Welcome In Fine Fettle readers!
Since it’s been awhile and there might be some new faces aboard I just wanted to take a second to say… hi!
My name is Claire, author of In Fine Fettle, college nursing student, lover of Jesus, adventure, health and you.
Yes, you! I started In Fine Fettle because I wanted to share my love, my passion, my faults and my failures in a way that could encourage/inspire people.
People say the best writers are the ones that write from the heart; therefore, I promised I would only write about things that God’s been working on in me. So, here we go again.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Ephesians 2:8-10
For those that don’t know, recently, I’ve started dating again but this time (I like to think) with a little more knowledge and wisdom. I really don’t want to go into a lot of detail today but hopefully one day soon, I will.
Instead today, I want to focus our attention on the free gift we have been given and because we have been given this gift freely, talk about the steps we can do to show our gratitude. The boyfriend part will tie in later.
FREE-ninety-nine…. did you hear that, I said FREE-ninety-nine.
How many times do you see or hear about Christians, even after they’ve been given the gift of salvation, feel obligated to “work” their way to God. This is one of the worst and biggest mistakes Christians make, we make about Christianity.
Even though I know better, sometimes I find myself doing it too. Making sure I am going to church, praying, seeking opportunities to spread the gospel, remaining pure in my relationship, refraining from any unwholesome talk.
If you grew up in a church then I’m sure you remember being told that these are the actions we should do, that these are the things God wants us to do. But let me ask you if you do this too, what is your intentions behind the actions?
Think about the last time you gave someone a gift out of pure love and generosity… good. Now, picture if that same person persistently asked how much they owed you and spent their entire lives trying to earn this gift you gave them… FOR FREE.
It would be offensive right?
That’s how I imagine God feels when we think we can work our way to grace, heaven, His love.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works…”Ephesians 2:8
No work or action you do can help you obtain salvation because we are not saved merely for our own benefit but rather to SERVE Christ and build up the church.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Ephesians 2:10
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ’s own imagine to do the good works He has prepared for us to do. Since salvation has been given to us freely, out of gratitude we should be motivated to want and enjoy serving others.
Not because we want to try to solidify our spot in heaven but rather because of the love and gratitude we have for Jesus Christ. We should want to treat those around us with kindness, love, gentleness and compassion because thats what we have been shown.
Since, I’ve started this new relationship God has continued to remind me how difficult it actually is to love and to serve sometimes. It sounds easy on paper but in reality and when put to the test love’s not how it looks in movies and it takes constant work, hard work.
For “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I am sure most of you have heard that verse before, maybe even right here on my blog, but do you understand now why I say that love is hard work…?
I realized very quickly in life I don’t enjoy being patient and it’s not always easy being self-less and putting my wants and desires behind someone else’s. I realized patience, kindness, peace, selflessness, and goodness don’t exactly overflow naturally from me.
It’s not that I don’t want to be all these things… but sometimes in the heat of the moment I let my emotions get the best of me.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”James 4:1
I heard a quote once that said, “If you don’t deal with the demons inside of you, they will go into the depth of your soul and lift weights.”
I know it might sound cheesy but it is so important to be in tune with whats going on in our heart. If you’re sad, angry, full of envy or fear in your heart the people that are closest to you are going to experience that overflow onto them and it will affect their life.
In order to love other people, in order to be for other people what other people need us to be for them, to be people Jesus called us to be we must be aware of our own feelings and emotions.
Today, I want to challenge you to spend some quiet time with God and ask yourself…
- How well have I been loving others and which action from the ones listed in 1 Corinthians do I struggle with the most?
- Which emotion (fear, envy, guilt, greed, insecurity, anger) has a way of becoming the boss of you, to a point you cannot control it when it’s taken over?
- What regularly happens in your life that triggers that emotion stated in question 2? Instead of being bossed by the emotion, describe how you would ideally like to handle things when that situation occurs.
If you ask my boyfriend or my mom they’ll be the first to tell you that I am not slow to anger 99% of the time, that I am not always patient or kind.
In relationships it’s not going to be easy and some days will be harder than others to love and serve those around you but I promise that it’s an action you’ll never regret. You won’t get it right every day, all the time, but you should definitely die trying!
You don’t have to let your emotions get in the way of loving those around you well. Don’t let those emotions, even the ones you’ve buried deep within your heart, become the boss of you anymore because as a Christian you already have a boss bigger than all things.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Matthew 11:28–29
How do you stay aware that theres stuff in us? By paying attention to the emotions that compete for control of our mood, our mouths and by resting in God’s eternal presence.
until next time,