by Kasia Kedzia
Sometimes the right thing to do is not immediately apparent. We can get advice and search the scriptures and still feel unclear. I’ve been there recently, in a situation where all the advice only seemed to bring more confusion and ‘the right thing’ didn’t jump right out. I have been there regarding friendships, career pursuits, job decisions, even deciding where to live or worship.
Pv 16:1-2To a man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
v9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Most recently I have been pondering this in regards to a friendship with someone of the opposite sex. It’s hard to be friends with someone you are attracted to. There are no rules or regulations that tell you how to handle it. Each person has to figure it out for themselves. One thing is clear; when it comes to my heart I am called to guard it.
Pv 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
The verse specifically directs us to guard our heart, not anyone else’s. We are not responsible for guarding someone else’s heart, only our own. It’s also important to note that this passage does not only pertain to guarding your heart in a romantic sense. I am called to guard my heart, to place healthy boundaries around it, in all of my relationships. It’s not about going off a list of guidelines that protect me from getting hurt. It’s so much more than that.
In the past I have not been great about maintaining the boundaries of my own heart. Instead I have allowed other people to dictate the boundaries of my heart by their actions towards me. If someone responded poorly to me at work I took it personally. I'd take on their feelings as my own. I even let it affect my view of myself though in actuality it may have nothing to do with me. It’s the same with male-female friendships, and here too, we are called to see how God values us apart from how someone else may see us. However, in this matter the decision can be harder because the stakes are higher; it involves someone we want. Being friends with someone you are attracted to can be hard. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you feel respected in your interactions and if you are setting healthy boundaries around your heart that allow you to give without compromising. This means that you can share yourself with them and they can share themselves with you without either of you trying to change who the other is.
To God we are precious. A woman who truly knows Jesus—who knows he risked it all and died for her--will never settle for a man who, in God, will not pursue, protect and take risks for her. She knows she is worthy of great efforts, tenderness and devotion. Any man who does not make such an effort is just a friend. Ladies, go about God’s business and he will go about yours. Even the shyest man will go after what he wants when he sets his mind on it. That may not be you and that is O.K. Gentlemen, if it is not you she choses, it is also OK and the same question applies. In that moment you have to ask yourself, “Am I able to guard my heart and still be a genunie friend to this person without setting unrealistic expectations on her/him?”
I don’t have it all figured out. I am still in the gray area, learning how to set my own boundaries in relationships and in career pursuits. I have figured out some baselines that work for me and am happy to share them but each person’s will look different. That job that looks so great on paper may not be so great for me and that is OK. That guy that looks so great right now may not be for me, and that too needs to be OK.
Colossians 3:1 Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
The word ‘set’ emphasizes that we are continually called to make a decision. I may not always know what that is, but setting my heart on things above is a good place to start.
Hebrews 10:35-37 (Amplified Versions) Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may preform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
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Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.
Like what your read? Check out my blog: http://stronggirlforlife.wordpress.com/
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