Desperation.

I was thinking about my life and reflected on times that money was tight. Living paycheck to paycheck and not keeping up with bills. I have at times worked extra jobs to try to make enough money to pay bills and it was a struggle. Get up early and go to work, get off one job and go to the second job and when I got done there head home and sleep a few hours before starting all over again, barely getting by and doing without a lot of things I could have used in order to provide for the family. It was tough but due to circumstances I was desperate and willing to do whatever I needed to do in order to make ends meet.

As I thought about how I was struggling then and needed the money I think about some jobs I took out of desperation; working places and doing jobs that I never would have thought I would have considered likely that I do. I found myself taking a variety of part time jobs in addition to my full time job. I did work that was terrible to even consider. Literally digging ditches, working in or around hog houses, other jobs dealing with people that were not the type with whom I would associate, alcoholics, drug abusers and other well, unsavory types. Right or wrong I thought I was better than the type of person that would do such things but there I was, doing exactly what I thought I would never do with people whom I held in low regard, at times I had mocked those people and here I was working with them. But, I was desperate……or at least thought I was desperate with a wife and child I had to get money for expenses. I did not know anything about food stamps or other government assistance so I did things I thought beneath me to get myself into a better situation. I struggled, I worried, as I said, I compromised myself and associated with people that were not the type I would associate with, all due to desperation.

As I thought about that, how much I wanted to try to make things better, how I was willing to be around people that I would never have associated with at all, just to try to make a better life because I needed more money for bills and such, I realized I had compromised myself to try to make things better. That caused me to wonder how many people compromise themselves to try to get by, earn money or get what they think may be a better life. Some suffer right along and never compromise themselves as they struggle, others repeatedly compromise. But, one thing I should know is that He did provide and I was able to find some extra work to help pay bills.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

As I reflected further, I realized that I was also sort of reaping my own reward for belittling or mocking those people, whether literally or possibly only in my mind. I was being judgmental and I needed to learn some humility. Boy, does God know how to teach us humility.

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Philippians 2:3

Then, I thought more about times I was doing fine, but desperately wanted something, so I would spend more than I should have to get it or do it. I wanted to go fishing or hunting so I would ignore things that were more important, chores at home and such. When I was in high school I would desperately want to do something and would leave homework undone. I ignored responsibilities because I desperately wanted to do something “fun.” I talked in one post previously about blowing off a friend I was supposed to meet so I could run around with other guys that were part of the “cool crowd” and I desperately wanted to be considered one of the cool guys.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

This doesn’t necessarily mean people that don’t believe in Christ, but also people who may believe that He is the Son of God, died and was resurrected, but still intentionally live in a way that is not pleasing to God.

Sometimes desperation isn’t due to hardships, suffering or otherwise actually needing something, but can be related to a person’s wants. To be honest, many times things I thought I NEEDED were only things I wanted. I have seen people that, like I mentioned in the post about black Friday, behave horribly and do anything to others to get that one thing they “desperately need” for Christmas. Back stabbing, talking terribly about people. It is sad.

But, real or perceived, desperation causes people to do a lot of things that they normally would not do: treat others in ways that they would never have treated them otherwise, tolerate far more from some to obtain what they “Desperately” want, take risks they shouldn’t take, ignore responsibilities and any number of what would otherwise be considered bad judgement.

Another thought is that the tough times happen and if we let Him, He will use those times to strengthen us. He also gave me opportunities to learn to trust Him more, opportunities for better jobs and the desire to get my education so I could have an even better life in the future. He helped me get through that all no matter how bad I thought times were, no matter how desperate I became, HE DID NOT FAIL ME and Christ carried me through and is leading me to where He wants me in life. I may have done things that did not please Him, I may have strayed from the path He had planned for me, but He still was with me.

Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.   Psalms 100:3

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy name and thank You for seeing more in me than I saw myself and for helping me through so many difficulties in life, many I created for myself, but Your love and presence saw me through. I thank You for the difficulties that helped shape me into the person You desire me to be and that brought me to the place You want me to be for Your glory. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me improve my Christian walk. I pray for those who feel the desperation as I did at times, due to finances, marital problems, job issues, poor health or any other areas of concern for them that they lean on Christ to help them through and give them the strength and assistance they need to get through the hard times they feel they are facing and show them how to know You and Your will for them in dealing with their hardships. Please draw my family and loved ones to You and help them come to know You and Your plan for their lives. I thank You for my salvation that Christ paid for through His suffering and death, through His defeat of death when He was resurrected.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to others.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Self Esteem

 

 

 

I used to have very low self esteem. Many reasons one develops that feeling about one’s self and that is how it was for me. My mom was always good to me, but she also always made time to help others, family, say one of her sisters was having issues with her kids, she would be quick to run over and help her with whatever, often having cousins staying with us for extended time periods which caused me to have to cancel plans so we could go to the aunt’s house and deal with whatever issues occurred there. Sometimes a friend needed something and once again, plans canceled to go help someone else. Later, they started foster parenting so all kinds of disruptions there, and the amount of time the foster children took was phenomenal. Those things resulted in my feeling that I must not have been too important, otherwise she wouldn’t make me cancel plans for the other people and that my brother and I were a not enough and that, since the other kids took so much time and she had less for me, that added to those feelings. I was a kid and kids think only of themselves. I know it did not make her love me less, but still, a person only has so much time and when she took time from me to deal with the foster children and other people there was less time for me.

When I was older, dating, sort of engaged choices were made by others that added to the low self esteem, making me feel like I was fortunate if anyone took time for me at all. Finding that they preferred to spend time with others, whether it be friends, family or whoever than with me. I tried compensating with working hard, distracting myself hunting or fishing, getting an education and good career. But, for a long time that did not help my self esteem. Over time, it got better, but regardless of all that, deep inside, I did not feel good about myself. Then, when my father was dying and my wife decided it was more important to take a vacation trip rather than cancel it so she could stay there with my father, me and my family at a difficult time it truly destroyed any sense of self worth that I had at all. How could I have value if my own wife would go on vacation while I was suffering and my father was dying. I pretended things were sort of okay and made it through but was not able to find value in myself. I worked helping my mom around her house, worked a lot on projects at home, found other distractions but, no matter what, my self esteem was not better and I really could not see a future. When I got to the point that I had good self esteem and felt that there was a bright future on the horizon, once again, I received a blow that shattered that and one again, my sense of self worth was gone.

As I said, after a series of events, I was at my lowest point ever and that is when I came back to Christ. HE made me better, He forgave my sins, He showed me that others actions do not make me worth more or less. HE showed me my value. It isn’t based on actions of others. Others’ actions are their decisions, sometimes made out of concern for others, but more often than not out of selfishness, to try to fill voids they have due to self esteem issues. He showed me that thinking that when others treated me badly was actually because of problems they had with themselves and are usually self motivated. Failure of others to treat me as I treat them is not my failure and doesn’t make me of less importance. Humans are by nature selfish and no matter how much they swear their love and dedication, eventually they will make decisions based purely on what they think best serves them and will either make demands of you to do things, or turn their backs on you if you cannot do what they want, when they want. Despite saying they value you, you end up seeing that they value themselves more and when it is someone you thought really loved you it can further damage one’s self esteem. Until you remember, human nature and that some people will not, or cannot, get past their own human element.

Now, my value is from Christ. He is my savior, my salvation, my redeemer. He makes me valuable beyond anything I could have ever imagined. He is always there, never leaves me or forsakes me. He cares about me, my needs, desires, hurts and what is important for me. He doesn’t base my value on what I can buy for Him, what I can do for Him. Oh, God expects our praise, worship and service but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t value us. He valued me enough to sacrifice His son, that is a lot more than others have done for me.

 

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”
1 Thessalonians 1:5 (KJV)

 

He was here for MY SAKE! To help me know that my value to Him is so great he lowered himself and became human so He could die for my sins.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1

 

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15

 

The last verse says the most to me, that no matter what PEOPLE do to me, to try to undermine my self esteem, whether it be intentional or not, GOD will see me for who I am, He will see my heart, He know me and my value of whether or not the other people do. He also tells me that when one is esteemed by people, they are an abomination to God. Those who only worry about what others think, and do anything to try to make them think highly of them, usually in an attempt to boost their own self esteem, will destroy the value God puts on them. Plus, it will only serve to further lower their own self esteem when they realize that the esteem in which others hold them is fleeting.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for being my Redeemer, that You brought me out of that circumstance to show me that I had tremendous value and that You always knew that and You were always there for me. All I needed to do was call out to You. Thank You for all the blessings, for the knowledge You are giving me, for helping my faith strengthen and my relationship with Christ grow tremendously. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue Your work in me to make me know how to better seek You, further strengthen my faith, show me Your will in my life. I ask that You also work in the lives of others to draw them to You and teach them Your will in their lives as well.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit, I hope others who may have self esteem issues realize that material possessions, money, status, other people do not dictate our worth, one’s only true worth comes from Christ and our relationship with Him.