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Entries in Kathy Collard Miller (14)


Why Does Rejection Feel So Bad?

Kathy Collard Miller continually turns women to the Word of God to find truth to combat the lies they might believe. In this Spiritual Growth UPGRADE, she helps us focus in on the truth about rejections.

"Rejection," Kathy says, "hits like an atom bomb in our soul."

Boom! I (Dawn) have felt the powerful impact of rejection over my entire life. But I've learned over the years how to counter the reality of rejection and my brokenness because of it—with God's truth. That's something Kathy' espouses too.

Kathy continues . . .

Recently I felt sick in the depths of my stomach and my soul when I felt rejected.

Personal rejection can be described as someone refusing to accept what we offer them or they believe something bad about us.

We feel attacked and misunderstood. It can be a very hopeless feeling.

Here are three points for hope.

1.  We can understand where the feelings of rejection originated.

Rejection can bring up the lies we believed or felt about us in childhood. In that moment, we feel as if we’re back being that little girl or boy when we felt horrible, because we were attacked emotionally or physically.

It feels like all the resources and truth we know as adults about God are thrown out the window and we’re back to being voiceless, powerless, or without defense. The feelings are the same even though the situation is different.

In those moments, God offers hope through assuring us we aren’t the child any longer—thinking God isn’t there for us.

Instead, the truth is, God promises to be our refuge, help, protector, and give unconditional love.

We may not see evidence of that like we’d prefer, but by faith we can tell ourselves our loving Savior is “for” us and is defending us more than we realize.

2. Rejection most often comes because the other person feels threatened in some way.

Most of the time, she is reacting out of her own pain or even feeling rejected or worthless herself.

Even if we made a mistake or react in a hurtful way, she is responsible before God to offer grace because He has forgiven her for so much and He offers the strength she needs to make a wise choice.

But so many of us respond to and are responded to by others out of past wounds. Unfortunately, we take the person’s attack personally and blame ourselves.

Certainly we can take responsibility for our wrong choices but regardless, the other person is responsible for their response too. God wants to empower us to not take the attack personally but to offer an example of God’s grace of unconditional love. It is possible.

3. Rejection is the feeling of our worth and value being dismissed.

We believe the rejection is valid, because we believe the lie someone else believes: “She is worthless,” “He is stupid,” “She has nothing of worth to offer,” and many other lies.

But those are lies created by Satan against God’s beloved creation.

We must look primarily to God for who He says we are, not other people.

Not only were each of us created with God’s stamp of “good” at creation, even in our sin He demonstrates we are important and loved by Him through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. That act determines we are never rejected or reject-able by God.

In the first chapter of Ephesians, He says the opposite of rejection.

He says we are:

  • loved,
  • forgiven,
  • blessed,
  • redeemed,
  • accepted,
  • adopted,
  • and many other truths of our identity.

Only believing those truths will counteract the atom bomb going off in our soul and minds when we feel rejected.

Indeed, our audience of One—God Himself—is still seeing us “in Christ” regardless of another person’s opinions.

Jesus demonstrated that many times.

  • Jesus refused to believe the rejection of His own family who believed Him crazy (Mark 3:21).
  • Jesus didn’t respond to the rejection of the Pharisees, His own disciples, and even the betrayal of Judas and Peter.

He knew His identity as God.

Even as a human, Jesus depended on who His Father said He was.

That’s our challenge also.

Which point will you focus on the next time you feel rejected?

Kathy Collard Miller is the author of more than 50 books including Choices of the Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series. She is a popular women's conference speaker both nationally and internationally. Visit Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband Larry (of 45+ years). They have two children and two grandchildren.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of comfreak at Pixabay.


Draw Close to Jesus through 'Abiding'

Kathy Collard Miller teaches biblical truth in practical, life-motivating ways. In this Spiritual Growth UPGRADE, she shares how she has come to "abide" in Christ in fresh ways.

"In John 15:7, Jesus says: 'Abide in me, and I in you.' What is abiding," Kathy asks, "and how do I abide?"

At first, I (Dawn) thought, "Everybody knows that." But do we? Really? How do we know?

Kathy continues . . .

For more than two years, I’ve been specifically meditating on what abiding is and how it can draw me closer to Jesus.

At times I think of abiding as spiritual antennae sticking out of my heart, acknowledging God is there to do His work.

I’ve found four specific ways I’m living it out.

1. Faithful fixing my eyes on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2 assures us, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”

Jesus is the one who invites us to abide, so we can be confident He wants us to. And whatever He wants for us we can know He’ll provide the means.

We never have to wonder, “Am I supposed to do this?” And the wonderful thing about abiding, is that it’s always appropriate.

It’s a fundamental work that is available for every single minute of our waking day.

2. Steadfast seeking.

Abiding is not a one-time decision, nor something we do and then forget.  

Abiding is seeking God moment by moment, over and over again.

It’s a continuing journey of learning how to abide more and more often.

I never abide every moment, but I don’t have to be afraid God is upset or disappointed.

Philippians 1:6 encourages us saying,

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

The Lord understands every part of Christian growth is a process. Therefore, it’s not an “all or nothing” arrival—that “now I’ll always abide.” No, we learn it more and more.

And we’ll abide more at different times for different reasons. But God is inviting us over and over again to “seek Me again.”

He’s continually taking our spiritual face and gently turning it back to seek Him. It's like a child who won’t look at us; we sometimes take their face gently in our hands and say, “Look at me now.” Their eyes become focused on us and we know they can hear us and more easily understand.

That’s Jesus’ invitation to abide. Seek me again.

3. Accepting ambiguity.

It’s easy to think that if I’m abiding, I’ll know everything, be perfectly guided, and never make a mistake.

No, even as we abide, not everything will be clear.

That doesn’t need to discourage us. Only Jesus did everything right in obedience to His Father. But even then, He had to spend lots of time with His Father.

4. Alert awareness.

Abiding tunes us to the wavelength of the Spirit’s prompting.

Ephesians 6:18 tells us,

“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

Even in the midst of busy daily activities we can abide.

  • Through prayer we turn our attention to Him. “Help me, right now, Lord.”
  • Through memorization of Scripture. “Lord, Philippians 4:13 tells me you strengthen me, and I believe you’ll do that right now.”
  • Through rehearsing God’s faithful loving work in the past. “Father, I remember when you provided what I needed two weeks ago, so I believe you’ll provide now.”
  • Through asking, “God, where are you right now in what’s happening? You promise you are everywhere. Open my spiritual eyes to see you working.”

I suggest wearing a rubber band on your wrist.

Each time you look at it, turn your spiritual antennae to:

Fixing on the Lord, Seeking, Accepting  Ambiguity, and Being Alert.

Your ability to abide will grow.

What can you focus on to abide more?

Kathy Collard Miller’s life is filled with the joy of family, writing, and speaking. She has over 50 books published and has spoken in over 30 states and 8 foreign countries. Her latest book is a women’s Bible study Whispers of My Heart: Daughters of the King Bible Study Series. Visit Kathy's website.

Graphic of rubber band, courtesy of mconnor at Morguefile.

Graphic of heart, courtesty of Krzys16 at Pixabay.


Is Growth Measured on a Timeline?

Kathy Collard Miller helps people respond to life's circumstances in godly ways. In this Spiritual Growth UPGRADE, she tackles the tricky issue of temptation.

She asks, "Do you sometimes feel discouraged when you keep encountering the same types of temptation?"

Do I? Yes! I (Dawn) get so frustrated sometimes when I think I've got a temptation "licked" and yet—there it is again! But Kathy has wise words here for any of us "strugglers."

Kathy continues . . .

Many of us envision spiritual or emotional growth represented on a linear time line.

But looking at it as a spiral or whirlpool can diminish discouragement.

The Growth "Whirlpool"

1. We will keep encountering the same type of challenge or temptation.

We're going around and around in life, and every time we reach a certain situation or person, there's a rock, representing a sinful strategy that hits us, tempting us to behave badly.

If we think there are no rocks, we'll be surprised and unaware of their approach.

2. Knowing our particular sinful tendency will reoccur knocks off the rocks in the whirlpool of life.

For instance, I don’t like to be seen as imperfect. When I sense someone is displeased with me or I’ve disappointed someone, I use anger as a means of pointing to their faults rather than owning my own.

I’ve been tempted in this way since childhood when I unknowingly decided being perfect would protect me from looking stupid.

As a result, I depended upon a deep sense of perfectionism which was a huge boulder as I was caught in the spiral of life.

Perfectionism is a demand to have my worth and value determined by my behavior. Yet it sets me up for failure because I can never reach perfection.

3. Recognizing our tendencies empowers us to rehearse truth as we know the temptation will come again as life swirls around us.

God has helped me recognize the tempting boulder of perfectionism. When I’m tempted again to start blaming others with irritation or anger, I can slow down and ask, “What boulder is looming again?”

I tell myself, “Only Jesus is perfect but because I am ‘in Christ,’ He sees me as perfect already.”

I quote Colossians 2:10 to myself:

“and in Him you have been made complete.”

I remind myself that “complete” means “perfect.”

Thus, I don’t need to defend myself to others. Or if God leads me to speak up, I can respond without tension.

That boulder in my whirlpool is now much smaller.

I don’t succumb to the temptation of perfectionism as often and God has used this concept to help set me free.

So here’s the bad and good news.

The bad? Challenges to change and grow in holiness are never-ending. God will work on our sanctification until the day we die.

The good news? Growth is possible. We can be strengthened in God’s power to resist temptations more and more.

But that growth will occur most effectively when we believe it’s not a time line but a whirlpool.

How could envisioning your growth as a whirlpool encourage or empower you the next time you are tempted?

Kathy Collard Miller is a popular speaker and award-winning author of over 50 books. These concepts are taken from her book, co-authored with her husband, Larry, Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today. Kathy has spoken in over 30 US states and 8 foreign countries. Learn more about Kathy here.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of bykst at Pixabay.


Are Resolutions a Good Idea?

Author and speaker Kathy Collard Miller is one smart lady. I've grown to trust her insights. In this UPGRADE for the New Year, she asks us to get real about resolutions.

Kathy asks, "Did you make a resolution but you’ve already forgotten it, flubbed it up or forsaken it? It’s hard to believe a resolution won’t succeed, right?"

I (Dawn) want to say, "Don't go there!" I've blown more resolutions in decades of living than I care to remember. I wish I'd known a wiser perspective.

Kathy continues. . .

Although it’s against common beliefs that resolutions might not be the best idea, they often don’t succeed because of three reasons.

Let’s see what will work instead.

1. Resolutions are often “all or nothing.”

Haven’t we all resolved to:

  • “ the Bible every day”?
  • “...never get angry at my children again”?
  • “...always be content in everything”?

Do you see those “absolute" words: every, never, always? Who can do that? Only Jesus and we aren’t Him!

How about if we become realistic with our desires?

  • “I’m going to study the Bible three times this week for five minutes each?”
  • “I”m going to examine when I become angry most often and ask my friend to pray for me at one of those times.”
  • “I’m going to choose one area of discontent and surrender to God in that area today.”

Those are reachable, but even if we don’t reach them

God’s unlimited second chances called “mercy” are always available to re-boot our plans.

2. Resolutions are often beyond our personal resources.

If we are using a huge resolution to try to force change within us, it’s usually beyond our level of maturity or trust in God. Who hasn’t wanted to trust God in every situation?

When I’m thinking that way, I love to be reminded of Jesus’ compassion for the father who replied, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24 ESV). Jesus healed his son anyway.

God knows the next step for our growth and He’s not impatient with our progress.

3. Resolutions are often beyond our control.

Did you know there’s a difference between desires and goals?

Desires are what we would like but we may not be able to reach them because someone else has to cooperate. You may desire to have a spectacular marriage but guess who else has to have that desire—and take action? Right!

There’s nothing wrong with the desire. The problem is thinking we can force it to happen ourselves.

Different from desires, goals are attainable and within your control. A goal regarding your marriage might be, “I will think of something positive I like about my spouse three times (or five—whatever is a reasonable number) this week.”

Can you do that regardless of your spouse’s involvement? Yes. And it may have an impact on your marriage towards making it spectacular.

These three perspectives can be drawn from First Timothy 4:15:

“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (ESV).

The word “progress” is the idea of “a pioneer cutting his way through the wilderness” (Vine’s Biblical Dictionary). Guess how a pioneer does that? One step at a time with a machete or axe. Not one fell swoop with a mile long sword.

If God had intended for us to have instant, complete, “all or nothing,” perfectly-fulfilled “resolutions,” He wouldn’t have used the word “PROGRESS.”

He would have inspired Paul to write “perfection.” Plus, He says, “practice these things.”

That takes time and involves seeking the power of the Holy Spirit moment by moment.

So how are your resolutions going? Great? I hope so. But if not, don’t be discouraged. How can you consider revising them to be more reasonable, attainable, and realistic?

Kathy Collard Miller is a popular speaker and award-winning author of over 50 books. Her most recent book is Choices of the Heart in the Daughters of the King Bible Study Series. Kathy has spoken in over 30 US states and eight foreign countries. Find out more about Kathy at her website.




Why Do I Do What I Do Wrong?

Kathy Collard Miller is an author and speaker who encourages women to apply practical principles from the Word of God. In this Attitude UPGRADE, she explores some ways to find the underlying causes of destructive responses.

We’ve all said things like, “He makes me feel…” or “I feel bad when she does that.” But the truth is we are responsible for our own choices," Kathy says. "Putting that into practice can actually diminish unwise choices."

I (Dawn) think that is fascinating because so many people think they can grit their teeth and swear to never respond hurtfully again. I've done this—haven't you? Kathy's insights help us consider the "why" behind our responses.

She continues . . .

It’s easy to blame a person or circumstance for the way we’re acting, but the truth is our wrong reactions have a long history.

It’s true for all of us. We see the pain we cause others or even ourselves, and it seems like we should just grab God’s power and never do it again. But there are reasons for our continuing ungodly choices.

Heres how to discover and correct the underlying causes.

 1. Look to the past to see the beginning.

When painful things happen to us as children, we blame ourselves. We “hear” a message that somehow “I’m the cause. I must be hopeless, unloveable, incapable," etc.

When I was molested as an eight-year-old, I felt like a shameful little girl who should have prevented it from happening:

“I better act perfectly to hide my dirtiness.”

Of course those were lies, but I believed them.

Anytime someone implied I should do a better job at something, I became angry— blaming them; I didn’t want to be exposed as imperfect.

As an adult, by seeing the lies I was believing, I replaced it with God’s truth:

I wasn’t responsible for the abuse, and God loves me even though I’m imperfect.

Author Mike Wilkerson writes,It’s not our raw experiences that determine our lives but the meaning we make of them—the stories we tell and the stories we believe.”

2. Look to the present to see the threat.

Every time we react sinfully (anger, contempt, procrastination, passive/aggressive, etc.) we feel like someone or something is threatening our good self-image, our comfort, our finances—anything we value.

Many times what we value become “idols.” We “worship” those rather than looking to God to define, comfort, or provide for us.

James wrote, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (4:15-16).

The most difficult thing is surrendering to however God allows people to treat us or circumstances to assail us.

That doesn’t mean we never share our opinions or take action. But instead of automatically reacting, we must seek God first. Just because it seems “natural” to respond our usual way, we may not be reacting “supernaturally” in God’s power. Blaming, worry, defensiveness and other ungodly reactions seem to protect us but don’t bring glory to God or fulfill His will.

3. Look to God’s perspective of the person or situation.

When we overreact, we take other people’s actions personally. We feel like were back to being blamed, labeled or attacked like we were as children.

But most of the time, that person is just trying to protect themselves. It’s not about us, it’s about their insecurity or lack of trust in God.

And any difficult circumstances is God’s gift of transforming us, not to destroy us. Instead of fighting off the “threat,” we can look through God’s eyes of love and grace.

One perspective is to have “godly sorrow.” Godly sorrow sees another person’s attack as hurting them, not us.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:1-3 ESV).

Can you imagine that kind of surrender?

Paul didn’t take their attacks personally; he wanted the best for them.

God can empower us to have that kind of reaction. We can be gracious as we speak the truth in love.

Which of those three insights would you like to concentrate on so that your “natural” reactions can turn into “supernatural” reactions?

Kathy Collard Miller loves to help women trust God more through her 50 books and her speaking in over 30 states and 8 foreign countries. Visit her website/blog and discover more about her speaking ministry here. Kathy has authored many magazine articles and more than 50 books, including Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries and her newest book Choices of the Heart, a Bible study, available here. The insights in this blog are based on her book Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today found here.

Graphic: courtesy of PourquoiPas, Pixabay.