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Isolation

7 Questions for When You Want to Stand Up for Your Beliefs

 
7QuestionsHi, friends!
 
Ever have to stand up for what you believe, knowing it might cost you something?
 

  • A relationship
  • A job
  • Your freedom
  • Your life

 
Standing up for your convictions can be difficult, especially when you’re codependent.
 
Recently, I wrestled with this very issue. And when I say I wrestled with it, I mean I thought of it during the day and dreamed about it at night.
 
I had no clue I was walking into a situation that was against my beliefs, but when confronted with it, I wanted out.
 
The codependent side of me, however, crawled up my arm, propped itself onto my shoulder, inched up to my ear, and whispered its oh-too-familiar lies.
 

You’ll disappoint everyone.
 
What will they say?
 
They won’t talk to you again, they won’t want anything to do with you, they’ll talk behind your back. They’ll say you’re weak.
 
You think you’re all that—holier than everyone else. You’re nothing. You’re a disappointment—even to yourself.
 

 
The enemy sure knows my insecurities! He can prick any of these issues and usually get a reaction out of me.
 
Not this time.
 
I knew right from wrong, and I wasn’t afraid to say so—tactfully, of course. I didn’t point fingers. I didn’t judge. I simply said I couldn’t participate, and I said why.
 
Did my voice waver? Sure it did. Was I nervous? You bet!
 
But I did it: I stood up for my beliefs.
 
Their response? Cricket. Cricket. But… it didn’t matter—not then, not now.
 
I knew who I wanted to please—and I followed through. (Wish I could always say that!)
 

Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
 

 
For me, it was either please God or please others, not both.
 
 
As I think about what happened, I now see seven questions that could help me make the right choice next time. I hope these seven questions help you too.
 
 

1. How am I feeling?

When something triggers our convictions, our conscience sends up red flags. Our palms sweat, our heart races, and we feel tingling in our armpits (or is that just me?). If we’re showing physical signs of excitement, we’re already not thinking clearly because our emotions are taking over. That’s when we’re more likely to react and make a rash decision (Mark 6:22). Being aware of our emotions when confronted with a compromising situation helps us to step back before making a wrong decision.
 
 

2. How does this issue or situation line up with what I believe?

Although few things in life are black and white, there are absolutes. God’s word is absolute. When we use the Bible to define right and wrong, we’ll know when we face something that goes against our beliefs. Even if the Bible doesn’t address an issue specifically, we can still apply Biblical principles to our decision-making to help us align with God’s definitions of right and wrong. Knowing our boundaries and committing to them ahead of time is essential. Decisions made on the spot tend to miss God’s mark (Matthew 26:69-75).
 
 

3. Am I feeling pressured to compromise?

When we’re surrounded by people who disagree with our beliefs—whether in words or actions, it’s tempting to go along with them. Peer pressure does exist, but it’s usually not as obvious as in childhood. (Thank goodness!) Indirect peer pressure is more common among adults. It’s also more subtle. If we’re not careful, our silence can signal acceptance. Remember, appeasing others displeases God (Mark 15:1-15).
 
 

4. Am I pressuring myself?

Oftentimes, others don’t pressure us; we pressure ourselves. Although we know right from wrong, we reason that if we follow others, we’ll finally belong. But if we stand up, we risk standing alone. Isolation is scary because God made us for relationship—with Him. When we believe that the Lord our God made us to belong to Him, not to anyone else, we know that even if we stand alone, we are never alone. We have Him. He has us. The pressure we place on ourselves to belong to others ignores the fact that we are already His (Psalm 73:23-26).
 
 

5. Who can my decision impact?

When we compromise our beliefs, we’re not the only ones to feel the results. Our families, friends, even fellow believers can suffer because of our hasty decisions (Exodus 34:5-7). Our life will look different after our fateful choice—for better or worse. Our words and actions will either build up others or tear them down. They’ll either spread the hope of God or hinder His work. Our words can give life or death (Proverbs 18:21). Our split-second decisions can confuse or even tempt others to do the same (Romans 14:21; 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:13).
 
 

6. Who will I please?

Before receiving Jesus into our lives, we made decisions based on our own judgment or that of others. When we became Christians, we gave Jesus our allegiance (2 Timothy 2:4). When we do what He says is right, instead of what feels right, we please Him (Romans 8:8). We yield ourselves to His desires, His interests, His definitions of right and wrong. Basically, we do what He wants us to do. Even Christ did not please himself; instead, He did whatever pleased the Father (John 8:28-29; Romans 15:3). We follow His example.
 
 

7. How can I show God’s love?

Choosing to do what’s right, instead of what’s popular, doesn’t mean we have to be obnoxious, judgmental, or rude. We can make our decision and, if necessary, state our reason, all the while showing the gentleness of our example, Jesus Christ. When we make the right choice but express it in the wrong way, we accomplish the opposite of what God wants—for all to see Jesus through us and be drawn to Him now and for all eternity (Proverbs 12:18; 13:3; Colossians 4:6).
 
 
 
I slept soundly that night. Having a clear conscience has a way of doing that. The truth always sets us free (John 8:32).
 
 
 

 
Finally, brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that pleases God. In fact, that is how you are living. In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask and beg you to do it more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
 
 
 

 
 
 
Come alongside… Have you ever had to stand up for your beliefs? How did it go? If you haven’t had to stand up for your beliefs, what do you think would be most difficult for you? How can you prepare in the event that you will have to do so in the future? Tell us about it below in the box that says, “Leave a Reply.”
 
 

Accountability… Who Needs It?

My heart hurts, I have a knot in my throat, and I want to cry.

 

I’ve just learned that a dear friend–one I haven’t talked to in a long time–is now leading a self-destructive lifestyle.

 

My heart hurts for her. I never would have imagined this. I saw a picture of her today and she looked…totally different from what I remember.

 

 

I know she is responsible–as are each of us–for our actions, but I’ve got to wonder… Where where her friends–myself included, her family, her pastor? Did anyone talk to her about the road she was headed? Did anyone even bother to ask her what was wrong? Even more, did she seek out help? Did she feel safe enough to say she was hurting? Did she…?

 

Dear one, I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. But it certainly reminds me of experiences in my life when I was hurting. Divorce. Depression. Trauma. Illness. Did anyone approach me and ask what was wrong? Did anyone say, “I’ve noticed you are having a difficult time. Do you want to talk about it?” Did my pastors counsel and encourage me? Even more, did I seek out help? Did I feel safe enough to say I was hurting? Did I take down my mask of seeming perfection and share my struggles with trusted friends? Did I…?

 

Some of these answers might be, “Yes.” Others might be, “No.” And yet others might be, “Kinda.”

 

Regardless, silence prolongs pain–mine, my friend’s and yours.

 

“When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long” (Psalm 32:3).

 

 

I know it can be awkward to approach someone about their personal struggles, but wouldn’t we want the same?

 

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (Galatians 6:1).

 

 

Dear ones, we are not meant to fight our battles alone.

 

“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble” (Proverbs 17:17).

 

“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

 

 

If you are hurting, reach out to someone–a friend, family member, coworker, pastor, or a counselor.

 

If you see someone hurting, reach out. Please come alongside them. Please love them. A hurting person is just that–a real person, someone’s son or daughter, someone’s husband or wife, someone’s friend–God’s creation.

 

None of us is exempt from suffering. None of us is exempt from temptation. None of us is exempt from falling (1 Corinthians 10:12).

 

Accountability… Who needs it? We all do.

 

Come alongside… Are you hurting? What steps can you take to reach out? Do you know someone who is hurting? How can you reach out to them? Will you forward this post to them? Will you love them?


 

Music to Encourage You to Open Up

 

Adoption is Final

Some of you know that my husband and I are in the process of adopting. We’re in the final stages of our training and are starting to consider and pursue specific children.

 

Throughout the ten weeks of training, I’ve learned many things.

 

  • There are 107,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted.
  • If these children reach adulthood without having been adopted, they will undoubtedly face difficulties coping with life’s demands.
  • Like all children–orphans want love and acceptance from a family–their forever family.
  • Instead, they are bounced from foster home to foster home, many times for no fault of their own.
  • If they are matched with a family, the fear still lingers–they might be “sent back.”

 

Truth is… They can’t be sent back. Adoption is final.

 

Dear one, God wants to adopt you.

 

Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what He wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5-6

 

Isn’t this wonderful news? God decided before the foundations of the earth that He wanted us to be His.

 

  • He chose us!
  • He chose me!
  • He chose you!

 

But there’s one other thing I’ve learned in adoption class: Adoption is a mutual selection. That’s right. My husband and I can choose to adopt a child, but that child must also choose to be adopted by us. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. He’s already chosen us; all we have to do is choose Him.

 

Have you chosen to be adopted by Him, my friend? Have you accepted His blessing of love through Jesus Christ and become His son or His daughter? If you have, then celebrate! Your adoption is final!

 

  • If you have not accepted His love…
  • If you have not acknowledged at some specific moment in your life, “Yes, I choose to be adopted by you, God, through Jesus Christ’s love on the cross” …
  • If you have not made the adoption choice a mutual one…

 

I invite you to do so.

 

Once you’re part of God’s family, you will never be alone. You will never be fatherless. You will never be without His love. You will not be sent back.

 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

Dear one, take this moment to make it mutual. Say a simple, heartfelt prayer to God:

 

God, I’ve been fatherless. I’ve sought love and acceptance in many ways that have grieved you–my Heavenly Father. But no more! Today, I choose to be adopted by you. I choose to be your son–your daughter. I choose to be part of your large family through Jesus Christ. Today, I choose You–my one and only Heavenly Father.

 

Thank you that I am no longer fatherless. Thank you that I am no longer alone. Thank you for blessing me with brothers and sisters to come alongside me every step of the way. Thank you that even after I die, I will live with you forever.

 

Thank you for Jesus!

 

Love, Your new son or daughter.

 

Congratulations! Your adoption is final!

 

I hope you will join your new brothers and sisters in a Bible-believing church. Use Church Angel to find a good church wherever you live.

 

By the way, welcome to the family!

 

Come alongside… Tell us your story of your spiritual adoption. Who needs to hear that they have a Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters waiting to welcome them to His family? Will you share this post with them?

Isolated

I feel most isolated when I’m far from God, when I haven’t prayed regularly, when I can’t remember the last time I’ve read His word. In those times, when I interact with others, I still feel isolated. Separated. Lonely. Cut off from life.

 

 

The Holy Bible says, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!” (2 Peter 1:3)

 

Why is that? Why does getting to know God–and His son Jesus–lead to life? Because Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

 

Everything I need for life is in Him.

 

Connected. United. Whole.

 

Come alongside… When do you feel most isolated?

 

Big Hugs,
Daphne

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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