The Fight Against Acceptable Selfishness

Why can’t we all just build other humans up in encouragement?

I find myself constantly being hurt and hurting other people because I’m putting pride first and not opening my mind to understanding an entire situation.

Our culture constantly pushes a message of acceptable selfishness at us, and we’re patted on the back and supported when we follow through.

When did being a Christian and selfishness every become okay?
If you claim to follow Christ and use your life as an example of his love, why is it justifiable to defend yourself using harsh words and tearing someone else down?
When did ME become so important?

I find myself disliking social media sites more and more as people use them to just spew their opinions and feelings regardless of the effect they have on other people. 
We’re studying a book called “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman in my small group at church, and one of the points we discussed last week was that whatever you’re going to for comfort before God is an idol. 
Wherever you go to find acceptance and justification before God is an idol.

I understand the need to vent, to verbally process, to find someone who supports your feelings…but if we are going to post these things on the internet for all to see, to find acceptance and comfort, it is wrong.
These statements are made lacking kindness and gentleness, wisdom and discernment. 
If we are hurt, or feel uncomfortable, have confusion or strong feelings, that is important. It’s important to be aware of who we are and what we are feeling. 
But those are things to take to the Lord. They are not to be blindly thrown into the opinion sea of our friends and strangers.
If we are seeking what the Lord wants from us and who He has made us to be, we should be turning to Him for answers and comfort in frustrating and confusing times.

Not only should we first be looking to ourselves in this aspect of our faith, but I think we should take care to be conscious of other people who are generously sharing their strong opinions.

One thing I’ve noticed a lot on social media sites is passive aggressiveness. On Twitter it’s called “sub-tweeting” when you post a vague or pointed tweet about “someone” without actually mentioning them. I’ve seen it everywhere else as well.
Why is okay to let everyone in on someone else’s dirty laundry, or some private conflict you have with them? 
The Bible is very clear on how we’re to deal with conflict, and that is to confront that person alone, in honor and grace.
There is a definite way to receive peace and healing in conflict, but you will never achieve that by opening up a situation to the general public. Do you honestly think their opinion is going to be better than God’s?

I honestly have seen much of this and end up sub-consciously choosing a side. If one of my friends has posted something about how another person has wronged them, I’m much more likely to agree with my friend and tell them they were right, WITHOUT knowing the whole situation. That person’s post then gets flooded with likes and comments agreeing with their horror in someone having offended them.

Where is the forgiveness in all this?
How does the “other guy” feel in this situation?

I can tell you having experienced this personally that having several strangers form an incorrect and jaded opinion of you is as hurtful as hurtful gets. You don’t even have a chance to prove them wrong.

I’m not writing any of this to condemn, I am only hoping to convict those of you who truly want more Jesus in your life and to be His hands and feet in this world.

I am so tired of people being hurt.
I’m tired of us caring so much about being right that we trample other beautiful humans over in the process.
I am sad that forgiveness doesn’t reign supreme and isn’t ranked higher than selfishness.

Can we all try to put down pride and entitlement in place of love?
Can we try to follow Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:21-22?
“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”

I am praying that God makes me selfless.
I guess He’s going about it in a really practical learning lesson.
So…I think change is going to come when you decide to pray dangerous prayers.
Dangerous prayers to me turn into hard, uncomfortable real life chances to practice the characteristics we want to have.
Something I’ve always found to be proven true is that you always come out stronger for it.
Endurance and perseverance build character, which builds hope.
If you are a person who puts their hope in a day when all will be right and the faithful will be honored, you will be a light in a world that darkens every day.

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Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

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Thoughts on Leadership

These last couple years have held some of the biggest trust lessons I’ve ever grown from.

God is constantly teaching me to not need a reason or explanation…but just to trust Him implicitly. If He says go, I go. If He says stay, I stay. It’s all about the obedience aspect.

One way that He is helping me understand my relationship with Him is by putting leaders in my life and asking me to serve them with my whole heart and with a joyful spirit.

To be completely honest, I have always struggled with authority figures. I have always had this pride that makes me think that I am right, and that I know best.

After making several mistakes where I have really disregarded authority and blamed them for so many of my own problems, God broke down that barrier in a very painful way.

 

I have been on both sides of leadership. Surprisingly, I like being on the servant side a lot more.

See, being a leader requires that you have a very heavy responsibility.

People – real live humans – depend on you. You answer to their problems, their issues, their ugliness, their beauty, their hearts. And it’s HARD. You will always have someone who doubts you, disapproves of your actions/life, or openly mocks you.

 

If there is one thing I could share that you would remember, it is this:
Encourage your leaders, and give them a break!

 

Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) says,

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

 

There is no advantage to us tearing down our leaders and talking badly about them behind their backs. Does that encourage them to lead us better and with more joy and patience?

Truly good leaders answer to God, and God alone. They are not here to be all that you want them to be. If God has trusted them with leadership, He trusts their judgment and discernment.

 

One example I have is of two women that I love and adore with all my heart. Their names are Lisa and Cadence, and they work in Nicaragua as missionaries, heading up a student sponsorship program.

Since I lived with them for more than a year, I saw all the hard work they put into their job and how little they are recognized for it. Lisa and Cadence work long, sometimes 14-hour days, tirelessly speaking with families, writing sponsor updates, handing out school supplies, having hard conversations with kids, tutoring kids, and pouring their hearts out to the community. They have put their lives into this program and setting up the poverty-stricken communities of Candelaria, Santa Matilde, Nuevo Amanecer, and La Isla for success by putting their children in school and promoting education.

The communities have a great love for these two women, and show their gratitude in so many beautiful ways. However, I have seen the ugly side of people as well when they feel as though they know best how sponsorship money should be used.
If they put themselves in Lisa’s and Cadence’s shoes, they would not want the load of work, the ungratefulness, the responsibility, and the long hours.
Even after being lied to, shouted at, dead-tired, and also, I will add, raising financial support to do what they do, these women continue to build and grow this program because they have had a calling to this ministry.
And I know they forget all of the negativity when they get to make those visits to tell a child and their family that they’ve received a sponsor. I’ve been on those visits, and I feel like crying every time I see it happen. The JOY that flows when you tell someone that a person from thousands of miles away saw their picture on the internet and saw something special that they just HAD to support…it is magnificently beautiful.

 

It is incredible how much someone believing in you can do to your self-esteem. When someone believes in you, your soul gets set on fire and you believe that anything is possible. That you can change the world. That God isn’t crazy in His love for you and hope for the best for your life.

 

We as humans are better as a team than a single individual.

 

The Lord already holds leaders to a high standard and they answer to Him.

Our job as servants and followers, members of an organization or congregation is to SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE.

 

Instead of criticizing your leader, encourage them in love. You probably have no idea the amount of work and responsibility they have. You probably don’t know how many people want to talk to them and give their opinion.

 

Spread peace.

Be kind.

Love with your whole heart.

 

Follow Lisa and Cadence’s blogs:

Lisa – http://lisasmith.myadventures.org/

Cadence – http://cadencesnyder.wordpress.com/

 

Sponsor a student through Educate Nica for $25 a month:

http://educatenica.org/