Friday, October 30, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Life Lessons

Lessons Learned
A devotional by Temeka Borden

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” –James 1:2-4 (KJV)

Trials are inevitable. We will have to go through some things. We must be tested, and we will continually be tested until we “pass the exam.”

We often forget that God is trying to teach us some things. Perhaps it’s to have more faith. Maybe He is trying to teach us to have more patience. It’s possible He wants to show us how to really love others. Maybe He wants us to forgive more swiftly. We must remember that our trials are our opportunities to learn some important lessons and to grow.

I can’t help but to think of my past trials and reflect on what I learned and how I matured. It wasn’t easy. Many days were challenging, but I didn’t give up and I learned much. I often talk about how I was in one situation in particular—a situation in which I had to “grow up” very quickly. Although, I faced many difficult days, it was a great opportunity to learn and continually build on my leadership skills, my people skills, and my life skills in general. 

In the aforementioned role, I had to learn patience. I had to know when to bridle my tongue, and I had to learn when to speak up. The bridling my tongue part was more difficult than the speaking up part, however, and it took patience. In the aforementioned role, I had to train others, be trained by others, and train myself. That took patience. In that role, I had to learn how to listen to others, even when I knew (or thought I knew) I was right. That took patience.

In the aforementioned role, I had to learn how to better love others. It’s easy to love those who love you, but to love those who don’t love you? That took some maturity and some strength. Although I was shown much respect in this role, there were some instances when I was not. I had to show love to several individuals who not always showed love to me, and for the few who looked down on me, I had to love them too.

In the aforementioned role, I had to learn how to grow in my faith. Some days were tough. I had to work with limited funds and squeeze what felt like $100.00 out of two cents. I had to have faith that regardless of what I faced that day, that every challenge I faced would be overcome. I had to have faith that when I spoke up on what was important and what was right, that God would have my back.

In the aforementioned role, I had to learn how to forgive more swiftly. I often teach on the importance of forgiveness and how it is liberating. It’s a great example of Christ’s love and it is something we are expected to do. But let’s be honest, forgiveness is not always easy to do. Some people will do some very evil things, and the very thought of forgiving those individuals may seem extremely difficult. However, learning how to forgive is an absolute necessity and is a hallmark of a mature Christian.

Don’t despise your trials. I know it gets tough at times. It may seem as though things will never get better, but always remind yourself that the pain you are experiencing is due to your growth. They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. Keep growing. You’re only positioning yourself to be better used by God.

Author Bio:
Temeka Borden, better known by her pen name, Positivity Inspires, is an author, speaker, minister, and servant of the Lord. 

She was introduced to Christ at a very early age and was raised in the church. Her ministry focuses on encouraging Christians to love God first, to love all people, to continually strengthen their bond with Christ, and to study His Word, and live His Word daily.  

After recently experiencing what she describes as the "lowest point in her life," Positivity Inspires wrote the following about herself to serve as an encouragement and reminder of who she is in Christ:

"I am a child of God. He loves me unconditionally. Although I have my shortcomings, He has blessed me with a desire to do what is right. I have been blessed with many natural and spiritual gifts. I am an author. I am a speaker. I am a teacher. I am a runner. I am a drummer. I am a singer (when I’m in the mood), and I have a strong 'fashion sense.' I am loved. My family and friends are my heart, and I know they will support me no matter what. I am educated. I currently have two degrees (one of them a doctorate), and with God’s help, I will complete a third degree soon. I am a multi-state licensed medical professional who completed a specialty residency, which prepared me for the workforce (and made me a FORCE to be reckoned with). I am a leader. I have served in administrative roles and was successful in those positions because I made a difference (with God’s help). I am ambitious, and I know that with God, all things are possible. I know He is going to do great things through me."

Positivity Inspires loves God and she loves people. She strongly encourages others to show kindness, respect, and love to everyone. Positivity Inspires loves and welcomes diversity and flourishes in culturally diverse environments. She also is passionate about giving back to the community, and her favorite mantras are: "Speak Up!" and "Watch God Work!"

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