Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday on My Mind

Don’t forget that if you are looking for Jake’s Thought for the Week, they will now be on his own blog each Monday at:

I hope you take the time to read his post today….I’ve been begging him for a long time to write a post for the blog on Obsessive Compulsive Order (OCD) which is a psychological condition that he has. Jake is very open about it, and he has shared a bit about it today within his own ‘God Story’.

Anyways, now that Jake is posting his TFTW on his own, I thought it might be fun to start Monday posts called ‘Monday On My Mind’. Of course everything I blog about is ‘on my mind’ but I thought on Mondays I might just share something that was on my mind from the weekend, or something I am thinking about for the week ahead. Please join in the fun if you want! I would love to know what’s on your mind too in the comments section! So, I’ll see how this goes….I don’t like being tied down to blogging themes for a certain day, but this might be fun. :)

Well, to start, today I am thinking about reflecting on the past and specifically past trials. I do a lot of reflecting, especially in some of my more serious posts. I do this because I don’t think we should be so quick to leave our past in the dust and block it out of our minds. I know a lot of people are burdened with things in the past – mistakes/bad decisions, hurtful circumstances, abuse, etc. Certainly with some circumstances you don’t want to relive specific memories of the situation you were in (such as being in an abusive relationship)…..and you certainly shouldn’t. But, I also think, that we shouldn’t forget, or be ashamed to share, what we learned about a certain time in our life, how we grew in our faith, or how our character was strengthened through a trial. Each of us has past experiences that have made us all who we are today…..individuals. At least for me, it has been good to take the time to reflect on the past and think about what I learned, or how I’ve grown spiritually from a situation that God put in my life. This is not to say that we should live in our past and never move on, but to reflect and learn.

Furthermore, being open to sharing with others (in the right time and setting) often has great benefits in that you will most likely find someone who has gone through a similar situation that can relate to you or that you can help. And, who doesn’t want someone that can relate? It’s comforting, reassuring, and is often the beginning grounds for a new friendship. In our kids ministry at church they often talk about being open with our kids in this way. For example, if we catch our child in a lie, we can talk to them about why lying is not a good choice, and then maybe share a time in our own life when we lied, and then share the consequences of what happened because of it. Having this sort of ‘spirit of openness’ with our children is often a good thing because it gives a way that they can see that mommy and daddy have messed up too and that m & d might actually have some good insight about things because they have also lived it. In general, in life relationships I think that having a spirit of openness about your past trials is a good thing. You just never know who might come into your life who needs to hear your thoughts and perspective on something that you’ve gone through.

The book of James in the Bible has a lot to say about trials that I find extremely helpful. Here is an excerpt:

James 1:2-3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Life Application Study Bible notes from above verse:
James doesn’t say if you face trials, but whenever you face them. He assumes that we will have trials and that it is possible to profit from them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook (“consider it pure joy”) because of what trials can produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance.

And, that’s what’s on my mind for this Monday!

1 comment:

Jody said...

Excellent post Janel. I've learned over the years being in ministry the best path to take is transparency. I've always wanted to be open and transparent never pretending that everything is "just fine" in my life. People do relate better to those who are open and honest with what is really going on in their lives. I totally agree with you!!