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'They don't like me though Why do I need them to like me though? I'm finally happy with who I'm becoming It's well with my soul' - Social Club Misfits At times the status of my peers at my workplace have become disappointments. I seem to live in a valley of 'shoulds'. I should get involved with the union and take on leadership. I should become more well versed in the contract to serve the route better. I should be the next supervisor, use my knowledge to further the company and climb the corporate ladder. I should slow down, not work so hard, so as to not make others look bad doing the same work. It's an odd thing being well liked because of my work ethic, knowledge, and attitude. Yet, considered a disappointment because I won't take on leadership, or put more effort and time into my employer’s systems or work relationships. I also feel myself becoming more disconnected with friends who I considered brothers. I feel more introverted now more than ever with my time being so divided between work, family, and church. It appears the valley of ‘shoulds’ extends into the regions of my friends and church as well. I should pick up the phone and get something set up and get our families together to hang out. I should read the Bible more, the more knowledge I gain can better serve the kids I teach about Christ. I wish these valleys were filled with ‘dos’ and not ‘shoulds’, but it just simply isn’t the truth. There are many times I look at these failures and let downs, it’s not that great to feel the weight of my life and the trials that come as a result of the calling on my life to follow God. But thanks be to God for grace. Grace and forgiveness for you and I. It allows me to be able to forgive myself knowing that if God doesn’t condemn me than neither can I. I know that in my own personal story I have the capacity to be both my greatest advocate and my worst adversary. It’s far easier for me to preach forgiveness in Christ to anyone, rather than to try and apply it in my own messed up head. But it’s the truth. I...we, are forgiven in Christ. Both for the valley of ‘shoulds’ and the valley of ‘don’ts’ that we do on purpose. We’re forgiven for it all. So that helps me like me a little more. It helps me, because I know He likes me. So my suggestion for myself and for anyone listening... I’m going to choose a valley, and I hope you hang with me there...

In the valley of belief. Belief in forgiveness of all sin. Belief in grace. Belief in the gospel. Belief in the Christ.

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