Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Relationship revolution

Calvin's sermon has haunted me all week. I know that sounds nutty. I really do always pay attention to his sermons. I really do try to apply his sermons to my life. Sometimes that is easier to do than others. This week's sermon left me no choice. It was and is completely applicable to me personally.

He is preaching through the book of James. This week was Chapter 4 vs 1-3. Let me go ahead and share those verses.

1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Here's the thing...there is no way for me to reason or rationalize this away (not that I would evvvvvvverrrrrrr try to do that). Just for this week, I have tried to find one instance that I could use as an exception the the rule....can't find one.

Every single time I have been put out with someone...it applies.

Every time I have been offended....it applies.

Every time I have gotten aggravated.....you guessed it.

Every time I lost my temper.....yep.

Scripture is funny like that.

Now, sermons like this could make it hard to be a pastor's wife if your pastor does not listen to his own sermon. Thankfully, Calvin DOES take to heart what God leads him to preach to the congregation. The application of this one sermon has revolutionized our relationship with each other and with our children.

I challenge you to try and find a way to rationalize the truth in this scripture away.
The thing that causes fights and quarrels between you and those in your life is WITHIN you. You fight and quarrel because you don't get what you want.

The next time you lose your cool....is it because you didn't get what your way?

The next time you yell at your kids....is it because they didn't do what you want?

The next time you get angry with your spouse....is it because he or she didn't do what you want?

The truth behind this scripture is one that we visited in Ladies Bible Study....

It is not the responsibility of your spouse, your children, your boss, or your friends to make you happy and to "fill you up" emotionally, because that is a spiritual issue. Only God can do that. Only God can meet our spiritual needs. the other truth in this scripture is:
You don't get what you want because you don't ask.....OR when you ask, you ask with selfish motives.........you aren't seeking God's will. (ouch!)

Have trouble trusting people? Do you trust God to put trustworthy people in your life?

The people in your life don't validate you? Do you find value in your status as a child of God?

Boss, friends, spouse, kids don't appreciate the job you do? Are you doing all things as if you are working for GOD and serving HIM in all you do?

Like so many things, it is all in your perspective.

Any of us can turn our focus inward and have a large pity party on any given day. When we turn our gaze upward and focus on serving God it is almost impossible to have a pity party.

Any of us can turn our gaze to the people in our life and become angry and frustrated because they have not met all of our needs, have let us down, have hurt us, taken advantage of us, the list could go on forever......OR we can turn our gaze UPWARD and focus all that fault finding energy on becoming the man or woman God dreamed of when he dreamed of us.

This is a life changing, relationship revolutionizing, earth shattering choice you and I can make right now.
Let the people in your life off the hook.
Stop looking to those around you for meaning and validation and worthiness.
Stop being disappointed in the people in your life for not being God.
Only God can validate your TRUE worth.
Only God can fill you up emotionally.
Only God can give your life meaning.
Stop looking to the creation to do things the Creator longs to do for you!
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