“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”-Galatians 6:9 KJV
So many factors can have an impact on your life. People and social media can influence you in good and bad ways. Even the videos you watch, music you listen to, and things you read can affect your behavior or outlook on life. Today, though, I want to focus on experiences—events that happen in your life—and how they can influence you as well. Maybe you’ve been told that you didn’t get the job you wanted; consider how it made you feel. What did you do afterwards? Did you let that deter you from continuing to search for another, maybe even similar, position elsewhere or did you decide to give up going for the job you want? Or maybe you’ve broken up with someone because the person cheated on you or treated you poorly. Did that experience teach you something about yourself or make you wary of getting involved in another relationship?
Some things that happen in our lives are beyond our control and occur unexpectedly, but they can have a great impact. Nevertheless, you have a choice in how it will affect you. A friend of mine described how a professor that put her on the spot the one time she was late for her class. When she approached her later about the incident, she did so calmly and respectfully, but she could have easily let anger and hurt drive her to go off instead. In choosing to handle the situation in the right way, she still earned her degree and the same professor that spoke ill of her had to watch her succeed. God will take care of those who come against you as supported by Luke 20:43 “Till I make thine enemies thy footstool,” and the declaration of vengeance belonging to God as mentioned in Deuteronomy 32:35. Every action has a consequence and can affect not only your life but others as well. When others see how you react in a godly manner to trials and tribulations, it piques their interest and can lead them to Christ. Thus, allowing God to get the glory out of your life.
So, you can let a ‘no’ propel you to work harder, a bad relationship teach you what not to accept or deal with in the future, or the spiteful, mean words of someone else alter what you think about yourself. Or you can let the Word—God’s word—be your defining influence. A lot of us wish what we knew now we knew back then so that we could have avoided some mistakes. But that’s just it: every experience, opportunity, situation, it all has its purpose, but you’ve got to choose what you’ll do with it. How will you let it affect you?
The video at the end of this post ties into the scripture I mentioned earlier, Galatians 6:9, and also Romans 12:2, which says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” It’s important to stand on what you believe in—God’s word—and act in a way that pleases Him. We should not allow worldly things or other people to get us off the strait and narrow path.
Even recently, I’ve found myself at a crossroads, going through the pros and cons of one decision over another. Admittedly, I’ve questioned: what’s the point of adhering to certain standards or following certain rules? Does it really matter? Who cares if I do right or wrong? And then it hit me that John 14:15 states “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Doing the right thing, what’s placed on my heart to do, or following the path God has for me isn’t just something I do, it’s because I love God that I do it. Consider this: if you really love someone, you don’t simply say it, but you show it. Love is an action word as many have said, and it’s a bold-faced lie to say that what you do doesn’t matter because one day you will have to give an account for what you’ve done. Don’t let the enemy convince you that doing what you shouldn’t just that one time is okay. No, it may not be easy to do the right thing all the time (like it’ll be a real struggle at times), especially if everyone else isn’t doing it, or it seems like no one is watching or cares, or if it appears to not be such a big thing. You never know what the consequence of your action will be. It’s understandable to be frustrated or get discouraged, but you must not forget that you aren’t alone (Hebrews 13:5), God will provide strength (Isaiah 41:10), and you will be rewarded in due time (Galatians 6:9). I simply want to encourage you not to give up doing what you’re meant to do.
So, this song at the end of the post also reinforces the idea of surrendering our will to God’s and being willing to follow His influence no matter what. Despite the different things that may occur in our lives, we must determine how they will affect us in our present and future and remember that whatever decision we make there will be a consequence. So, I encourage you not to stop doing the right thing or doing good or what you know God wants you to do because eventually you will be rewarded for it. For 2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Our goal is to make choices that ensure that our names will be among those in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I feel like I’m being tugged in two opposite directions.
It’s like I have to choose between good and bad.
And honestly, I’m quite fed up with it—tired of it, ready to throw the towel in.
Sometimes it seems like small victories to do the right thing,
But other times when temptation tries to get me, I think it’d be easier to just give in:
Be like everyone else.
How can I not be tempted when I hear ‘It’s natural, normal.’
But then I can’t escape the guilt that overshadows me when I’ve crossed another line.
I can’t erase the memory tainted with shame when I envision what I’ve done.
I can’t ignore the tears from the disappointment in myself—thinking I’d failed.
It’s like I’m at a crosswords, unsure which way to go.
Should I stand firm on my principles or make the wrong choice just this once?
I’ve kept facing the battle,
But praise God, I can say that I’ve won.
I’ve taken some hits that brought about disappointment and shame.
Nevertheless, He equipped me with a way of escape
Whether that was to verbally say ‘no’ or to simply walk away.
I still stood on my faith, reminding myself of the vows that I made,
The commandments that I’m advised to obey,
The assurance that a holy life is the right and only way.
It doesn’t matter how often my choices put me in isolation.
It doesn’t matter how often my decisions make me seem uncool.
It doesn’t matter how often my commitment to God will not be approved.
Because what matters is following God’s will for my life
So that I won’t end up in a burning hell.
So, Heavenly Father, I thank you for keeping me through the tests.
Thank you for answering prayers and giving me another chance even when I’d messed up.
And it is my prayer that you give us all strength, wisdom, and knowledge to adhere to Your will
And help us to overcome the temptations that the devil tries to entice us with.
I pray that someone is encouraged by this: that he or she never gets weary in well doing…