Author Archive for: Diamond Grant

About Diamond Grant

Diamond Grant is passionate follower of Christ with a deep love for writing. After rededicating her life to Christ during her college years, Diamond became an advocate for women pursuing mental, emotional, and physical health/wellness. When she is not busy being a homeschooling mama to her son or mentoring women on the road to healing, you can find her with a stack of books and a journal nearby ready to take notes.
  • Motives Matters I am a parent, and as a parent, it’s really important to me that my son makes good choices and does the right thing when faced with difficult situations. But just as important as WHAT my son does is WHY he does it. You see, I want my son to do the right […]

    Heart Transformation NOT Behavior Modification

    Motives Matters

    I am a parent, and as a parent, it’s really important to me that my son makes good choices and does the right thing when faced with difficult situations. But just as important as WHAT my son does is WHY he does it. You see, I want my son to do the right thing but I also want him to do the right thing for the right reason. That means when I ask him to do something, I not only want him to do it, I want to know he’s doing it because he respects and honors me as his mother. That means when a friend wants to play with one of his toys, I not only want him to share, I want him to understand that our God is loving and giving, and as a child of God possessing His nature that he should operate in a similar manner. To me, the motivation behind my son’s actions matters just as much as his actions and the same can be said of how our Heavenly Father feels about the decisions we make.

    What is a motive?

    One of my favorite definitions of the word motive is the following: a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious. Essentially, motives are the underlying current beneath the choices we make and the actions we take. They are the “why” behind the “what”. 

    No one sees our motives (aside from God), which is what makes them so easy to ignore or overlook. However, that doesn’t make them any less important to God, and that doesn’t mean we should care about them any less. 

     

    Why do motives matter?

    Motives matter because God isn’t simply looking for behavior modification, He’s looking for genuine heart transformation. Proverbs 21:2 (ESV) tells us, “Every way of man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Ultimately this means that God is more concerned with the attitude and reason behind our actions than He is with the actions themselves.  

    If I ask my son to put his toys away and he starts sighing and stomping his feet around while throwing his toys in the toy box, that would be completely unacceptable. Why? Because the attitude behind his actions is wrong. Despite the fact that he is putting the toys away, I want him to do so willingly and nicely because he respects who has told him to do so and why he’s been told to do so.

    God is no different. If you pay your tithes but gripe as you do so, God isn’t pleased despite the fact you’re doing something He tells us to do. God wants you to give your tithes with a joyful heart because you love and honor Him, the one who commanded us to do so. Also, because you recognize that everything you’ve been given is a gift from Him and want to honor and thank Him for what you’ve been given by the act of obedience that is giving your tithes. 

    Or let’s go back to my son, and say he does clean up and does so pleasantly but then expects to get something from me in return. That too would be unacceptable. Why? Because the motivation behind his obedience isn’t because it’s the right thing to do or because he honors an instruction I’ve given as his mother. Rather, his motivation is driven by his belief that he will earn a reward for his actions. 

    In the same way, God is not a Father who bribes us. So our motivation to obey Him should be based out of our relationship with Him, love for Him, and honor of Him- NOT because we expect a reward from Him. 

     

    Heart Transformation NOT Behavior Modification 

    Another thing about behavior modification is that if it’s not accompanied by heart transformation, the behavior will eventually revert back to its normal pattern. And while it’s pretty easy to change your actions, it takes a lot more effort to change your heart. 

    Take me and cursing for example. Once upon a time during a period of separation from Christ, I was convinced I could cure myself of cursing. For 7 days, I wore a rubber band around my wrist and anytime I cursed either myself or a friend would pop that rubber band against my wrist. It was painful, and after just 5 days I was programmed to jump out of anticipation of being popped if I cursed. For the 21 days that followed I did not curse and was certain I had banished the habit for good. 

    Fast forward to 3 months later when driving with my friend and being cut off by another driver, which almost resulted in a terrible accident. Let’s just say the cursing came back with a vengeance. Immature me thought, “the driver made me do it” but the truth is, nothing that wasn’t already inside of me would have come out no matter the situation. Essentially, I changed the behavior pattern but the heart that produced the cursing remained the same. It was only a matter of time before a curse word slipped out because I hadn’t addressed the root of the issue. 

    The reason heart transformation matters so much to God is because it’s indicative of a genuine relationship with Christ. You see, when you truly get to know our Heavenly Father- His nature, His heart, His love, His plans, His purpose- you want nothing more than to honor and please Him. When you truly understand how good, faithful, loving, generous, forgiving, gracious, and merciful our God is, you desire nothing more than to become more like Him. And the natural by-product of the heart transformation that comes from knowing God at a deeper level is the long-lasting modification of our behavior. 

    So rather than asking yourself “What have I done lately?”, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Why did I do what I did?” Did you volunteer at that charity event so you could post about it on social media, or did you participate because you genuinely care about others? Are you reading your Bible daily with a grudge in your heart because it feels like a chore? Or do you read the Bible daily with joy and excitement because you long for a deeper relationship with the Heavenly Father? Do you serve in ministry at church to be seen by others, or do you serve because you have the heart to serve others?

    Our actions should never be about being glorified by man (Galatians 1:10) or receiving a reward (Matthew 6:1-18). Rather, everything we do should come from a pure heart, a  good conscience, and sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5). 

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  • Here it goes- I ditched Christianity in pursuit of Christ. Now before you close this article tab and completely write me off, bear with me. I am going somewhere with this, I promise. What I’m not saying here is that I’m not a Christian. I am 100% a born-again believer. I believe Jesus Christ died […]

    Ditching Christianity in Pursuit of Christ

    Here it goes- I ditched Christianity in pursuit of Christ. Now before you close this article tab and completely write me off, bear with me. I am going somewhere with this, I promise. What I’m not saying here is that I’m not a Christian. I am 100% a born-again believer. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and rose again to reestablish a connection between the Heavenly Father and man. But I also believe there has been hyperfocus on Christianity the religion and not enough focus on Christ. 

    What I am saying is that I’ve noticed a pattern in modern-day religion that puts the rules and practices of religion above being more like Christ. Modern-day Christianity seems to over-emphasize the do’s and don’ts and puts a lot of weight on all the things to avoid if one wants to get to heaven and avoid hell. 

    But what about what I think is the real message of Christianity? What about the love of God? When I first gave my life to Christ as a child and then rededicated my life to Christ as a young adult, what drew me into the Kingdom wasn’t fear of going to hell or a desire to fit into a group of superior beings. Rather, I was touched by the love of a God that would send His son to die for my sins before I was ever a thought in my mother’s head, knowing all the wrong I’d ever do. I was touched by the forgiveness of a Heavenly Father who didn’t see my sins as my identity. I was gripped by the grace of a God who would restore me and redeem me after the mistakes I had made and experiences I had walked through. 

    It was the love of God that lifted me, and it was the love of God that I wanted to embody in my daily life. It’s not so much that I stopped believing it was necessary to obey biblical commands. It’s that I felt there was way more emphasis on following biblical and religious protocol than there was on the saving grace and redeeming power of God. It’s that I felt people cared more about appearances than actually exhibiting and displaying the unconditional love of Christ. 

    So I started to study the Bible to really see who God was and how Jesus operated when He walked the Earth. I may not know everything about Christianity, but I know God’s Word is true and that it stands the test of time. It was as I studied the Word of God and learned more about the nature of God that I saw in Jesus what it seems the Christian church as a whole has forgotten. 

     

    Unconditional Love

    We serve a God whose love for us knows no bounds. His love isn’t based on our performance or perfection. He doesn’t love us more when we do right and less when we do wrong. He doesn’t love us more when we serve and give and less when we don’t. He doesn’t pull his love away from us when we stray or make mistakes. God’s love is unending and unchanging, period. 

    So why then are we so quick to deny love to people who look different than us, believe differently than us, or behave differently than us? It’s a common misconception that to love someone means to condone their inappropriate behavior, beliefs, or lifestyles. That is not the case! You can love a person and not love their actions. You can embrace a person but not their beliefs. It’s literally what parents fo every single day when their children make poor choices, and it’s what God does when we make poor choices. Thus, as the church and a representation of Christ, we are called to offer the same to the world. 

     

    Imperfection

    God was not and is not looking for perfection. The twelve disciples were Jesus’ closest friends and yet they all were flawed in some way. Judas betrayed Jesus and Matthew was a dishonest tax collector, yet Jesus kept them close and worked through all of them to draw people into the Kingdom. And some of the most notable and influential people in the Bible were also some of the most imperfect. The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart despite the fact that he was a murderer and an adulterer. 

    God is never looking for perfection. Rather, He’s looking for a humble and willing heart. He already knows we’ll make mistakes, and that doesn’t push Him away or turn Him off. Honestly, it enthuses Him because when God works through the obviously imperfect person it can only point back to Christ. 

    If God had no issues embracing imperfect people, why do we? As it’s often said, a hospital is for sick people, not people who are well. And the church should be a place where people find refuge, not rejection. Rather than turn people away because they don’t meet all the criteria or obey all the rules, we need to welcome people who are hurting and broken. 

     

    Forgiveness

    Our God is merciful and graceful. He doesn’t bind us to our past or condemn us because of our failures. Our God forgives us freely and without hesitation when we ask for forgiveness. Not only that, but He also forgets our sins, separating them from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12).  

    So why do we seem to hold people to their past forever? Who are we to judge? Who are we to condemn? Colossians 3: 13 (NLT) tells us, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” So we need to practice the art of forgiving and focus on righting our own wrongs as opposed to pointing out the flaws of others and holding those sins against them. 

    So this isn’t a story of me abandoning Christianity in favor of some new-age religion. This is simply a tale of me getting back to the root of Christianity- God’s unfailing and unending love for us. I want anyone who comes into contact with me to have an encounter with Christ. I want to love of God that so deeply encompasses me to flow so freely through me that people leave my presence better than when they entered it. I want to embody the fruits of the spirit in a way that clearly represents the God I serve.  In doing all that I believe people will be drawn to Christ and into the Kingdom with ease. 

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  • As I matured in my relationship with Christ, I came to realize that studying God’s Word was a necessary practice I needed to prioritize in my daily life. However, when I came to this conclusion I found it really hard to know how or where to start on my Bible studying journey.  Over the years, […]

    Practical Tips for Effective Bible Study

    As I matured in my relationship with Christ, I came to realize that studying God’s Word was a necessary practice I needed to prioritize in my daily life. However, when I came to this conclusion I found it really hard to know how or where to start on my Bible studying journey. 

    Over the years, I’ve learned a few techniques, implemented a few practices, and utilized a few tools that have made Bible Study one of my favorite things to do. It’s my hope that these tips also aid you as you seek God through the study of His Word. 

     

    Use a Version You Understand

    Studying the Bible will do you no good if you’re unable to understand the version you’re reading from. It’s important you utilize a version of the Bible that is biblically sound, but that also allows you to comprehend and interpret what you are reading. I mean the King James Version is great for memorization, but with all the thou, thee, and thus being thrown around, I am left thoroughly confused by the end of a chapter. 

    I use two versions while doing my own Bible study. I love the ESV version for reading chapters straight-through. I then switch to the Message Bible for breaking down individual verses. 

     

    Use Highlighters, Markers, and Pens

    Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible! I love using colored highlighters, markers, and pens to write notes, highlight passages that stand out, and circle or underline words that are notable. This helps me truly dive into what I’m reading versus simply skimming through the text. 

     

    Use a Journal or Notebook

    As you study the Bible you’ll likely get revelations and have questions. Having a journal or notebook on hand allows you to write down your revelations and your questions as you read. You’re then able to come back later to review your insights and build upon them, or answer the questions you’ve written after you’ve done some research and found the answers. 

     

    Consider a Journaling Bible

    Journaling Bibles are the best of both worlds. You have a Bible that allows you to read and study combined with the space (lined or unlined) to write notes within your Bible- no additional notebook needed. This option is great if you’re a person who likes to keep everything contained in one place. 

    Plus, journaling Bibles give you the chance to be creative and expressive with your Bible study. My journaling Bible, in addition to having notetaking space, also has coloring pages and spaces throughout. I can color images and scriptures which allows me to relieve stress while simultaneously meditating on the Word. I also use planner stickers and other decorative items to really personalize my Bible and enhance my study time.  

     

    Use a Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Google

    Often when I am studying the Bible I like to cross reference words using a dictionary and a thesaurus. It’s amazing how much more understanding you can gain simply by defining some of the words in a verse or by looking up synonyms for a word. Similarly, there are times when I need context on a specific verse or passage. That’s when Google comes in. There are times I spend an hour or two consulting reliable online resources to help me better understand the timeframe a particular event happened, or to explain the meaning of a word in Greek or Hebrew. For me, it’s about doing what I need to get the most out of what I read.

    Ultimately, Bible study should be about deepening your understanding of the Word so you can receive revelation and apply the Word to your daily life. However, you cannot apply what you don’t comprehend. So don’t be afraid to use additional tools and resources to help you better process the scriptures so you can apply God’s Word to your life and experience the transformation that comes with application of revelation. 

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  • An Interview with A Naturopathic Medical Student: Brianna Jones Naturopathic medicine is a huge part of my daily life. As a person living with a chronic illness, naturopathic medicine has become a way for me to take control of my health and live a more productive and fulfilled life. But what is naturopathic medicine and […]

    What is Naturopathic Medicine and Why You Should be Practicing it

    An Interview with A Naturopathic Medical Student: Brianna Jones

    Naturopathic medicine is a huge part of my daily life. As a person living with a chronic illness, naturopathic medicine has become a way for me to take control of my health and live a more productive and fulfilled life. But what is naturopathic medicine and how, if at all, is it connected to our relationship with Christ? 

    For those questions, I sat down with my good friend and sister in Christ, Brianna Jones, a naturopathic medicine student at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. We discussed the basics of naturopathic medicine and its links to our relationship with God. 

     

    Diamond: Simply put, what is naturopathic medicine?

    Brianna: I would have to say naturopathic medicine is modern medicine catching up to the principles of the original form of medicine. It is a form of healthcare that creates and nurtures conditions for the body to do what God created the body to do.It approaches health by: utilizing the least invasive & least toxic therapies, educating patients on how to achieve and maintain health, identifying & treating the root cause, treating the whole person and not just the signs and symptoms, nurturing the God-given ability of the body to heal when given the proper environment, and lastly, always approach the patient with the intention of disease prevention and not just disease management.

    One of the primary principles of naturopathic medicine is “doctor as teacher”. The naturopathic doctor should be able to explain to the patient what is going on with their body and how they can become their own best doctor. The profession believes that when appropriate, the least invasive treatment is most optimal—especially in the long run. 

     

    Diamond: What are practical ways people can begin to incorporate naturopathic medicine practices into their daily lives?

    Brianna: The running joke many of my fellow ND peers have is to start with the basics. So often we want to incorporate so many supplemental modalities but supplemental treatment (to add in addition to) is just that- additional. While supplements, botanical medicine, and iv therapy are helpful modalities, they cannot replace the following fundamentals: 

    Stay hydrated. Consuming water is fundamental. Many of the biochemical processes that our body operates on requires water to run optimally. 

    Eat healthily. We should be feeding our bodies foods that provide the body with biochemical cofactors that are necessary for biochemical processes to occur, such as breaking down molecules into energy. This could be the vitamin C in citrus fruits, the sulfur in veggies like broccoli, or vitamin A from sweet potatoes. 

    Exercise regularly. This keeps our circulatory and lymphatic systems from becoming stagnant. This is important because it ensures cardiovascular health, as well as muscle and bone health. Additionally,  it allows our blood and lymphatic system (immune system) to circulate and function properly. Jesus could have easily gotten rides but the Bible recounts Him walking time and time again. I wonder why? 

    Mental health. Ensure that the body is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually well.  We know that our mind has a direct impact on our biological state. When we look at the leading causes of death we see that stress plays a critical role in triggering these diseases. Stress cues our body to release hormones that were not intended to stay triggered long term. When they say stress kills it’s not an exaggeration, it’s true. So we need to be taking measures to 

     

    Diamond: How can someone advocate for themselves if they want to take a more naturopathic route to manage their health conditions?

    Brianna: I suggest getting in tune with your body. Listening to your body is key. So often we rely on seeing the signs and symptoms. But by the time we visualize them the illness process is already in motion. When we listen and sense that something isn’t right, then we are able to take precautionary and preventive steps to our healing. 

    Another way is to know and believe that health is possible. Many of us accept the fate that we are victims of our genetics when in fact, the environment has a greater impact and even influences our genetic expression (epigenetics). This is why eternal life and healing is always paired with faith and belief. That is how powerful it is. We as believers have to stand firm in the knowledge that WHO our faith is in can make THE change that lasts forever. No surrendering to hell and the fear tactics and agenda of the culture or medical industry. Healing and wellness is your portion because of the God you serve. Period.

     

    Diamond: What is the link between the wellness of the physical being and the spiritual being?

    Brianna: When we realize that the body possesses a spirit and a soul, we then treat the body with value. It’s also about realizing that God chose to house the spirit and soul within the body and that our spirit & God’s spirit has a physiological impact on the body (vice versa). 

    When we realize that every biblical principle has a reflective biological concept, and when we recognize that Christ died for our soul (that is housed in a body), then we realize that people dying from preventable diseases really is an attack on the soul and spirit. The connection is inextricable. The enemy doesn’t want our body, he wants our soul but through the body is how he gains access to our soul. 

     

    Diamond: How does/can naturopathic medicine support the wellness of our spiritual being? 

    Brianna: It all goes back to the principles of naturopathic medicine. We are trained to see the person and their body as one whole system- every system is connected. The vascular system supplies the entire body. The endocrine system releases hormones that biologically affects every aspect of our body. Our mental and emotional state impacts our entire body. Our nervous system takes in information, processes it, and allows our body to perform a given output. Our spirit is no different. Our bodies’ physiologically responds to being in God’s presence. Our bodies align when our spirits are aligned with His. When we commune with God via prayer, heart-rate/blood pressure decreases, stress hormone secretion is lessened.  When we bring our spirit to the Great Physician, the whole body is brought into a state of healing.

     

     


    About Brianna: Brianna Jones is in her 2nd year of Naturopathic medical school at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. She knew she wanted to commit her life to disease prevention through medical literacy by teaching lifestyle wellness and teaching the gospel after witnessing both of her grandparents die from preventable diseases at a young age. 

    After years of sitting on her gift of merging science and scripture, Brianna recently launched a platform where she shares medical education paired with godly revelation. The platform, The Great Physician’s Daughter, bridges the gap between science and scripture by teaching that science is merely a description of God’s creation. You can find Brianna and her platform, The Great Physician’s Daughter, on Instagram at @ohbriebrie

     

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