Saturday, 16 February 2013

Agenda and Attitudes!

I wonder how many of you like to be organised....have a little daily or weekly agenda that you refer to, to keep up with appointments, tasks and meeting with friends. Sometimes certain days of the week may have the same agenda week in, week out....for example, for me, Tuesdays I meet with my beautiful bible study girlies, Wednesdays I serve at and get to enjoy Sparklers, my churches toddler group with many friends and my little Livvy and Thursdays are the morning Livs and I shimmy our stuff at Jo Jingles (a music group for babies and toddlers) and I usually make an effort to do something exciting for my PRE-schooler Sam once picking him up from nursery after lunch.....this could be a visit to a park, a play centre, swimming...whatever takes our fancy.... Those are a couple of  "set" tasks in my week...of course grocery shopping, housework, lots of cooking, marriage time, family fun, homework, school runs and meeting other friends are all important tasks also within the week...but they can differ in day, time and locations!

In this post though, I want to concentrate on a different type of agenda...the type that can cause hurt, confusion, disappointment and suffering. I want us to think about the times when our intentions are to satisfy only ourselves and we are blind to the destruction around us...
Of course, I'm not talking about having a new haircut, taking a much deserved holiday, having a pedicure (by the way, I LOVE having pedicures...these pampered tired feet do enjoy being cared for!) or enjoying an innocent hobby...I'm more on the wavelength here of being aware about other people in all we do....checking our motives when we step out to do things that we claim are to help and benefit others-but really it's because we care more for our reputation...thinking before we speak, so as to be sensitive that our words carry huge power in how they mould us in others hearts...stopping to check that family, neighbours and friends are riding this journey called life comfortably, happily, safely, instead of being more concerned about ourselves and what benefits are next coming our way.
It's a challenging one of course, because let's be real, we all deeply care how our own life is going. And so we should. We have a responsibility to others to ensure we are healthy, happy and secure in who we are...but our motives in all things MUST be good.

My husband and I together lead a great course at our church called Freedom in Christ. We have been the course leaders for six years now, and have a real passion for seeing people connect with God on a new level...to see people overcome past hurts and lies....to love and encourage our course guests through prayer, conversation, cake and scripture! Outside of the weekly set up and team email, there is no agenda...there is no desire from either Robert or myself to see our names glorified, no "it's all about us and what we can do," it's purely two people, along with a fab team of hosts knowing how it feels to be broken, lost and in need of supernatural love and grace, wanting to see others grasp it and experience it for themselves.

In my opinion...good intentions and an honest "agenda" comes down to our attitudes and beliefs.
Jesus maintained a perfect attitude throughout every trial and situation He found Himself in. Why? Because He maintained a prayerful life focused on God, which allowed Him to not worry, but instead concentrate on the people He encountered. Jesus's attitude was never to become proud, defensive, jealous or discouraged purely because He stayed focused on and wanted to please His Heavenly Father, rather than to achieve His own agenda.
The bible tells us in Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing from selfish ambition and conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others!"
What we are simply being taught here, is that when we are self obsessed and our eyes are not open to the needs of others around us...we can (granted) unknowingly cause much hurt to people. Whilst God  wants us to live a fulfilled, happy, secure life, He doesn't want us so preoccupied with ourselves that we forget to show compassion, encouragement, friendship, and practical help to others.

So....as we enter a new week...one that could have a calendar agenda full to the brim...or quite the opposite...with not a lot planned... lets be intentional about ensuring our human agenda, meaning our motives, desires and wants, aren't self obsessed...aren't all about us! Lets be a generation that makes a change in this world full of suffering...makes a change amongst the many hurting people- because guaranteed my friend, they are all around us...sometimes I just have to look in the mirror to see one....lets be encouragers- not criticisers, lets bless others generously-not brag and be greedy, lets be friends to the people who desperately need good, honest, real friends....lets stay focused on our Heavenly Father and allow Jesus to be our example. Think about it.... If Jesus had been self obsessed...where would we be today...? And like Jesus, lets do it all with a quiet, humble, beautiful nature... Wow I'm so grateful for my saviour!

And to finish, a quote, I came across yesterday that I just really liked.
"To encourage is to play a part in helping others reach their potential, with no agenda other than their growth!" ~John Prescott!

Be Blessed :-)

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