7 Things That Won't Affect God's Love For You

7 Things That Won't Affect God's Love For You

But could reflect badly of God's love in you.
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We all have those moments that make us lose our cool and question everything we know to be good in this world. I have noticed recently how easily I can get frustrated over some insignificant matter, resulting in my own sudden outburst of anger. In complete honesty, these outbursts commonly include some foul language along with a derogatory remark toward whoever or whatever was the instigator of the matter. I began to take notice of this problem in my own life after first noticing it coming from other people.

There's a certain unattractiveness to a personality that is quick to anger. As a Christian, I have heard the James 1:19 command of "be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" enough times it seems to go in one ear and out the other. Those three simple concepts, however, can save us from a world of hurt if we just make a point to recognize when we have the most problem with it. It's easy to get mad at everyday frustrations to the point of forgetting how we are supposed to be children of light, showing love to others. When we get mad at the frustrations of life, we can forget that God's love for us is far greater than the impact of these frustrations. So, here are my top 7 frustrations that I realize put a dimmer on the light I should be showing as a Christian.

1. That gossip you heard minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years ago.

Our world is full of gossip. Whether true or not, it can be frustrating to hear rumors going around about yourself or the people you care about. The important thing to remember is God knows us far better than any human. His love for us is not affected by the story going around about you. If you handle rumors with grace and humility, people can see that God's love is greater than that whacked out story about you.

2. A bad hair day

I'll be the first to admit that my hair game is not always on point. Days that begin with uncooperative hair can seem to run a down hill slide all the way through. Don't get me wrong, my appearance is not one of my top concerns in life, but there is something to the phrase "Look good; feel good." People in the secular world today will make their first judgments of us based on appearance. God, however, looks at the heart. God's love for you or me will not be affected by those lousy bad hair days, so let's not let those day's affect how we show God's love.

3. That person driving 20 in a 35

Life as a full time college student/ full time worker is busy; the last thing I need is to be slowed down by some person who's got nothing better to do than drive 20 miles per hour in front of me while I'm already late for work. Anytime this event arises, I can become quite the outraged driver. Road rage is definetly one easy way to turn someone off to the Christ like message we may be trying to send, especially if you've got one of those "Jesus fish" on your bumper. Patience is a virtue. Love is patient. Is getting to where we need to be when we want to be there really that much more important that being a safe and courteous driver?

4. A bad breakup

If you haven't gone through one, I both respect and envy you. If you have, I sympathize with the urge to gossip about, bad mouth, and even get even with whoever the stinker was that broke your heart. Relationships were created by God for good. When those relationships that we think are going to last forever end badly, it can be easy to blame not only the other person, but also God. God sees our every tear that falls and knows the plan He has for us. We are not chained to the doors that close in our lifes. Look to God for the love that is most needed in your life.

5. That bad grade you got from that teacher who is always out to get you

We've all had them, those teachers you just can't seem to please no matter how many hours you've poured into their classwork. It can become so easy to vent out our frustrations toward the way a teacher grades by attacking their personality as a whole. God wants us to respect our authorities, even if we disagree with them. The light that we are called to shine as followers of Christ should not be hidden by malice or disagreement with one teacher. The class will end. We will get through.

6. Terrible Customer Service

You're in a hurry. You're really hungry. You're running low on money for the week. Why not just run through the fast food drive thru and get something cheap? Of course it's times like this when you either have to wait in line a little longer than you had time for, get your food and it's cold and chewy, or end up driving away missing an item in your bag. Bad customer service can turn a good day bad and a bad day terrible. I know how easy it is to turn my focus for the rest of the day to remembering the bad service I had. The better thing to do would be to focus on what good I had accomplished in the day and can accomplish.

7. Terrible Customers

Working in fast food, I have countless stories of customers who have frustrated me to the point of saying things I should not have said. Some people are impossible to please or at least they seem to be. The people I work with know I am a Christian, so every outburst of anger I make reflects badly on my own Christian faith walk. God knows my frustrations and loves me through my anger. Coworkers see my frustration and question my love for others. I would rather reflect well of God's love than voice my frustrations to turn someone away from God.

Cover Image Credit: truthpressure.wordpress.com

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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From The Outside Looking In, UNC Is A Liberal Campus, But That Doesn't Mean God Isn't Working Here

Just because we don't always seem Him working doesn't mean He isn't

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When I decided to go to Carolina during my senior year of high school I specifically remember people immediately saying how they'd be praying for me and my faith as I headed off to such a liberal university. It wasn't until I actually stepped foot onto UNC's campus and became a part of the culture here that I realized how inaccurate people's assumptions of this campus truly are.

People's assumptions about what UNC is and isn't stems from a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions they have about a university that many of those same people never actually attended. I know that comes off as harsh, and maybe it is, but the truth is you are never truly able to understand what an environment is like until you spend a significant portion of time there. It's the mundane moments or the day to day life events that I get to take part in which allow me to fully embrace all that UNC is. Until I was able to experience that for myself I too feared that my faith would be muddled by UNC.

Those mundane moments I mentioned, it has been within those moments that I've been able to experience the overwhelming love of Christ and see the work He is doing on this campus. It's sitting at a table in the Union to finish up some homework and overhearing a conversation about Christ or walking through Lenoir at dinner time and hearing a group of friends praying before dinner. If you aren't looking for it you'd probably overlook it or cast it off as another conversation, but these moments are so much more than that. The best part of it all, those are just the mundane moments.

Maybe it's bold of me to say that God has a plan for this campus, but I'm fine with being bold in that. I find the confidence in saying this because I get to experience Tuesday nights in a church on Franklin Street as a congregation of students fills the pews and for 45 minutes we stop what we are doing and praise God together. There are no denominations there, there are no barriers, it's a group of students coming together to worship God through music. Then as we break away and go our separate ways for the rest of the week each of us falls back into our own sphere of influence. In these spheres of influence, we build a deeper community that binds us to different churches and campus ministries and organizations, but at the end of the day, we all find our way back to that same church every Tuesday evening.

I will not deny that my generation has shown a drastic decrease in the amount of college-aged students who regularly attend church services on Sunday, but that a) doesn't mean that they've fully forsaken the faith or b) that God is not working on college campuses like UNC. As with everything else, I think it is important to put these statistics into context. When students come to UNC, or any college for that matter, most of the time they find themselves trying to reestablish who they are and redefine their identity. This seems to stem from a lack of community and not really knowing where their niche is just yet. Loss of a well-established Christian community can be detrimental for a lot of students as they go off to college and struggle to balance all their new responsibilities while trying to figure out who they are. So that drastic decrease we see may be less of college-aged students fully parting ways with the faith and more of them not being able to find a community where they feel at home.

This area, in particular, is one that really defines why I say that God is truly working on this campus. As a student, it can be hard to find that community, as I said, but UNC has so many campus ministries or local churches that before long students seem to meander into their niche. I know for me it happened fairly quickly, but for others, it doesn't happen like that and it takes time. At the end of the day though, people seem to find a community that suits them well and where they feel loved and known. For me, that's the most important reason behind why I say God is here working on this campus.

To anyone who ever worried about me going to such a "liberal" campus, fear not because God has a plan and has placed me on a campus full of people that He loves and wants to minister to for a reason. Don't let false assumptions and stereotypes jade your perception of the work God can do. He's working here, it's now just up to us to listen and obey His commands.

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