Monthly Archives: August 2016

bad for my soul

bad for my soul

This one’s been stewing in my head for a couple weeks.

I was in a coffee shop not long ago shootin the breeze with a friend, like ya do, and I mentioned a movie that I had recently seen. It was just bad. Just a bad movie. I saw things and heard phrases that shouldn’t have been exposed to my eyes and brain.

And, hear me, I’m not a hyper-conservative viewer of entertainment. I watch movies that have cuss words and dark story lines and are not necessarily something I would take my Grandma to see.

But this one was just bad. It exposed me to things my soul just didn’t need to be exposed to – reintroduced my brain to sin patterns that God had healed me from years ago, and in an instant produced unhealthy guilt and shame that I hadn’t felt in quite a while.

As I said to my friend, “oooohhhh DON’T see that! It was NOT good!” she responded with, “But did you think it would be?”

My honest answer – no. No I did not. I knew it would be bad.
My answer to my friend – “Well…I can handle quite a bit…I thought I could handle it…I’m usually able to deal with that kind of stuff…”

What a load of crap.

I was justifying my indulgence in a coping mechanism – to escape, to laugh, to pretend like I am immune to the tactics of the enemy.

This past week, another friend and I were talking about how easy it is to have our minds just flat out messed with. She can look at a post of someone selling their house on Facebook and immediately be thrown into insecurities of never being able to afford something like that, and not having the house she’s always wanted that has the carriage house her blogger friend can live in, and not being able to live in a good school district, and basically screwing up her children-that-she-doesn’t-have-yet’s lives because she can only afford half of what her friend is asking for their house.

I can look at a friend’s family photos on Facebook and cry because I don’t have what is so perfectly portrayed on the computer screen.
I can browse Pinterest for wedding ideas, planning the perfect day for my to-be husband and I, and then wonder why I’m struggling with loneliness and being single.

I think sometimes we like to think that our minds are completely fine and protected and NOTHING CAN GET IN HERE BECAUSE JESUS. But I’m coming to find more and more that while yes, God does protect us, I think He also desires for us to desire good things. When I know something will not be good for my soul, I don’t need to watch it. When I know Instagram will make me doubt God’s goodness, I need to stay off of it. If I know before I even start it, that the thing I’m getting ready to watch/read/do/experience will push me farther from Christ, I need to flee from it.

I’m glad I have people around me that ask, “But did you think it would be?”
Because that pushes me to think – to think about what I’m exposing my soul to. To think about honoring who I am and Who Jesus is with what I put into my brain and body.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

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psalm 13

psalm13

I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it 1,578,829 more times, but one of my favorite descriptions of the psalms is that they are where emotion and theology meet.

I sometimes feel a smidge of guilt when I want to throw some shade God’s way. There are days and moments when I want to throw my hands up and say, “For serious, Lord?!”

And in those moments I think, “crap. I’m not supposed to react this way. I’m always supposed to be happy and smiley and all the ‘pretty’ emotions because God has saved me from an eternity separated from Him….ya ta ta…”

But then…then I come upon the psalms. And I read David’s emotions. And I know, at the end of the day, it’s okay for me to be frustrated. For me to doubt. For me to have some questions for the Creator of all the things (emotions included).

The tricky part is if I let that shade turn into bitterness toward my Loving Father. I can bring my hurt and let-downs to God. I can have a hard conversation with Him. But I can’t let my emotions control who my God is. God is God and God is good, even on days when I don’t feel it.

And that’s where psalm 13 steps in:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Amen & amen.

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