How do you live your life in a way that doesn’t offend? This is a question that I keep coming back to. I have to remind myself that I’m not perfect and never will be. There will be many, many times that I offend those around me, but I’m trying to live my life in a way that doesn’t offend God.

So I’ll seek him and worry about offending him, not you and your situations. We are living in times when everyone is seeking the normalization and acceptance of any and every sin, and the bottom line is that regardless of what society says, God is the one who has already given us our guide.

And I misstep every single day. So how do I work towards a relationship with God where I don’t step outside of his guide and each day follow his directive of loving my neighbor like myself?

First I have to remind myself that it’s not my job to judge. The Marines have a great phrase where they say, “God will sort them out, it’s our job to arrange the meeting.” How true is that. God will indeed sort us out.

He will also be the one that judges us. It’s a hard reminder that we aren’t here to judge each other; we are here to love one another. All too often we are caught up in everyone’s “doing.” We all fall short of the glory of God. So to highlight and finger point at someone else’s’ sin… is missing the point. It’s so easy to run off into the ditches isn’t it?

We have a clear road… each of us is here for a purpose. Yet the world around is full of noise and chaos. I find myself getting lost in the confusion often. But then I remember… I’m not here for me… I’m here as a part of God’s plan. This life is so much bigger than me.

So how do we return to that mindset? How do we center ourselves back to God’s will?

For me that answer is one that I have struggled to find as I crave peace and quiet. I always look to God for that when my life gets hectic and loud. As a child, I looked to the Father for approval and love… I needed to know that someone loved me just for me… in the quiet of the night… soothing peace and quiet comforted me. This is how I know that God is real and that my faith is justified.

I would try so hard later on as a young wife and mother to do it myself… to find the pace and quiet in my soul that provided the rest that I needed. But it would never come… and finally I reached out to the only one that I knew could provide it. And just like that, life changed and got a whole lot quieter in the chaos.

I think for each of us we crave something different. What is it that you crave? What is it that only God can provide to your soul? That is how we center ourselves, we reach for that. We seek that thing that only the Father can provide.

One thing is for certain, only God can give us the heart and love for others. Humans are self-centered by nature; we are inwardly focused. We want our way. We reach for our goals. We covet, we strive, we dream, we justify to ourselves. We strive for success, beauty, possessions, power, money and position. Yet none of that will soothe your soul.

All too often we find ourselves desperately seeking a goal only to find that once we have achieved it, we’re left with a hollow feeling.

To stay focused on God, you have to stop looking around you at the world. Remember that Jesus walked the same path. He walked this earth in perfection, keeping his eyes and focus on the Lord, and set before us the example of how we can make it through.

Love your neighbors in spite of their sins. Serve your neighbors in spite of yours. Let the world around you be simply focused on serving something bigger than yourself.

— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.