Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"We all make our choices, but in the end it's our choices that make us."

Thank you everyone that is reading this post and my last two posts as well. I am really enjoying reading the comments and knowing that what I'm saying can help people. Awhile back, before I started doing Blogger, I had a question that really bit at me over and over again: "Why would God want or even love someone like me?"
I, like many young Christians, was taught from a young age that Jesus loves me. However, this was something that I trusted to be true because I was told so by my parents. God's love was something that I know I was told to be true, not something I really had experienced before. When I went to school, for an entire year I felt unloved and unwanted because I had no friends and everyone hated me for reasons I still don't know why. Obviously, I've let go of this since then, but this made me wonder why a God that I couldn't see could love me when my fellow people that I could see just hated me.
I did some research because I don't want to believe what I believe just because someone told me to believe it. I want to believe what I believe because I know it's true.
I read a book that directed me to Jeremiah 1:4-5. It says, "The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.'" I know that a lot of people have probably heard this before a thousand times like I have. I didn't really think about it though. God didn't just know us after we were born, HE KNEW US BEFORE WE EVEN EXISTED!
This verse doesn't just refer to Jeremiah's life, but to ours as well because that same book directed me to another verse: Ephesians 2:10. In this verse, we are told that we have been made "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." This tells us that God didn't just know us before we were born; He planned each of us for a particular purpose. We can choose not to follow that purpose though because God does not make us do anything. He allows us to make our own choices.
No one should look at God as someone that forces you to love Him, but as someone that tries to steer us in the best direction, like a good father does to his son. However, just as it is on earth with your earthly father, the choice of what you do in life is ultimately yours alone and your Heavenly Father cannot make you choices for you. He, like your earthly father, attempts to teach you what is best for you. However, while your earthly father's instructions can be wrong, God, being all-seeing and omniscient, has given us instructions that have no flaws. He could have just left us alone and given us no instructions, but He has given us the Bible, a book with all of His teachings and instructions in it. God cannot make your choices for you, you must choose to read the Bible if you want to try to live your life in the most beneficial way to you and to God. The person you are now will determine the person you will be in the future. I heard a quote from a friend of mine that I will always remember and that I hope you remember too:
"We all make our choices, but in the end it's our choices that make us."
There's a reason that a choice is called a choice: No one always makes the right one.
Remember, God will always love you no matter what choices you make.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Make a Sword

You have probably heard this before, but I will say it again: People die every day. It's a phrase that really gets worn out, and I eventually heard it so many times that I just didn't listen...until one day. I know a boy that had so many bad things going on in his life that he stopped seeing the good in life like the awesome family he had or the fact that he had the coolest best friend in the world. He tried to help so many people and eventually, those people either turned their back on him afterwards or he found out that their problem was fake. This boy couldn't believe the heartlessness of people and eventually, he learned to trust no one. After that and one too many heartbreaks, he decided that he was a mistake and that no one really wanted or needed him, and he tried to end his life. This boy was unsuccessful because he did not know how to tie a noose. Eventually, he gave up. Frustrated, confused and disappointed at himself, he decided to call his best friend and tell him about what he had done. His best friend made a point that this boy will remember forever. He told this boy how to make a sword.

When you make a sword, you take your shovel and dig deep down into the earth in places that people would forget about. One digs until he finds a dull, almost pointless rock. However, he doesn't see that rock that way. He sees it as a rock with potential. He puts it inside a furnace to burn away all the impurities and until it almost can't get any hotter. It turns into silver. This silver is still just a giant clump though, so it needs to be shaped. He shapes that clump into the shape of what a sword blade and then he lets it cool. Then, he beats it and beats it and beats it as it's cooling. Then, before it gets too cool, he burns it some more and then beats it and beats it and beats it again. He does this over and over again until it's an almost perfect shape. After that, he grinds this shape to make it sharp and able to stand up against anything that stands in it's way. Once finished, he has a beautiful, elegant sword that can defend against the evils that it faces.

You can probably draw the comparison to life yourself, but for those that had a hard time following, I will show you how this compares to life.

You are that rock. The man that finds you is God.
Just as the rock is found by the man in a place that is completely forgotton by everyone else, God sees you and your pain that everyone else just doesn't care about or understand. When you and everyone else doesn't see the potential that you have, God sees it because God doesn't make wastes of time.
This rock is literally beaten to death, burned mercilessly, and grinded against a grindstone over and over again, just like you can be beaten mercilessly on the inside or even the outside. This man did this to the rock seeing it's potential just as God allows this to be done to you seeing yours.
As this rock gets beat, burned and grinded, it becomes stronger and stronger until it becomes something that can't be brought down. Just like that, you are beaten and tested, but you become stronger and stronger as well, until you become the perfect weapon that can drive the evil in this world away.
I am a firm believer that good will eventually overcome evil, as I am a believer that suffering makes you stronger. Don't let the pressures and the flames take you down, but see them as a way of making you stronger. You are never alone, and I'm willing to talk to anyone going through a period of time where they feel like they can't go on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Way to Look at Your Trials

     It's amazing some of the things that we take for granted. One of them is the God that made us all. Thinking logically, when you grow close to someone you know in person, that person eventually becomes more and more common to you and you naturally begin to take them for granted. One's relationship with God is no different. I am a Christian and have been one my whole life. I went to church when I was younger mostly to see my friends there and to have some fun. I really didn't think much of the role that God played in my life except that he gave His only Son to die for me and that He had absolute authority. I always had one question that I still struggle with: Why does God allow suffering to innocent people?
None of us are innocent, and God testing us isn't necessarily a punishment. However, we can choose to let our trials make us weaker if we want to. We can just say to ourselves, "Oh no poor me wah wah wah I'm such a victim!" or we can let God make us stronger through the trials that He gives us by taking what He has given to us and using it to help other people that have been through or even are going through the trials that we've been through.

For example, a boy goes a whole year without making any friends, does some stupid things and feels unloved. This boy has a choice.
  • He can say "I'm done." and end it.
  • He can even push through but at the same time make sure that everyone knows that he's a victim.
  • Or he can push forward, persevere through his trial, and use this experience to help people. In his instance, he can stand up for people being bullied, people that feel unloved, and people that did the stupid things just like he did.

These aren't necessarily even just Christian principles. It's simply using the evil given to you and using it to make the world a better place. I know that this world isn't all butterflies and roses and that a lot of the things that we face are very difficult. I also know that it's easier said than done, but I hope that you persevere through your trials and that this blog inspires you to look at your trials in a more positive way. I hope that you think of this every time you face something hard, even if you don't know Christ like I do.

About Me

My name is Tom. I am not perfect and have made my share of mistakes just like everyone else in this world. I have been a Christian my whole life and am the oldest of 8. The reason that I chose the title that I did is because I know it takes strength to face the world and keep your head held high. This strength usually goes unnoticed by the people you talk to or pass by. I made this blog so that people like me can understand that they're not alone and that other people struggle just like you do.