Stop Living on Leftovers

Stop Living on Leftovers

Do you still have a few foil-covered, post-Thanksgiving dishes lurking in your fridge? Yeah, me too. I make dressing--or perhaps you call it stuffing--once a year and I savor every morsel until the calendar forces me to throw it out.  It's amazing how hours of toiling in the kitchen gets quickly reduced to plastic containers and freezer bags. But this blog post has nothing to do with cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.  It's a type of leftover of another variety--those involving hurts and shortcomings that we can't seem to let go. Since I'm on the subject of a great meal, consider the Last Supper. 

Jesus knew exactly who was going to betray him the minute He sat down to dine with those who professed to love him the most. Yes, he knew Judas would betray Him but yet he was still allowed to sit at the table. So are you. But of course, we know that's not as easy as it sounds. As Christians, even though we know full well Jesus is a pardoner, not a punisher, it's sometimes hard for us to get our heads wrapped around his unconditional love. Instead, we prefer to hang on to our pride and disbelief that he's pulling out a chair, whispering, "I love you and this is your seat...right next to me." 

Why do we feel this way? Perhaps we've been so beaten down with criticisms, that we find it hard to imagine God could love us in the muck and mire of our imperfections. But let's stop that negative thinking today. I can't think of a better time than Thanksgiving and Christmas to celebrate the TRUTH.

But before we can thoroughly enjoy the party around God's table of grace, we need to throw out a few leftovers: past hurts, pain and shortcomings--inflicted by others as well as ourselves. It's not easy. In fact, letting go of past hurts probably feels as uncomfortable as trying on new jeans before starting a New Year's diet. It doesn't feel right. But as Christians, we know faith must rule over our feelings. And just like a diet, we cannot get healthy until we purge ourselves of leftover feelings and habits that serve us no good and need flushed down the drain. It's the only way we can grow and fill ourselves with joy.  Here's a few tips to help you gain strength in tossing out the bad stuff.

1. Don't limit yourself with labels. We've all been guilty of falling for physical labels placed on everything from watches to automobiles. We've also allowed others to label us, often in ways that couldn't be further from the truth.  Friend, remember, there is only one label in which you need to own: HIS. You are God's child. 

2. Don't Be Loyal to a Lie. Often we actually believe the lies said about us and our actions tend to follow.  Don't buy it. Don't be loyal or listen to those who THINK they know you or THINK they know what's best for you. Don't be loyal to the skewed lies and opinions of others.

3. Don't Be Late. Don't hesitate to go forward--with a clean slate. Rather than hold on to past hurts, allow yourself to experience the blessings of something new. A wonderful friendship, creating a healthy relationship with a family member, ones that allow you to be the real you, are just around the corner. Don't wait and stew in old hurts. People with an ax to grind usually suffer the deepest cuts. 

So there you have it. No, it's not easy tossing out leftovers. Neither is pulling on work out gear and hopping on a treadmill for 30 exhausting minutes. But if we make a habit of it, one day at a time, we will be thrilled with the transformation. Excuse me while I throw out my own emotional leftovers, as well as prepare myself for a purge of sugar and fat. None of it is good for me and I can't wait to lose a few pounds as well as feel lighter in my soul. Do it with me. You've got this! 

Brightest of Blessings, 


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