May 9, 2010

those who weight upon the LORD

"GOD does not ask us to be successful. HE asks us to be faithful."

you may have seen the title of this one and thought, "charissa, you may think you can explain it all, but you can't spell." but if you know me well you know that i love puns, and i'm feeling that now is the time to be punny.

i graduated college yesterday and feel a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement. i have been blessed in so many ways and have had so many amazing opportunities in the last 4 years. i made hundreds of friendships, backpacked through europe, participated in unique groups and experiences, and left college with great honors that i just feel so privileged to even receive. looking back on it, i see that by the world's standards i should not be where i am right now. in a society that thrives on survival of the fittest and self-preservation, it sometimes feels that the only way to succeed in this life is by doing whatever it takes to get ahead. in a world that revolves around careers, salaries, and promotions, one might feel the only way to succeed is to be the best and to do whatever it is that makes you happiest, even at the expense of others.

i live a simple, honest life. i try to put other people before myself. i honestly don't care how successful i am as long as i am putting the LORD first in my life and my decisions. i have learned to put my weight on the LORD while waiting on the LORD. to let HIM guide my life, my decisions, my future. i have made some very hard decisions where i chose to put what i thought GOD would want above my happiness, and through all that, GOD has given me a feeling of success that i never expected...by being faithful. and that's just it: as long as we are striving to put the LORD first in everything we do whether it be our jobs or relationships or whatever, that is success. and if we are successfully faithful, i have seen that GOD gives us success in our lives even in worldly eyes. HE gives and takes away, and life isn't perfect. but HE works for the good of those who love HIM.

satan, however, is such a great liar. he makes us believe that we have to wait to start living and changing lives. he tells us lies like we can't be effective unless we have had a certain amount of education or experience. we can't be happy unless we have found our soul mate. we can't make a difference or do something great because we are young. we can no longer make a difference or do something great because we are old. satan makes us strive for the world's success instead of faithfulness when we just need to realize that living a faithful life and helping others live faithfully is the greatest success we could ever achieve.

my life has been short so far, but in that brief amount of time, i have learned 3 things that have brought me joy and allowed me to remain faithful:

work with all your heart. when you give your best to everything you do, touch, see, it can't help but be good. if you put your heart into your relationship, that other person can't help but feel the love. if you put your soul into your job and love what you do, other people naturally love the job you do. if you work for the LORD and not for men, you work on a heavenly standard that is nothing less than excellent.

live in the moment. there are two traps that satan sets for us: either dwelling too long in the past, whether it be reliving those glorious college days or focusing on mistakes and regrets, or living for the future and postponing living because we are waiting to be born. we must live just for today and not worry what tomorrow may bring. we must enjoy whatever stage of life we are in and just determine that each next stage that we enter is going to be even better than the last.

live for others. it is amazing how giving is so much more rewarding that getting...one of the amazing little signs of the existence of GOD. putting others first is difficult. i am always disgusted when i realize moments of selfishness in myself to which i am totally oblivious. but in my moments of selflessness i find true happiness and feelings of success. whether it is treating someone to sonic, making someone laugh, sending a letter in the mail, it's the little things for other people that make me feel like a success.

so whatever stage of life you're in, don't listen to the lies satan tells. and especially don't listen when he tries to taint your view of success. be faithful, and let GOD take care of the rest. HE knows the plans HE has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future.

"i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. i can do everything through HIM who gives me strength." philippians 4:12-13

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