about your day, versus needing to be together, which is a consuming mindset.

  2. Letting the other person have friends.

    This might seem obvious, but it’s important. Letting your boyfriend have their own friends and allowing them to spend time with someone other than you, and having the same freedom, is very important. You should look forward to the time you get to spend with each other, rather than feel obligated. Not allowing your BF (or not being allowed) to have friends outside the relationships is a sign of both mistrust and codependency.

  3. Maintaining your own hobbies, interest, personality, and beliefs.

    When getting into a relationship, don’t sacrifice who you are for a guy. Chances are, the reason they liked you in the first place are for all the things that make you YOU. In addition, don’t get into a relationship with the intention of changing someone. If your partner tries to change who you are, chances are, the relationship is not going to last, or will lead to codependence. 

  4. Trust.

    The foundation to every healthy relationship is trust.  Trusting a person whether you are with or without them allows for a relationship to thrive and grow… 24/7 companionship does not.

“Not needing to need, but choosing to need.”

Overall, the key to having healthy dependence versus codependence in a relationship is wanting to need versus needing to need. Wanting to need is far more powerful than needing to need, because it is dependent on a choice rather than an impulse. 

If you want to need someone, you make a choice every single day to love them and make them a priority in your life. You know they will be there for you, and you will be there for them, but you don’t have to rely on them for fulfillment. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy that need.

If you are living in a codependent relationship today, be brave,  make the choice to have a choice.

Reasons Why Listening is Powerful

Just a week ago, I talked to my middle school kids at Wyldlife club about the story of the bleeding woman found in Mark 5. I quickly found that condensing this story into a five minute message would be a challenge, and this that this Biblical account is rich, powerful, and worth re-visiting and looking at in depth.

The main theme of the story is simple but powerful: Jesus wants to listen to you.

The Biblical account begins with Jesus disembarking a boat after a long journey, when he is approached by a synagogue ruler, Jairus. Jairus frantically begs Jesus to come with him, requesting him to heal his daughter, who had fallen ill and was nearing the point of death. Jesus obliged and followed Jairus through town.

However, on his way, Jesus was engulfed by a large crowd. In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding out for twelve years. She had spent nearly all she had paying doctors to fix her condition, but she had only progressively gotten worse. This woman was living in pain, in shame, and in poverty, and was in desperate need of a miracle.

It was the woman’s first instinct to reach out to touch Jesus’ cloak to be healed… of course it was. But little did she expect the response she actually received.

“And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you said, ‘Who touched me?’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.'” (Mark 5:30-34)

In the process of Jesus’ encounter with this woman, Jairus’ daughter died. Although we later see Jesus raise the daughter to life, the fact that she died is crucial in understanding the weight of this story.

This story teaches us two incredible truths about Christ’s character:

1. Jesus stops to listen to us. 

Jesus was in the middle of completing something incredibly important, but in the midst of his busy day, he stopped for a sickly, poor woman who was healed instantly upon touching his cloak. He did not have to stop for the woman, she would have been healed either way, but he stopped because he wanted to. Which leads me to my next point:

2. Jesus makes the “unimportant” people known.

For Jesus to stop for anyone, let alone an unclean woman who was likely looked down upon in her town, was societally unacceptable. In the Bible, we see Jesus stop for the outcasts time and time again. Jesus cared little about what was societal praised or accepted, but instead, focused on loving people. In this instance, Jesus completely postponed curing the synagogue ruler’s daughter, even to the point of her death, to tell the bleeding woman her faith healed her, and to go in peace. These words and this interaction with Jesus undoubtedly changed the woman’s life forever. Not only was she physically healed, she was spiritually affirmed.

So how does this affect us?

Truths about Jesus’ character should affect us both in our relationship with Christ and our relationship with others. This means that:

We should realize that we worship a God who is personal and listening to us.

Even if we feel like our problems are trivial or unimportant, or that other people have “bigger problems,” Jesus is equally invested in our lives and is listening to each of us. We can go to Jesus with all our problems, and know that he is listening and genuinely involved in the trajectory of our lives. He is accessible 100% of the time, and he has our best interest in mind.

We should be treating others with the same genuine interest and respect that Jesus showed to the bleeding woman.

We, much like Jesus, live busy lives filled with checklists of places to be and important things to complete. I would beg to differ that Jesus was even MORE busy that us, since he was a celebrity of his day and was in incredibly high demand by all those around him, not to forget to mention he was also God in the flesh. Despite all that, Jesus stopped. Jesus stopped to make someone feel important.

Why aren’t we doing what Jesus did? Why aren’t we stopping our busy days to listen to a friend struggling with something, visiting a family member who we haven’t seen in awhile, buying a meal for the homeless person on the street corner, or even smiling at a stranger who seems to be having a bad day?

Why aren’t we stopping our days to show people their value?

We certainly aren’t Jesus, and we can’t physically or spiritually heal someone with our presence. But what we can do is this: listen & provide hope. Listen to people’s needs, their dreams, their hurts, and their stories. Then be that consistent voice of encouragement in their lives.

I think if we all stopped for a moment and lived like this, we would be surprised at how unimportant our busyness is, and realize how much value is found in simply stopping and listening.