Okay, I am going to warn you now. This post is going to be very blunt and honest. I am becoming what my best friend is to me. Sometimes I would hate to tell her something because I knew she would tell me the honest truth even if it hurt a little. She would tell me what I needed to hear but not always what I wanted to hear.
Having to hear the hard things can be painful sometimes. It hurts to hear the things you know about yourself deep down but what you hope no one else sees, those things you know are bad for you but for some reason you keep holding on to them.
That bad relationship. Those friends you know aren’t good for you to be around. The environment you know is toxic but where you still find yourself time and time again. That person you follow on social media that always brings you down because you don’t feel like you can ever have that kind of life.
I am going to give you some of the best advice I ever got that changed how I viewed things….STOP! Yep, I said it. Just stop!
Stop looking at that guy or girl that isn’t your spouse!
Stop hanging out with those people you know are bad for you!
Stop listening to that music that is just glorified garbage.
Stop watching that TV show that you know makes you feel all weird inside.
You say, “Well, Whitney, it’s not that easy. I can’t just…stop.” Yes. Yes, you can! It’s a choice.
In the same way you choose to listen to that trashy music, you can choose to listen to positive, uplifting music.
In the same way you choose to hang around toxic people, you can choose to be around people that care about you and lift you up.
In the same way you choose to look at someone other than your spouse, you can choose to see them through God’s eyes.
In the same way you choose to do the wrong thing, you can choose to do the right thing.
Life is all about choices. I’m not saying some aren’t easier than others, but the easy choice is not always the best choice.
Hebrews 11 talks about a man who made the harder, yet better choice.
Hebrews 11: 24-27 says, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (NIV)
Look at verse 25. I actually like the way the King James says it. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
Do you see that word? Choosing. He CHOSE to suffer rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a SEASON. Oh, how the devil will convince us that the pleasure we are enjoying will last forever. But it doesn’t. It is a very short relief and then a quick return to the crappy way we were feeling, but by then it’s probably worse.
Like I said before, we choose. Say what you will, but we do. We choose everyday how we are going to live our lives. So my question to you is this. Why are you choosing the wrong thing? Why are you choosing the thing that you know makes you feel terrible and doesn’t help you live a fulfilled life?
I don’t tell you this to be mean. I tell you this because I care about you. I don’t want to see you believing the lies the enemy has told you about yourself. I want to see you living with overflowing joy and a life that you can be proud of. I want to see you fulfilling your God-given purpose. I want to see you living life to the fullest.
I know this may hurt, and you may be aggravated at me by this point, but that’s okay. So was I when I was told to just stop.
I was sitting out by the fire one Wednesday night when we were having Bible study, and we were sharing our prayer requests. It was just a small group that night: my mom, my brother, my husband, and a close family friend. I mentioned that I had been struggling with worrying about my finances, and my mom said, “Well then just stop.” I don’t even think she was really being serious. I think she just said it half-heartedly, but it really aggravated me. I went home after church so frustrated. But then I stopped griping and realized what she said was true. I just needed to stop. Stop worrying about it. Stop being victim to it.
I told her later how I felt about what she said and how thankful I was that even though she hadn’t realized the weight of what she was saying, it made a big impact on me and still to this day it’s what I live by.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to keep choosing the things you know hurt you in the long run? Or are you going to choose joy? Are you going to choose the harder choice?
I encourage you, please choose joy. Choose life. Choose Jesus! He’s worth it!
Whitney Dawn <3
“…perhaps you were born for such a time as this.”
photo-Rachel Walker (Small Town Moments)