How Patience is a Sign of Maturity?

Did you pray for patience, then went through difficulties? Or, do frustrating things happen all the time, but now you realize you need more patience?  So, why is patience so hard and why do difficulties increase patience? You can determine your level of patience by making a note of how you react to other drivers on the road.  I was over-reactive and impatient with everyone, including myself. And driving was very stressful for me.  This post explains why you can’t be patient, why you should be patient, and how you can be patient.

I learned that mature people are patient because they are not self-centered.  They know that getting upset when something doesn’t go as planned does not change anything, except create stress.  And mature people understand life is not fair so they accept it and choose to live in peace.

When we can’t be patient.

  1. You can’t be patient when you believe something is unfair, especially when suffering an unjust wrong. Can you remember a time when you protested that something was unfair? When you felt this, you developed an offense to the unfair treatment or event. It could be a discipline you felt was unfair, the death of someone close to you, not getting what you asked for, etc.  That offense created a painful memory you may have forgotten about.  The painful memory still exists and has created unhealthy beliefs that cause you to over-react or become frustrated and irritated when an event happens that triggers unhealthy beliefs.  To heal those painful memories, read my short book on my website: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories
  2. You can’t be patient when you are not at peace with yourself or others because you are offended.  Read: Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory
  3. You can’t be patient if you are self-centered? Pride thwarts patience because pride wants to be in control of what happens.  Prideful people do not think they have to wait, be inconvenienced, or endure hardships.  Read my posts on pride to learn more: The Core Negative Heart Issue and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Why be Patient?

  1. Be patient to reduce stress in your life and stress in those around you. Have you been around an impatient person?  Did you feel stress?  For example, waiting in a long line or waiting in a traffic jam can test your patience.  If you get upset and frustrated, will that help the line move faster?  No, it only increases your blood pressure and the blood pressure of those waiting in the same line. Stress causes health problems in you and the surrounding people.
  2. Be patient and hopeful and do not worry because you know God will act on your behalf and do miracles. When you get impatient because something is not happening fast enough, you become anxious, which causes physiological stress that then affects your health.
  3. Be patient and eliminate strife. When you are not patient, you will say and do unkind things.  Read: Relationship and World Changing Kindness
  4. Be patient because love is patient (see 1Corinthians 13:4). When you are patient with other people, it shows you love them. God tells us to love others as Jesus loves them and as we would want them to love us.  Ephesians 4:2 states, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”  Notice, being patient means we bear with others.  When you bear with others, you are self-controlled when subjected to annoyance or provocation, which requires humility and gentleness.  Read my posts on self-control to learn more: Self-control and Maturity and How to be Self-controlled in What We Say
  5. Patience is the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, patience is a sign of a mature Christian who yields to the work of the Holy Spirit through the trials and hardships of life.  Thankfulness is evidence of patience.  Read: Being Thankful During Hardships
  6. Be patient because Jesus is patient. 1Timothy 1:16 states, “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” So, we too are called to be patient (see Romans 12:12; 1Theselonians 5:14; James 5:7; and James 5:8 states, “You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

How to be Patient.

  1. Webster defines being patient as the bearing (enduring) of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation. Are you patient according to this definition? If not, go through the Patience Issues Worksheet and the chapter called “Finding Painful Memories” to heal the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs, so you can be mature and patient.
  2. Acknowledge you are prideful and ask God to take it from you and then give you His humility and gentleness towards other people’s issues.  Work through MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues
  3. Do you have a hard time waiting? Hope helps you wait with patience. Romans 8:25 states, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.Romans 12:12 states, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, and be constant in prayer.”  Doing this will help you wait with patience.
  4. Ask God to show you the painful memories of offenses of when people were not patient with you or you were not patient. Then go through the healing described in “5 Steps to Heal the Soul.” Painful memories and unhealthy beliefs prevent the fruit of patience from manifesting in your life. As I have healed the painful memories of unfair treatments and disappointments, I have been much more patient and calmer than ever before. Since my painful memories were healed, I have stopped over-reacting and being controlled by my emotions.
  5. Put on patience and love. Colossians 3:12&13 states, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Slowly, read this verse again.  You are chosen.  You are holy.  You are beloved.  Another sign of patience is forgiving someone when you feel offended.  If this is hard for you to do read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
  6. You develop patience by going through hardships, to become strong and complete. James 1:3-5 states, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (patience, endurance). 4) And let steadfastness (patience) have its full effect (perfect work), that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 

Conclusion

You don’t want to pray for patience, but developing patience is necessary to be mature and complete.  To become patient, you practice being patient during difficult and trying circumstances.  Just like you have to practice an instrument or a sport to be good at it. Practicing is hard work and often not pleasant.

You also need to put off pride and painful memories so the fruit of the spirit of patience can grow in your life.  Just like getting the rocks and weeds out of your garden allows your flowers and vegetables to grow.  Last, you are to be patient because Jesus is patient with you.  Having peace, being forgiving, and being kind is the evidence of being patient.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment.

RELATED POSTS:

7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to trust again.

Have you been betrayed by someone you thought you could trust?  Have you experienced being forsaken by someone you love?  I have. God is the only one who will always be faithful and loyal to you, then your dog and maybe UPS delivery would be next.

I am offended by those who disregarded me, so how can I trust again?  You are disregarded when you are ignored, neglected, and not treated with respect. I will share later how to take those thoughts captive, so you are no longer controlled by the offenses. Each offense is like a brick in a wall. You build the wall with one offense after another to protect your heart from being hurt and disappointed again.  The wall also keeps you from experiencing the benefits of trusting and loving other people.  When you don’t trust you will live in fear that something bad will happen to you.  Fear erodes your relationships.  So, in this post, I will explain how to tear down your wall, one offense at a time so you can live in freedom and have peace and joy.  See my last post for an explanation of how to have peace and joy all the time in your life.  How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

For example, I trusted my father to love and cherish me, but he abused me then forsook me at 15 when he left and never contacted me again.  I trusted my mother to nurture and affirm me, but she was angry and dismissive.  I trusted my sisters to have my back and support me, but they were angry, violent, and self-centered.  I trusted my friends at school to be loyal and encouraging, but they humiliated me.  I trusted teachers and church leaders to protect me, but they looked the other way.  I trusted my first husband to love and protect me, but he abused me instead. Everyone has a story of betrayal and why they can’t trust.  Maybe a spouse had an affair.  A co-worker lied and gossiped about you.  A boss or supervisor harassed you and did not like you.  The painful memories of being forsaken control how you respond to those around you today.  Because of the antitrust wall around my heart, I could not give warmth and love to my family and friends.

Every human will fail you at one point or another because we all are sinners who fall short. You will fail someone who trusted you. Maybe you can’t be trusted because of the things you have done to hurt those around you.  You may not have been faithful to protect the ones you were supposed to love. God wants to make you whole and trustworthy again.  I will explain how to have hope for the restoration of your relationships. But first, you must STOP discounting yourself by reducing your value and thinking you don’t deserve better. You are valuable to God, and He wants to restore you and prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:17-18).

Do you have unrealistic expectations of the people in your life?  Maybe you have unstated expectations, and you think they should know, so you wonder why they let you down.  You may have specified your expectations, but the other person has not agreed to do what you expect.  Unmet expectations lead to frustration, anger, and feeling disregarded, which then create painful memories. You then believe the person cannot be trusted, so you close your heart to them and everyone else. Is this something you can relate to?  Read my short book to learn how to heal these painful memories: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Trust issues affect every living soul, and the painful memories need to be healed for the fruit of trust and faithfulness to grow in your life through the Holy Spirit.  Only God can heal your heart and memories, so first, ask God to remove your pride and any deceptive spirits from you.  I ask God to remove my pride because it always justifies why I shouldn’t trust and why I should be offended.  Then, I ask God to remove deceptive spirits because they will convince you that you don’t have a problem and it is no big deal. Next, ask God to show you if you have the following unhealthy beliefs or something similar:

  • I cannot trust; no one can be trusted
  • I am awful; I have done awful things and thought awful thoughts. I can’t trust in anything except the coming punishment that I deserve.
  • I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.
  • I can’t trust anyone after what I have experienced, after what I have done, and after what I have seen.
  • If I trust that things will work out and get better, then the coming pain is just that much more upsetting.
  • I trust what I have in my own hands, in my bank account, what I own, and what I control.
  • It is better to realize that everyone is out for himself, including me.
  • I am trustworthy. The only time I do bad things is when it’s justified.

Write down the unhealthy beliefs you have relating to your trust issues.  They may be some of the ones above or they may be different.  Next, ask God to show you the painful memory or memories that created the unhealthy belief.  Identify the vows you have made.  For example, I vowed to never trust a man because they are self-centered.  But, guess what, I was self-centered too. Go through the following prayer model to remove the offenses and the related unhealthy beliefs/vows.

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the contributors for each issue (problem, concern) such as the painful memory or memories of painful experiences or sin.
    • Painful experiences could be from a trauma, a word curse, unmet expectations, betrayal, poor choices, or rejection.
    • You may get an answer right away or you may have to wait a few days.
    • Be conscious of the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within your soul.
    • All painful memories have a negative stress-energy that needs to be removed from your mind and cells of your body.
    • Sin has negative spirit attachments that need to be removed by putting them off in Jesus’ name (see John 14:13 and 16:24).
    • Sin is anything you do that is not loving and valuing others or loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
  1. Forgive those who sinned against you including yourself if necessary (see Matthew 6:14:15, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32).  WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
    • The first step in trusting others is forgiving those who broke your trust because we are all sinners in need of a savior and forgiveness.
    • When you forgive, it breaks the power the offense has on your mind.
    • Do not dwell on the painful memories but be quick to forgive, though you may need to grieve a loss, which is healing.
    • Forgiveness releases you from the emotional control of the painful memories contributing to the issue needing healing.
    • If you have a hard time forgiving, ask God to give you His grace to forgive others for their sins against you as He has forgiven your sins (see Matthew 6:12-15).

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I forgive (name of the person or persons) for causing the pain of __________.”

  1. Replace unhealthy beliefs with truth.
    • Write down the lies or unhealthy beliefs the Holy Spirit reveals that are associated with the heart issue needing transforming by the truth.
    • Next, write the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs.
    • For example, you may believe, “I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.” Replace this lie with this truth, “I can trust those who are trustworthy but understand they could let me down.  I know I can trust God and He will help me to forgive and be patient with those who let me down including myself.”
    • To understand how to use your authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I loose the unhealthy belief of __________, and bind in the truth that ________, in Jesus’ name.”

  1. Repent of sins.
    • List the sins you committed because of your wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs and decisions related to the issue needing healing.
    • Confess them to God and ask His forgiveness and to take all your guilt and resentment away (see 1 John 1:9) in Jesus’ name.
  1. Last, write out a thank you to God for something He did to protect, provide for, or comfort you. For painful memories to heal, they need to be replaced by a positive memory.

There is hope for complete healing of trust as you tear down the wall around your heart by taking each brick of offense out of the wall.  Choose to love others well knowing they are hurting people with walls and may choose to reject you.  Jesus was rejected and still is.

RELATED POSTS:

Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People

Being Thankful During Hardships

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

The Core Negative Heart Issue

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  I wonder if I am seeking first the kingdom of God and what does that look like?   I found a variety of interpretations during my research that were interesting but not enlightening.  I would like to know what your thoughts are.

Context of This Verse

I began by looking at the context of this verse.  The context, history, and who the audience is helps us understand the meaning.  After Jesus is water baptized by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness to fast 40 days.  While in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him to sin, which He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  After the 40 days, He begins His ministry.  Matthew 4:23 and 24, describe His audience, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.  24) So, his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.  Seeing the big crowds following Him, he went up on a mountainside and preached His first sermon.  The picture with this post is of the mountains around the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus was ministering.

The Apostle Matthew records Jesus’s first sermon in Chapters 5-7.  Jesus begins with how they can be blessed (made happy).  He explains how they are the salt and light of the earth as they do good works (Matt. 5:16), and He taught how He came to fulfill the Law (see Romans 8:3-4). Other topics He preached in chapter five were anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and loving your enemies.  Chapter six continues with giving to the needy, how to pray, fasting, investing in heaven, not being anxious.  Chapter seven begins with judging others, asking to receive, the golden rule, the fruit of false prophets, who will enter heaven, and obeying His words.  Matthew 6:33 is in Jesus’s explanation to not being anxious (see Matthew 6:25-34).  I wonder if this is the message He received from His Father while He was in the wilderness.

In Matthew 6:25 Jesus identifies the problem, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  Then, Jesus explains the solution in verses 32-34, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” 33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34) “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” The Apostle Paul told the Philippians: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (requests) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7. Based on these verses, it is safe to say that being anxious is a natural reaction of our flesh when we don’t trust God.  Not trusting God is a sin because being anxious is not faith in God’s ability to help us.

Interpretation Based on Context

The key belief is our heavenly Father knows what we need, and He will give us what we need (see Philippians 4:19).  So, instead of being anxious about how to get our needs met, we are to seek Him and His righteousness.  Seek means to look for or inquire.  And the Greek translation for the kingdom is rule or reign.  So, if we seek (look for) the reign of God in our lives and seek to do what He says is right, then He promises to give us what we need.  James 4:7 says to “submit to God”  that is, be under God’s authority and yield by surrendering to the action, control, and power of God.  Romans10:3 states, “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Romans 14:17 explains, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Only as you renew your mind and submit to God, will you experience righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Your sinful flesh prevents you from entering the kingdom of God (see Galatians 5:19-21 and 1Corinthians 6:9-10).  So, you need to put off your sinful thoughts and put on His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. through the Holy Spirit.  Read my post on Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

During several tough times in my life, I submitted to God and His righteousness, and I can testify, that God does provide for what we need.  One difficult time was enduring a nasty divorce and custody battle for two toddlers, and I had no job or a place to live.  God provided miraculously when I humbled myself and sought His help through prayer, praise, and pondering the scriptures. I do have to confess that I was going to walk away from my faith in God.  I was so angry at Him for not answering my prayers to heal my abusive marriage because I did not believe in divorce, that I told God I was going to not follow Him anymore.  He has only spoken to me a handful of times and this was one of those times.  He said, “What is the alternative?”  I thought about it, and I knew the devil would destroy me, and I probably would have committed suicide because I was so depressed.   Read my amazing testimony in Trust God to Keep His Promises.

To not be anxious, you must first submit all your concerns to God as you seek Him through prayer, praise, and pondering His promises.  Because I grew up in a dysfunctional home and married an abusive first-husband, I developed an anxiety disorder.  I share how God set me free in the blog post called  Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE.

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 

6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 

8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

The Bible uses the term “born again” two other places.  1Peter1:3-5 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven (the kingdom of God) for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  By believing that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God (see Romans 8:11), then His Spirit dwells in us, and we are born again by His Spirit.

      1Peter 1:22-25 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news (gospel) that was preached to you.”  God’s Word is living and abiding, which means when you internalize His truths, it creates life in your soul and will abide with you and help you to purify your soul as you obey its truth.

Painful memories and our sinful desires corrupt our hearts.  My short book on my website called, “Hope for Complete Healing,” was written to help you put off wrong thinking and sinful desires and put on right thinking and righteousness, so you can love with a pure heart.  Begin reading: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Part of seeking the kingdom of God is to seek for God to keep His promises.  In Ephesians 1:3, we learn that we are “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”  Heavenly places are where God’s kingdom is.  And, when we are saved through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:6 states that God, “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  So, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is for our advantage and a matter of priority and position.

There is hope when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that God will provide what we need because He promised.

RELATED POSTS

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91 Posts

 

Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?

So, what is well-being and how do you improve it?  Dictionary.com explains it as a state (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity.  I told you in my last post, I was going to write about abusive relationships.  This is a very hard topic to write, and though I have the experience, it is still very emotional and hard.  Abuse destroys a person’s well-being.  The opposite of abuse is love and not just love for the sake of love but felt love.  I care about your well-being and the well-being of your family, which is why I have written a lot of posts on how to have a healthy relationship, see POSTS Related to Relationships.  Also, read what healthy love is in Love From a Pure Heart.

So, what is felt love and how does it affect our well-being?  I came across a research article about this topic, and I share it below.


Feeling loved in everyday life linked with improved well-being

Research suggests that those small, but important daily gestures of love and support may be connected with improved well-being.   By Matt Swayne

November 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Poets and songwriters may tend to focus their artistry on passion and romance, but it may be those unsung, brief feelings of love throughout the day that are connected with psychological well-being, according to a team of researchers led by two Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) researchers. They added that the findings could one day lead to interventions aimed at boosting well-being.

In two studies, the researchers found that people who experienced higher “felt love” — brief experiences of love and connection in everyday life — also had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, which includes feelings of purpose and optimism, compared to those who had lower felt love scores. They also found that people with higher felt love tended to have higher extroversion personality scores, while people with lower felt love scores were more likely to show signs of neuroticism.

“We took a very broad approach when we looked at love,” said Zita Oravecz, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS faculty co-hire. “Everyday felt love is conceptually much broader than romantic love. It’s those micro-moments in your life when you experience resonance with someone. For example, if you’re talking to a neighbor and they express concern for your well-being, then you might resonate with that and experience it as a feeling of love, and that might improve your well-being.”

According to the researchers, the baseline of the subjects’ felt love experiences, in general, rose throughout the study, suggesting that the nudges to recognize examples of love and connection during the study may also have gradually increased the subjects’ overall sense of being loved.  Stronger experiences of felt love, in turn, are associated with improvements in psychological well-being.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in the literature on mindfulness, when people are reminded to focus attention on positive things, their overall awareness of those positive things begins to rise,” said Oravecz. “Similarly, just by paying attention to those everyday moments of felt love, we may also increase our awareness of the overall positive aspects of love in our daily lives. This effect replicates in both studies, implying that raising awareness of felt love in day-to-day life may itself be an intervention that raises levels of felt love over a longer period of time.”

The researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of Personality and Individual Differences, added that because the studies have only shown a correlation between felt love and well-being, more research would be needed to establish a causal relationship. If a firmer connection is established, the researchers said possible interventions could be designed, such as sending regular reminders to a person’s smartphone to draw attention to the felt love that they may be experiencing in that moment to raise psychological well-being. Similar interventions have been designed for mindfulness and gratitude.

The team relied on smartphone technology to gather data from participants throughout their everyday lives. In the first study, they recruited 52 people of various ages. The second study consisted of 160 undergraduate students. Participants received six random prompts throughout the day over a four-week period to assess felt love and well-being, according to Timothy Brick, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS co-hire. He added that sending these messages randomly throughout the day was critical to manage the possible effects of expectation bias.

“It’s important from a research point-of-view,” said Brick. “If the participants expect a call or a text at a certain time of day, they are no longer reacting to what’s going on in their daily life but are expecting the prompt and reacting to that expectation.”

Gathering data multiple times throughout the day from more than 200 subjects over a month can produce a lot of data, said Brick. Also, these everyday experiences of love tend to fluctuate during the study, which can result in what the researchers termed “noisy” data.

“It’s often very difficult to measure psychological quantities because we don’t always have a great idea about what’s going on in our own heads,” said Brick.

Oravecz added, “But with the right statistical methods, we can start to get at questions about difficult constructs like love or compassion, and hopefully build interventions to promote them.”

To analyze this large amount of noisy data, the researchers used nuanced statistical tools. According to Oravecz, the researchers specifically used a Bayesian latent stochastic differential equations model to cut through the noise in the data and identify processes happening underneath. This method is especially suited to help scientists investigate intricate social systems, which often involve relationships that generate complex, highly variable data, she said.

According to the researchers, this statistical method may be used more as social scientists begin to gather large amounts of real-world data from sensors on wearable devices. The researchers used computational resources of ICDS’s advanced computer infrastructure for their analysis.

The team also included Jessica Dirsmith, clinical assistant professor of education, Duquesne University; Saeideh Heshmati, assistant professor of psychology, Claremont Graduate University; and Joachim Vandekerckhove, associate professor of cognitive sciences, University of California Irvine.

This research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

 

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

We are told to be self-controlled and disciplined. But why can’t we? What blocks us from being self-controlled and disciplined? As I pondered this question and reflected on my own self-control issues, God showed me it is because of my pride and resentment.

In the last post, I wrote of our need to give up childish thinking, which includes childhood resentments. So, how do we know if our thinking is childish? Children are emotionally reactive when they don’t get what they want. In fact, we are born with a prideful, self-centered, sin nature, that causes us to focus on our own wants and needs. To have a base understand for this post please read my last post Self-control and Maturity

What does healthy emotional self-control look like?

People who have emotional self-control do not over-react, but are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (see James 1:19). In the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, he describes what it means to be a principle-centered person and not reactive. Instead of being reactive self-controlled people are proactive. Principle-centered people stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on them, and they evaluate the options.

Besides the Bible, this book was the next best book to helped me transform my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.  Covey’s book describes how a healthy person should think and act. I wrote thought transforming truth statements for each chapter of Covey’s book and put them on my website called, Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is resentment and how do we develop it?

The dictionary defines resent as feeling or showing displeasure and indignation at (some act, remark, insult, etc.) or toward a person, from a sense of being injured or offended. A person who has resentment will show anger and ill will for any real or perceived wrong or injury, which they believe is unfair. If you remain resentful, you will become bitter, which will keep you self-focused and prevent you from maturing. The dictionary defines bitter as causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain, and bitterness is feeling or showing hate or resentment. When people are prevented from getting what they want, they will show anger and resentment in how they respond. Resentment will control your reactions when triggered, as I explain later in this post.

Watch how you react to disappointment.

When we become depressed and pouty, or angry and unkind, it is because we have become offended by a disappointment. Disappointment creates an offense when there is a real or perceived sense of unfairness, and you feel wounded. Dealing with disappointment in a healthy way will prevent becoming offended and resentful. So, if you currently become offended by disappointment when someone or something does not do what you want, it shows self-centered immaturity. To learn more, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

I recommend the following actions to handle disappointment in a healthy way. First, capture (acknowledge) offended thoughts.  Offended thoughts are evident when you do not feel peace and joy. Once you acknowledge you are offended, then ask what disappointed me? Next, forgive the person who has disappointed you or accept the situation you are disappointed by.

For example, if you did not get a raise, or was demoted. You may feel disappointed or you may feel it was unfair and become offended and resentful. If you were honest, you will first feel depressed, angry, and resentful, which is very destructive. Remove yourself from the emotional response and seek to understand and learn why, then either develop a plan to do better, or accept it and move on to another job you can excel at.

A personal example. I was disappointed when my husband could not help me with a garden project that I wanted to get done that day. It so happened, my husband had lost his driver’s license, so he was focused on finding his license, then getting it replaced. Instead of understanding his situation, I became offended and let wrong thoughts control my emotions and spoke hurtful things in revenge for disappointing me. I know I am not the only one with this problem, and therefore, I am writing about self-control right now.

I began to capture my wrong thinking and loose them from my mind, next, I asked God’s forgiveness, and then replaced my wrong thoughts with truthful thoughts of thankfulness, see my post A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER. But I did not gain full self-controlled until I accepted my disappointment and loosed the false beliefs concerning my husband that controlled my destructive behavior. I have a great husband and I should be thankful. I repented and asked my husband for forgiveness. My husband put Proverbs 25:18 on the bathroom mirror, and I have been pondering that verse ever since. To understand how false beliefs control our emotions, read UNHEALTHY BELIEFS: What are they and where do they come from?

God showed me how my wrong thoughts were created by painful memories of resentment. When I was a teen, my mother made my sisters and me do all the chores, including laundry, cooking, and hand-washing dishes for five people. I developed resentment because I perceived my sisters did not do their part, and I felt this was unfair and became resentful. My mother had just divorced my father, and went off to college, so she was focused on getting her education and did not help either. I never saw my father again, which created a host of issues.  So, I did not have parental guidance to learn how to handle disappointments and the resulting resentment.

I went through the five steps to heal my heart and purify my soul to heal these resentments.  See; Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul. God also showed me I had current resentment toward my husband for not meeting other expectations when I needed help. I took those resentful thoughts captive and loosed them and then asked God to forgive me and asked my husband to forgive me.

Put away resentments so you can mature.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:31,32  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32)  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” To put something away is to no longer be emotionally invested in the negative or painful memory. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice involves asking God to reveal painful childhood memories that caused you to become resentful of a real or perceived wrong done to you. Many adults have subconscious bitterness that keep them stuck in self-focused childish thinking. To find these subconscious memories, begin reading my book here 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories to understanding the why and how for healing past issues to mature and love well.

After you put away any wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice from your heart, then bind in kindness and forgiveness to your heart.  See my post called; Relationship and World Changing Kindness and WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

There is hope for maturity and self-control as we put off resentfulness from disappointments we perceived as unfair. When we put off resentfulness and accept disappointment then we can be self-controlled.

Related Posts:

SELF-CONTROL Issues

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Patience — Freedom from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

What ever happened to kindness?  Most of my hurts and painful memories come from unkindness, beginning with my childhood to the present.  I would venture to guess that everyone has painful memories from unkind people.  These painful memories affect our thinking and beliefs, and they prevent us from being kind. We know being patient is hard, but have you considered your struggle to be kind?

For instance, I was not being kind to my husband, though he was being patient with me. Later, he said, if I treated my friends like I treat him, I would have no friends. OUCH! The next day, my husband asked if I was mad at him. I said, “I don’t think so.” So, I went to God and asked Him to show me why I was disrespecting my husband. The next day, as I was memorizing Ephesians 2:1-7, I read verse seven,so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” God quickened my mind when I read “grace in kindness.” And He revealed I was angry at my husband for what I perceived as his unkindness towards me. I had repressed my offense and was being unkind in return.

I began to think deeply about grace and kindness. What does kindness look like in action? God brought me back to the phrase, “grace in kindness.” Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and is demonstrated by God’s kindness towards us. Grace involves forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7,8 states, “In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” I asked God to give me insight whether I was holding a grudge?  I know when we hold onto an offense, we can’t show grace to the person who offended us. Do you agree?

If God is willing to forgive our sins, then we can forgive the sins of others (see Matthew 6:12). Please note, God’s grace is immeasurable which He lavishes on us richly. This is hard to comprehend.  How much better the world will be if we each lavished grace and forgiveness on those who don’t deserve it? If we can comprehend the immeasurable grace God has for us, how grateful we will be. Trying to wrap my mind around this kind of grace has made me realize how ungrateful I am.

For example, in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells a parable of a man who was beaten and robbed, then left naked on the road. Three men came upon the naked man, the two religious leaders walk by and the third man, a Samaritan, who is despised by the Jews, showed mercy and compassion and help the man. Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (Luke 10:36).  The good Samaritan was not selfish with his time and money.  He went out of his way to take the man to an Inn, and then paid for the man’s stay and care.  It is hard to be kind and show mercy to those who are not kind to us, but that is the love God wants us to show to the world.  Remember, love is patient and kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4a).

1 John 3:17-18 also says,  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  Love focuses on the needs of others.  But if our thoughts are only about meeting our own needs and expectations, then we will not be patient or kind, and we will not love others well. To love well and show kindness we must transform our self-centered thoughts and beliefs to reflect God’s immeasurable grace.

Yes, I was not kind to my husband because I became offended when my demands were not met. My thoughts of being offended created a false belief my husband did not love me, and I can’t depend on him. My false beliefs caused me to feel disrespected and disrespectful. My unkindness to my husband was the result of my wrong thoughts and false beliefs. To learn more read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.

The wrong thinking that my husband should serve me was transformed by a blog I read by healingmission, The Christian Healing Mission Daily Blog.  The author encouraged her readers to serve as Jesus served.  This truth is found in Matthew 20:28, which states, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  I was convicted of my sinful desire to be treated like a Queen and to be served.  I expected my husband to be my servant, for which he was not a willing participant. Satan wants us to live self-centered and selfish lives to keep us in bondage to misery.  Jesus wants us to follow His example and serve others in love.

I took out my “Hope for Complete Healing” booklet and looked up “Kindness Issues.” Using the list of offenses in the “Kindness Issues” worksheet, I prayed and asked God to show me why I was offended. He showed me I felt rejected when my husband didn’t do what I expected him to do. And, I was offended by how rough he spoke to me. I then went through the “Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.

Next, I prayed and bound to my heart and mind the positive attributes of kindness and the transformation truths found on the worksheet. God then showed me I had painful memories of my mother speaking roughly to me, which triggered my response to my husband’s roughness. I went through the five steps of healing again to transform that painful memory.

I remind myself, I can only ask God to change my heart and correct my thoughts. And, I cannot expect God to change my husband because he has a will to choose how he behaves. Read the following post to know what is and is not our Authority in Prayer, Four Reasons Why We Have Authority in Prayer.

If you find you identify with my struggle to love well, then please go to God and receive healing and His immeasurable grace and forgiveness. Begin reading my short booklet today for guidance. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

There is hope for complete healing as we receive God’s grace and forgiveness, then show grace in kindness.

If you want a paper copy of the booklet on my website, contact me by email. I can mail a copy of my booklet for a small donation to cover the cost of printing and mailing.

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

The Core Negative Heart Issue

POSTS Related to Relationships

POSTS on Thoughts

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

You have heard the saying, “If you are too heavenly minded then you are no earthly good.”  This saying is a lie. I am definitely no earthly good when I am angry, prideful, and anxious.  By surrendering my mind to God, I have become free from anger, pride, and anxiety.  With my new heavenly mind, I now trust Him to take care of all the things that concern me.  So, as long as I am heavenly minded, I will not give in to the temptation to sin in my reactions when I am angry or be anxious and become depressed or be prideful and not treat people with kindness.

Complete victory over sin can only occur when we invite Jesus Christ to rule our lives and receive His forgiveness for our sins.  After we surrender to His Lordship, then we can ask His help when we are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”  Also, read Hebrews 4:14-16.  Have you surrendered your life to God’s loving care?  If not, please take a few minutes to do that now.

Can we be too heavenly minded and no earthly good? No, because sin begins in the mind from temptations to do wrong (see James 1:13-15). Our conscience sends a signal of discomfort when we are being tempted to do wrong.  So, when we rebel against the good God says we should do and give in to the temptations, that is sin.  Sin corrupts our hearts and messes up our lives.  So, to be victorious over temptations, keep your mind on what pleases God instead of what pleases your self-centered desires.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to seek the things of Heaven and not focus on the things of earth.  Colossians 3:1-2 states, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  In fact,  Ephesians 2:6 says we are raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus after we are saved by His grace from the control of sin and God’s wrath. But keeping our thoughts on the truths of God is hard to do because the world offers so many enticements to take our minds away from Him.  And, there is so much to be anxious and angry about.  The solution is to ponder Scriptures and turn every thought into a prayer to protect your mind from temptations to do wrong.

So, if you want to prosper and succeed, you must resolve to keep your mind on spiritual principles found in the Bible.  In Joshua 1:8, he explains, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  King David said in Psalm 119:11, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  The best way to store God’s Word in our hearts is to memorize it.  Get involved in a Bible-teaching church and take part in Bible studies to stay focused on heavenly things. Be quick to forgive people who offend you and pray for them.  And, fellowship with other Christ-centered believers.

If you don’t want to wreck your life by sinning, then it is best to not hang out with people who take part in sinful enticements. Sinful enticements could be gambling, sexual sin, drinking, drugs, hate, violence, lying, stealing, etc., which are no earthly good. It is also wise not to immerse yourself in foolish, worldly entertainment such as plays, concerts, hours of television, or non-Christian movies. Think for a moment. If the people creating the entertainment have not submitted their minds to God to bring Him glory, then their foolish, evil thoughts are directing their actions and creativity. Worldly entertainment deceives you into thinking the foolishness and evil is acceptable when the goal is to enslave you in sinful thoughts and actions.

King David said, I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” What you view on the internet, television, and at the movies clings to your mind and cannot be unseen. I also recommend not spending much mindless time reading social media and other worthless materials that do not encourage you to love God and other people. Do the magazines and books you read draw you closer to God or draw you closer to self-centered worldly thinking. Each of us should consider how much time we want to waste on unprofitable activities and instead seek the things above where we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places.

The Bible says Christ-following Christians are strangers and exiles on the earth (see Hebrews 11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11), and our true home is heaven. Philippians 3:20 states, but our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, if our true citizenship is in heaven, it stands to reason, we should focus our minds and hearts on the things of God, not the things of the world.  Because we are citizens of heaven, we are called ambassadors for Christ.  In 2 Corinthians 5:20,21 it states, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  

An ambassador represents another country while living in a different country. The ambassador speaks on behalf of their home institutions. How are you doing as an ambassador of Heaven?  Are you representing the Kingdom of Christ well?  Are you helping your neighbors, friends, and family be reconciled to God?

There is hope for complete healing as we turn our minds to Christ and the things of Heaven.

Related Posts:

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Why, What, and How to Submit to God

The Core Negative Heart Issue

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

POSTS on Thoughts