Beaten: By ACHUCKAllen
I’ve been beaten like a yard dog at times in my life, haven’t you? I don’t mean physically, I mean something far worse. I’m talking about getting your soul pummeled like this poor dud in the photo.
Maybe you have been fortunate to have never had your soul whipped and left to die on the side of the road, or worse…left to bleed out in front of the people you cherish.
If life seems to be dragging you through a briar patch covering a few dozen rattlesnakes, which are hanging out with a hand grenade with the pin pulled, then I want to encourage you today.
I’ve offered a fair amount of transparency on this BLOG, but just in case you are new to my writing, here you go!
First, stop expecting folks that go to church to be that much different than the folks selling you a mattress. I am convinced that plenty of church folk wouldn’t know grace from a buzzsaw. I know, I know…Chuck, how can you say that? Hey! I’m a pastor. If anybody knows how cruel church people can be, it’s me! In a very broad view, I think about 40% of folks attending church really want to live more like Jesus, but there are not many folks that are willing to be placed under the scrutiny of the public eye to jump in and help. My best counsel to you on this is: Reset your expectations. Going to church 50 out of 52 weeks in a year isn’t the same as chasing after Jesus and falling a few thousand times as you run. Don’t put your hopes in a class, an author, a pastor, priest, church, or denomination! Never place your soul in the hands of anything other than Jesus. He is the only real deal I’ve experienced in my 58 years.
Second, take it easy. You haven’t even come close to ruining your life. Are you breathing? Great! Now that you recognize your life, celebrate it! Peace, joy, fulfillment, and hope are found in Christ alone. Don’t settle for the applause of humans. Too much human praise comes with an unhealthy dose of false modesty or hooks your soul and will leave you thinking you are somehow better than somebody. Dude, the only thing that any of us offer this world is the story of Jesus of Nazareth and how He radically changes our life when we offer Him everything in sold out abandonment.
Third, a wise old man once told me that we are never as good as we think when looking in the mirror, and we are never as bad as when we don’t.
The cure for people beatings? Three simple steps:
- Simply ask the Divine to speak some truth to your wounded soul. He might use other folks, music, quietude, or no telling what. He is God, and you are not. Let Him do His thing!
- Go and serve people in need. If you want to get over the beating that life has given you, serve people in need! If you want to stop being a martyr and want to get out of the beating rut, serve people!
- Start your day by answering this question – What three things are you grateful for today? Write them down and keep a running list. Don’t get all preacher with it, just write! If you think that you can’t possibly find three things every single day, well, you might have just found the problem.
The universe isn’t conspiring against you. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is cheering you on. Cheering like a daddy at his first child’s first soccer game. Can’t you hear Him? “That’s my kid! Look at them! That’s my kid!”