Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~POP Day~ May 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:42 am
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Today is POP Day, Put On Purple.  It is a day to wear purple in honor of those who suffer from lupus.  In all honesty, I would know nothing about this disesase if it were not for a dear friend of mine whose mother has it.  I have asked her to share her story with us, not only about her mother’s illness but about how growing up with a sick mommy has made her who she is today.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These auto-antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

…..Hmmm, ok. Try explaining this to a 2 year old, “No baby, mommy can’t play with you right now because she’s sick and doesn’t feel good.” I learned from an early age that my mommy was different from other mommys. When I was born almost 30 years ago shortly after my mom found out that she had Systemic Lupus. At first it wasn’t very serious. She was still active and could work a public job. She had her good days and bad days but nothing we couldn’t deal with.

Then the bad days started to out number the good days. The symptoms and effects of meds helped that along. I was a young only child with a sick mommy and a dad who worked and traveled doing ministry. So I did what any good little girl would do, I became mommy’s little helper. I would keep my room sparkling clean. I would even fix my own food and occupy myself with art or the occasional cartoon. I also became a “nurse.” When mom was feeling really bad I’d bring her a snack or play beside the bed so she wouldn’t be alone. Sometimes when I was really worried I would sneak in while she was napping, say a little prayer and make sure she was still breathing.

As I got older she had many complications arise over the years. She took chemo at one point to help get it under control. When I was 13-14 years old she had a stroke in her brain which caused her to seize and caused her to bleed into her spine and caused permanent nerve damage that still causes her pain to this day. Her Lupus attacked her kidneys which caused kidney failure. She was on dialysis for several years but came off, which is a miracle in itself. She had a minor heart attack. One of the heart tests they do with dye caused her to go on dialysis again which she now takes 2 days a week for 3hrs. From years of steroid use to help treat the Lupus and its effects she developed diverticulitis. She had a small piece of her colon removed and had to temporarily have a colostomy bag. (And boy was she happy that it was only temporary) These are just some of the “highlights” as they say.

“What a hard life”……..”What an awful thing for a child and her family to go through”…..”That’s so sad”……..are some of the responses I’ve heard over the years.

Yes it was a hard life sometimes. Having anxiety and stress at such a young age and worrying that your mommy might not be here tomorrow, sleeping with a spoon under your pillow because you were afraid that she might have another seizure and you needed to be prepared…….but something else happened as well. I became very independent. If I didn’t know how to do something instead of yelling, “MOM!!” I would figure it out on my own. I hugged and kissed my mom and dad goodbye even if they were going to the store and told them I loved them. I took the “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” verse very seriously. I always said I was sorry and forgave quickly. I cared about other people and tried my very best to “walk in their shoes” to understand their hurt and pain. I was thankful for a loving godly home and I trusted that no matter what happened God would take care of us and provide for us.

Today I am a 29 1/2 year old woman who loves my family and the Lord with all of my heart. I wake up everyday and ask myself, “Who needs a word of encouragement today?”, “What can I do to help someone else?”, “How can I show God’s love to someone?” I could’ve grown up to be an angry, selfish, bitter person who couldn’t understand why God would allow those things to happen to my family over and over and over again…..but I didn’t. I grew up to be a strong willed confident godly woman who tries to make a difference in someone else’s life everyday.

I also became very health conscious. 3 years ago I lost 55lbs and changed my diet and lifestyle. I did research and educated myself. I realized that I only have one body to get me through this short life and that I needed to take better care of myself. After all, I’m sure my mom would give anything to have a fraction of the good health that I have. Changing my lifestyle was to better my health, to honor my mom and to be an example to others.

While trying to write this piece the words of a song called “Blessings” by Laura Story came to mind: “Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”

So what’s the moral of this long story???? When life pushes you down and stomps you and kicks you while you’re down there……..get back up and live your life. Tell your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them. Forgive and FORGET! Try to better yourself everyday. Serve others cheerfully. Smile. Laugh. Be thankful for what you have. Trust in the Lord and do His will and all the rest will fall into place.

Be blessed!

This is my sweet friend, Yulanda with her husband, Christopher, Momma Mary & Dad, Vernon @ a lupus fundraiser walk last year.

This is my sweet friend, Yulanda with her husband, Christopher, Momma Mary & Dad, Vernon @ a lupus fundraiser walk last year.

 

~Cheerful Giver~ May 16, 2013

“Give freely & spontaneously.  Don’t have a stingy heart.  The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work & ventures.  There are always going to be poor & needy people among you.  So I command you: Always be generous, open purse & hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor & hurting neighbors.”

helpinghands(Deuteronomy 15:10-11)

Most times we tend to think of giving strictly in relation to money.  If you read these verses from The Message closely, you see that it says open purse AND hands.  Being a generous giver is more than handing someone a check and walking away.  It is a heart condition.  While it is good to give to those in financial need, don’t stop there.

When you see someone hurting, offer a warm embrace or a listening ear.

If your elderly neighbor could use a handy man, offer your skills free of charge.

What about the momma who has reached the end of her rope?  Encourage her by sharing your own parental struggles so that she won’t feel so alone.

We all have something we can give to help another.  Even if your cash is running low, your love tank is full.  Pour out what you have every chance you get “for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

 

~Know Who You Are~ May 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:09 am
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IKnowWhoIAM2Why is that so many people question their God-given talents?  God has equipped each and every one of us with a special set of skills that is unique only to us.  Yet when the adversary comes, we allow him to attack our minds and convince us that the little voice in our heads saying, “you can’t do this,” is right.

God knew us even before time began.  He knit us together in our mother’s womb.  He knows how we think, what makes us tick & what is certain to set us off.  He knows our heart’s desire, because He himself placed it there.  He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us & that if He has called us to it, He will give us whatever is necessary to do it.

Why is it then that we would give the devil power over our lives when the only thing he knows anything about is our weaknesses?  Is God not greater than mine & your short-comings?  Doesn’t His knowledge of our inner workings far surpass what we could even begin to know about ourselves?

When we are serving the Lord by living out the calling that He has given us, even when it feels impossible, He is still directing our steps.  God is not one of the nay-sayers, He is our biggest fan.  That war you feel within you, telling you your abilities are insufficient, is not God.  His voice will cheer you on, encourage you & offer correction when you stray but never beat your spirit down to make you feel worthless.

When the feelings of inadequacy creep in, He has given us His word to combat the negativity.  When you hear, “you can’t do this, “ respond with:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

(Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

If you fear that you aren’t smart enough or lack understanding to do what you feel God is asking you to do, take comfort in the words of James:

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.”

(1:5 NLT)

Quite possibly the most difficult battle we face in our minds is thinking that God no longer cares for us.  That He has left us to our own devices because we’ve let Him down somewhere along the way.  One of my favorite verses to reassure me of the truth is Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

God did not place you or me on this earth to cause us suffering and pain for His own personal enjoyment.  He finds no pleasure in seeing us struggle.  On the contrary, He delights in us and rejoices in our victories.  When you find yourself filled with self-doubt, remember that God himself designed you just the way you are.  He believes in you with an unfailing love.  When you are weak, He becomes your strength & literally nothing is impossible for God.

A gentle reminder in the lyric of a song:

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come down
Even if to ride upon my heart
To remind me who You are

-Kari Jobe

 

~What You See Vs. What The World Sees~ May 14, 2013

This past Sunday, as part of the Mother’s Day message, we were shown a video produced by Dove.  In this video, women were asked to sit behind a sketch artist who then drew them based on their descriptions of themselves.  He did not see their faces beforehand, he only had their words to go on.  They were also asked to get to know one of the other women from the study.  Then they sat behind the same sketch artist and answered the same questions about the other woman.

The outcome was astounding.  When the two photos were placed side by side, it was obvious that the women did not see themselves in the same light that others did.  The self-descriptive photos showed a less attractive version of the same woman whose beauty shone through in the sketch based on someone else’s words.

It was upsetting to see just how harshly we women judge ourselves.  When we look in the mirror, we see every flaw: a crooked nose, a pimpled chin, crows feet at the corners of our eyes.  We are so focused on all the things we don’t like about appearance that we cannot see the beauty that lies in our individuality.  When others look at us, they see our hearts, not our flaws.  While we are busy critiquing ourselves, others are admiring us for who we truly are.  Why is it that we can see the beauty in others but refuse to see it in our own reflections?

It made me think of how many times someone has given me a compliment and I have quickly shot them down.  My husband tells me all the time how beautiful he thinks I am.  Instead of hearing the love in his words, I come back with comments like, “I look awful today!” or “You have to say that, we’re married.”  When someone praises me for being a good mother, I have been guilty of thinking to myself, “if only they knew how many mistakes I have made just this week, would they still think so highly of me?”

I don’t know why so many of us are hard on ourselves but what I do know is that is not how God intended for us to live.  Every feature that we despise about our appearance was created by the hand of God.  By fussing about all that we find fault with, we are insulting Him!

“He has made everything beautiful in its own time.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

That includes us too.  Everything that God created is a work of art, each one magnificent in its own way.  Try to see yourself as your loved ones see you, or better yet, the way God sees you.  Watch this video and you will see precisely what I mean.

“I will praise you because I, (insert your name here), am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, and that includes me.  Now I know that full well.”

(Psalm 139:14-made personal)

 

~Love is Stronger than Hate~ May 13, 2013

boyinstripedpjsI recently watched the movie, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.”  Let me start with saying this may be a spoiler alert for those of you who have not yet watched it.  So go do it.  Right now.  Then come back and read this!

The setting is Germany during Nazi rule when Hell was literally a place on earth known as the Concentration Camps.  The storyline revolves around a German family where the patriarch is one of the head-honchos in the military.  His job…to oversee the camps.

When the movie begins, the mother seems content with their move in order for her husband to carry out his new assignment.  She thinks they will be a good distance from the “farm” so that it really won’t affect their lives.  What remains unseen can be ignored.  Then she is suddenly made aware of just how horrific a tragedy is taking place just across the fields.  She can no longer sit silent.

The young girl in the family is quite impressionable.  While living amongst the soldiers, she loses the innocence of her childhood.  Her dollies are replaced with war posters and thoughts of hatred for the “filth” that is ruining their world.  She wasn’t born with this prejudice, but it has been shoved in her face at a sensitive age when children mirror their parent’s behavior.

Then there is the sweet boy, Bruno, who stumbles upon the camps and meets another boy his age through the electric barb-wire fence.  Neither boy understands what is happening around them, they simply want to be friends.  So they develop that connection on opposite sides of the barrier.

Daddy-dearest rules with an iron fist.  The prisoners aren’t actually people, they’re Jews.  How easy it was to order mass murders when it could be done from the comfort of his office chair.  Then tragedy strikes and his eyes are open to the level of inhumanity he has caused.

There are three things that I felt God revealed to me while watching this film.  And yes, I believe God can speak to us at any time, in many forms through all sorts of avenues.

  1. It is easy to ignore the war torn areas of this world when we don’t see them first hand every day.  By looking the other way, you can choose to not allow it to affect your comfortable lifestyle.  Feigning ignorance does not make it any less real.  It will, however, desensitize you to the plight of the human spirit.
  2. Our children are not born with hate in their hearts for any one nationality, race or religion.  It is taught by those they trust the most, their families, primarily “Mom & Dad.”  When your children are faced with the same discriminating injustices that still happen today, do you point them in the right direction or add fuel to the fire?
  3. Lastly, the government doesn’t always know what is right.  Our leaders can plant seeds of hatred from the power of their authority but we have a choice to obey what the Lord God Almighty says.  Although popular opinion in today’s society teaches distrust, hatred & intolerance, this is what the Word says:

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

(Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)

I think it’s time that we as a nation wake up.  Ignoring the cries of the innocent is no better than being the attacker.  We should defend one another and act in brotherly love to all peoples.  Teach your children love & respect for their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin or what their native tongue is.  Do not let the government think for you.  Just because “they” say so-n-so is public enemy number one, don’t use that as your excuse to hate everyone who falls into a stereo-typical category.

We serve a God whose second commandment is that we love our neighbors as ourselves; second only to love Him above all else.  I’m fairly certain that we don’t plot evil, spew lies or seek fault against ourselves.  In closing, never forget the simple verse from 1st Corinthians chapter 13

“Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love-and the greatest of these is love.”

(vs. 13)

 

~How Yoga Gave Me Insight~ May 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:45 am
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Yoga2I enjoy experimenting with different forms of exercise in order to keep from becoming bored and ultimately quitting all together.  Once I discovered yoga, I was hooked.  I grew up as a dancer so I could easily relate those old skills to the balance and concentration that it took to do most of the interesting poses.

One day as I was practicing my “ohm” face, I nearly face planted when my two-year old gave me a little nudge while I had one leg lifted dangerously high behind me.  (Note to self: don’t do complicated balance poses in presence of little children).  She had been underfoot the entire time, but I didn’t have any trouble keeping focused and in control as long as both feet were planted firmly on the floor.

That’s when the thought came to me of how my yoga skills were quite like my faith.  When I stand with both feet digging in, I am practically unmovable.  (Notice I said “practically”, I am sure Ray Lewis could take me down).  But lift one leg and I become as unstable as a sapling in a windstorm.  In the same way, when I am grounded in the Word of God, deeply rooted in Him, my faith is steady, unshakable and firm.  However, if I allow myself to lose that focus, I open myself up to becoming subject to the numerous false teachings that beg for my attention.  My faith will no longer be like that tree that is planted along the living waters but more like a dandelion whose soft white bristles scatter at the slightest movement.  This is what the Scripture means when it says:

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

(Colossians 2:7 NLT)

The deeper our roots go, the sturdier our foundation will be.  The sturdier our foundation is, the more fruitful our lives will be.  And the more fruitful our lives become, the more thankful we will be, even when to the outside world, we have absolutely nothing to be thankful for.

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

(Ephesians 3:17 NLT)

May the love of God strengthen you today as you face whatever challenges that attempt to knock you off balance.

 

~The Rich Man~ May 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:07 am
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richI know a man who has it all;

big house, nice car, designer clothes.

He’s attained success in his career,

good luck follows him wherever he goes.

So why is it that his demeanor

is down-cast, sullen and morose?

Could it be that beneath all the accolades

lies a secret that nobody knows?

While wealth and good fortune are his for the taking,

his spiritual life; a disaster in the making.

He gives no recognition to the God

who gave him a firm place to stand.

God deserves none of the credit;

he is a self-made man.

His days are filled with good times and laughter

but what about what happens after?

In the quiet of darkness, he lies alone.

Inside the recesses of his mind

where “light” has never shone.

For even though he has it all, there is one thing he lacks.

A relationship with his Creator

has slipped right through the cracks.

Life without our Lord and Savior is really no life at all

So the rich man isn’t actually rich

for he remains broken from the fall.

So do not envy my friend, the rich man

for his riches shall all pass away.

His achievements will prove to him useless

before the Lord on Judgment Day.

Poem by Valerie Rutledge

” And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment”

(Hebrews 9:27 NLT)

 

~Strong Couselor~ May 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:09 am
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autumnToday is my daughter, Autumn Rayne’s, 11th birthday.  As some of you may know, I have not been her mother since birth but God chose to give us each other when she was 4 years old.  When she was named, it wasn’t for any particular reason other than her BM (biological mother) liked the way it sounded.  So when I looked up the meanings of each of my children’s names this year for Easter, I was disappointed when Autumn only meant “born in the fall.”  I wanted them to feel special when they looked at the framed picture and nothing about born in the fall signified importance to me, especially since she was born in the Spring!  Then I looked up Rayne.  Rayne means “strong counselor.”  I could not think of a better name for our beautiful Autumn.

She may only be 11, but she has a heart for God.  Her desire to serve Him has made her a leader among her friends and even in this family.  She prays eloquent, heart-felt prayers over those that she loves and even those she does not yet know.  Her daddy and I have often discussed how we feel she is being called into ministry.  We sometimes joke by calling her our little missionary!

This past weekend, we received even further confirmation of just how God wants to use her.  Seeing as how this is her story, I wanted it to be in her own words.  She wrote about her experience and has given me permission to share with you.

“This weekend I went to a kids retreat with my church.  I had a great time!  There we heard two bands, saw one clown, watched four drama skits and went to four great services.  We even had some fun time where I faced my fear and rode my first ever upside down ride, it was AWESOME!  I want to tell you about one particular service.  It was Saturday night, we had an altar service.  It was AMAZING.  The Pastor said if we would like to we could go up to the altar to pray or we could pray at our seats.  I went up to the altar.  We were praying for the gift of God’s language.  When I was praying I heard a voice saying, “Autumn, I want you to serve my son by preaching about him.  I want you to be a pastor.”  I knew that was God’s voice saying that.  I felt joyful!  Right then I bowed down on my knees and prayed that God would guide my life of being a pastor and I thanked Him for everything.”

I was completely overwhelmed when she shared this with us.  As soon as she started to tell me about it, she started to cry…well so did momma.  I am beyond proud of my little girl for being so open to hear from God.  She wasn’t afraid, she didn’t try to tune Him out and she is already putting in the work to do what He spoke into her heart that night.  If only we would all respond to God’s call with such childlike faith.

So now you can see why the name “strong counselor” is so fitting for my girl.  Her BM may not have known why she named her Rayne, but God most certainly did.  I am one lucky woman to be her mother and I thank God for bringing her to me.  She inspires me to be a better person each and every day.  I pray that she would be abundantly blessed as she matures and grows in her faith.

Happy Birthday to my sweet girl and thanks for sharing your personal experience with us!

“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”

(Matthew 18:1-5 The Message)

 

~The Exasperated Sigh & An Eye Roll~ May 7, 2013

I currently have three pre-teens coexisting under one roof.  I know, I accept your condolences.  While most of the time they are pretty awesome kids, some days they can be a tad bit testy.  Yesterday morning, for example, I asked one of said three to take the dog out.  For the sake of sparing them humiliation, I will leave their name out…this time.  The poor dog was pacing anxiously at the front door and I had been hounding my kiddo for 5 minutes to take her out.  On the final request, I got the exasperated sigh accompanied by the eye roll that every child this age has perfected.  A little side note that you need to know about me, nothing irritates me more than having someone huff at me.  It invokes an instant reaction of wrath that no amount of back-pedaling can escape.  I believe my words were, “Huff at me one more time and find out what happens!”

Now isn’t that a nice way for us to start out our morning?!  Who is this hateful woman speaking on my behalf and where did that sweet-spirited, gentle momma go?

What is that one thing that gets under your skin more than anything else in this world?  What kind of crazed lunatic does it turn you into?

No matter what your pet peeve may be, you can confess it to God as a weakness and ask Him to help you overcome it.  If it is something that really grates on your nerves, as the huff & eye roll does mine, than don’t expect an instant cure of your short-coming.  As was evident from my reaction to the resistant dog-walker yesterday, I obviously am a work in progress.

A scripture that I try to recall to memory when one of my little angels has the audacity to cut their eyes at me is Proverbs 15:1:

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

(NLT)

You better believe that’s the truth!  When I snap at my child because they have irritated me, do you think they quickly correct their behavior and apologize for their rudeness?  Uh, no.  My short fuse only agitates them further, escalating the situation making both of us so on edge that we’re armed and ready for battle.  All I have done by acting in anger was set a poor example for my kids of how to handle emotions.

My child was wrong to show me disrespect through their actions, but I was equally wrong in my response.  What I should have done was explain, calmly, why I found their attitude unacceptable and given them a chance to apologize.  What could have been a teaching moment for my child, ended up being a rebuke aimed squarely in my direction.

This is not the kind of momma I desire to be.  I want my kids to see me respond with grace and humility, not unforgiveness & anger.

After all, it is the wise woman who builds her home while the foolish woman destroys it with her own two hands. twohouses (paraphrase of Proverbs 14:1)

 

~God Knows My Heart~ May 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:56 am
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repentIt’s a statement I’m sure most of you have heard and quite possibly something you yourself have said.  While it is true, some have begun to misuse the meaning.  Yes, the Lord does know your heart, your thoughts, your desires, your dislikes…the list could go on and on.  However, the fact that He knows your heart doesn’t excuse you from certain obligations as a Christian.  I’ll give you some scenarios.

You inadvertently insult a friend when they come to you for advice.  You know you shouldn’t have said what you did, or at least not the way you said it.  But you don’t apologize to your friend.  You don’t ask for their forgiveness much less God’s, because “It’s ok, God knows my heart.”

Your day is jam-packed with important activities.  You know, like answering emails, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, not to mention work!  You just don’t have time to read your usual morning devotion.  Evening comes and all is quiet, you could spend some time in the Word.  But you’re exhausted, it was a busy day and you just want to relax and catch up on your shows.  No big deal.  There is always tomorrow.  Besides, “God knows my heart.”

An old friend calls you up and invites you to that place you know you shouldn’t go.  But you’re a changed person now.  You love the Lord.  You can visit one of your old haunts and exercise self-control.  One thing leads to another and you slip-up.  It’s not like it was a big sin, just a little mistake that you never intended to make.  It certainly doesn’t warrant a confession or repentance before the Lord.  No one else even knows what you did so why should you publicly admit fault to your peers or to God?  “Repentance is just a formality when God knows my heart.”

When you look at it from these perspectives you can see why it is dangerous to hide behind what has become nothing more than a cliché; something that believers convince themselves is sufficient when they don’t want to address an uncomfortable issue.  Instead of using God’s omniscience as your scapegoat, take a look at what the Scriptures say.

James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins to one another” not ignore them and hope the other person forgets that you wronged them.

Matthew 6:33 says we should “seek first the kingdom of God.”  He isn’t satisfied with our leftovers.  Use Jesus’ life as your example, he rose before the sun to make time with God.  Time spent in the Word should be a priority, not a fleeting thought.

And when you sin, no matter how insignificant the sin may seem, a sin is a sin is a sin, period.  Repentance is necessary to receive forgiveness from God.  There are countless Scriptures to back this Biblical principle up.  Perhaps the one that sums it up the best, “unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3b)