Why my friends frustrate me, annoy me and get under my skin … (or …how I’m growing thanks to my friends)
Isn’t it funny how you make friends?
There seems to be no real rhyme or reason to it.
Some are like you… some are not…
Some are for a short time in your life… some are for life.
There is no real scientific equation that can be proven that if you followed it would guarantee that you will have a true friend for life… sure there are always words and phrases that people use when they talk about friends… Loyal… trusting… support you… are there for you… have got your back… Are always there for you… etc.
And when I look at my closest friends a lot of these phrases are true, but there is something that surprised me as I looked closer at my friends… it was the things that I admired about my friends… it was the things that frustrated me about my friends… and the things that made me stronger because of them.
If I was to describe myself I would use phrases like:
- Big Picture
- Breaks rules
- Likes to play/have fun
- Takes risks
- Talks a lot
- Vision focused
It starts to paint a picture of someone who is creative and always on the go…
My brain is usually pretty full of new an creative ways to do things for people, express myself and communicate.
However it also paints a picture of someone who maybe isn’t as grounded all the time as I maybe can be.
So I sat down and looked at my closest friends… and it was actually amazing to see how the people I valued the most were people who were almost the exact opposite to me.
My closest friends were:
- Reduces risks
- Goals and objective focused
And I wondered why I kept getting frustrated by them on one hand… and drawn closer to them with the other.
And when you look at the two lists it doesn’t take much to notice it’s because we go about the same tasks in a totally different way...
We look at things differently…
We fulfill different parts of the same vision or job.
Where I would be used to come up with an idea… I’m not the best person to follow through with the idea, that’s where people like my friends excel…
While I think about things in big picture form… my friends are all about the detail.
While I am being emotional about the people… my friends are looking at the facts
It’s frustrating sometimes because they will sometimes tell me something and I’ll be like “Darn they’re right… AGAIN”
But there is this real sense of Iron sharpening iron… my closest friends have free reign (within reason) to tell me the true as they see it… they can pull me up on things that they think I may be lacking or neglecting… they can be truthful even when they know it may be something I may not want to hear.
But here is the thing… I trust them so much that they have permission to talk into my life… and as a result I have learnt so much from the closest of my friends
I said to one friend not that long ago how much I admired them and the things that they have shown me… but I was surprised when they said to me how they had learnt from me the art of “looking to the left and the right when moving forward…” and it made me think… “Yes this is what about true friendship is about”
There is a verse in the Bible that is often used at weddings:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (New Living Translation)
You see it seems to me that we are to join with other to help minimise our weaknesses… and maximise our strengths.
If I was with someone who was to much the same as me… I wouldn’t grown anywhere near as much and I certainly wouldn’t have someone with me who helps me where I am weak.
Or to use the famous quote from Jerry Maguire “You complete me”
Because if you look at my two lists above… my closest friends literally complete me!
We’re two sides of the same coin.
It’s been starting to frustrate me how people talk about faith as something that ‘just happens’ but the more I read the Bible the more I discover that God often requires us to step out first… and at THAT point God comes and takes over.
Faith is a VERB… a DOING word.
I’ve heard it said “If God wants it to happen it will” and while that is true, it seems that we still have to do something to prepare.
It seems to me that God has placed dreams in our hearts for a reason… and it may be days, weeks, months, years before we see the fruit of that dream… but it must be in our heart for a reason.
So what are you doing to prepare?
I read through the Bible and I see miracle after miracle where the person had to ‘step out’ first before the miracle happen…
A few examples are:
- The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land and God commanded the priest to step into the river (Joshua 3:8) – it wasn’t until they had stepped into the river did the river part.
- Jesus asked the staff to fill the jugs with water and take them to the head manager of the house before the water turned into wine… not only did the staff know they were taking water to the head of the house but they knew it was from the place where the people got water used to clean their feet.
- Mark 16:20 says people went forth and preached everywhere… with signs following
- God told Joshua that he had given the City of Jericho to Joshua… however they still had to walk around the walls 7 times in faith before they saw the miracle happen.
It seems that the Bible is FULL of stories where God asks us to step out in faith first, and then the miracles happen.
We shouldn’t just pray about our dreams… we should act on it.
Act as if God is going to deliver on his promise.
Now let me give FULL disclosure!
- We don’t want to put God in a box and say “This is the only way that God works miracles” because our God is certainly bigger than anything we could ever believe or imagine.
- This is NOT some “name it and claim it” scheme. You see it HAS to be in the will of God.
- It’s not about getting God to give us what WE want.
- It’s not about working hard to prove anything to God, in exchange for a miracle
So don’t just pray… because if our prayer isn’t accompanied by acting then there is a good chance we won’t go anywhere. It’s about putting feet to our faith or put another way:
“After kneeling down, we need to stand up and step out in faith” – Mark Batterson
I like that…
I once heard Pastor Francis Chan use the analogy of cleaning your room. He says:
“When my daughter comes to me and I say to her “Go clean your room” she knows better than to come back and say
“Hey Dad I went away and memorized everything you said… you said to me ‘Go clean your room’ ” …
She’s also not going to come back and say “I remembered what you said and I can tell you now that I can say ‘Go clean your room… in GREEK’
Or “We’re going to get our friends together every week and we’re going to study what it might look like if I was to clean my room.”
It doesn’t work does it?We have to at some point we have to step out…
Do you believe that God has planted that dream in your heart… do you know in your knower, that this dream is from God?
Then after you pray… Stand up… and step out in faith.
In research done by the Barna group in the USA showed that only 27% of church going school kids had some sort of prayer or devotion at home… this number is REALLY low.
However what’s the most alarming is that if you take out grace at dinner time… the number drops to between 10-12%
So that means that almost 90% of church going school kids never get any kind of devotion…
Now parents in Christian homes tell me that they want their kids to discover a relationship in Christ… so the question has to be asked…
How are they expecting that to happen osmosis?
John Piper writes: “If there is one memory that our children should have of our families and of our church it is this; they should remember God. god was first. God was central”
The Bible tells us to get the Bible message inside our children…
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Kids need and long to hear from us…
Our Testimonies… Our Experiences… Our personal encounters with God.
You see they want to know that what you believe isn’t just real but life changing.
Here’s the thing if parents don’t start to impress these on our children… you can bet that the enemy of souls will… in a subtle… but very real way.
Our kids are FAR TO VALUABLE to just to hand over to the enemy without a fight!
If you have children under the age of 12… and really would like resources for the home to help give your children EVERY opportunity to discover the amazing adventure God has in store for them. I would recommend Faith box.
For more information click on the link here!
and even better… I would strongly recommend you purchase it!
Have you ever been in a place where you have been making progress in your faith and all of a sudden you get railroaded?
I have… after a hard couple of months due to business and just ‘life’ in general I finally felt like I was in a place that was a place where I could get real with God again… it was time to do business!!
I had been really getting back into the word of God and reading it each morning with my wife Emma… and then last night we were with our growth group and we decided to have communion together… it was something most of us had never done outside of a ‘church’ building before and it , and most of us agreed that it gave it a different feel… a different focus… as we wrestled with how it was described in the Bible.
Spiritually I was feeling like things were getting back to where they had been before…maybe even better… until today.
A while ago I was in a position where I was being pursued by another woman… it was getting pretty messy (I won’t go into details) however I was given the opportunity to move to another part of the city for my job and I took it… and things were going pretty well… until today.
The same person I had being trying to stay away from and cut out of my life, started to message me, and text me… out of the blue?
I don’t think so… because all of a sudden I found myself thinking of where I had been before instead of where I was going.
It hit me like a bolt out of the blue…
I was frustrated on the drive home in my car… why this… and why now… things were starting to look so good.
And then I realised the hugeness of what having communion and remembering where we had come from as sinners meant to me… and then what it meant to the enemy.
And then I started to be frustrated at myself…
“Of course this has happened now… you had drawn a line in the sand and declared that you are aligning yourself with God… and the enemy doesn’t want that”
It was a ‘Duh Goose moment’
The reason it took me off guard was because I wasn’t being vigilant.
“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy…” – John 10:10a
Was I that naive to think that these things happening were an accident?
The enemy is strategic and forceful, and he’s playing for keeps… the Holy Spirits role is to help you have a closer relationship with God… and the enemy wants the opposite…
Be vigilant… keep and eye out.
Now I realise what is happening I am certainly going to be.
Relationships are hard in the first place…
Remember when you first started going out with someone… you love the fact that they were so laid back… they were just so relaxed… they never seemed to have a care in the world
If we are to be honest you started to idolise them… but then what happens?
After a while his ‘relaxed’ manner seems to grate on you… “they’re not relaxed… they’re lazy” you might think… “Sitting on the couch each day playing their guitar while I’m looking after the kids and cooking the meals”
What’s happened… You’ve demonised them for the very thing that you used to idolise them for… the same things that attracted you to this person in the first place.
Or how about this…
You started going out with someone… and they like to communicate… they talk through their feelings… they blog… they write songs… they think of words or ways of saying things that you have never thought of…
And if we are honest you might even start to idolise them a bit for it… but then what happens?
After a while you’re thinking… “OMG please just shut up… enough with your feelings… just give me space.”
You’ve demonised them for the very thing that you used to idolise them for… the same things that attracted you to this person in the first place.
And I’m sure if you think back you can think of a few different situations where you started to like someone and the things that they did made you smile… or you thought was cute… or made them interesting… only to find that after a while the things they do start to get under your skin!
The problem is people change… feelings change.
That’s why it’s so important to put God at the centre of every relationship that you…
Or in other words… put God at number ONE… so there is more chance for you TWO.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5 NLT
You see… when you put God in the centre of your relationship… you’re not seeing the other person as a ‘conquest’ or just another partner… you start to see them as someone who you really want to care for… you really want to see succeed… you really want to see thrive.
It’s not about you anymore… it’s about what you can do for the other person…
Sometimes it may be as simple as just being you… and just being there for the other person.
But however it happens when God is in the centre of your relationship there isn’t any chance to idolise or demonise… because God is bigger than that.
I read a statistic recently that said around 50% of those who got married separated… shocking huh???
Those who prayed as part of their relationship… the stats went as low as only 20-25% separated… so there was an 80% chance of success.
Imagine if we started to do that with ALL our really close relationships??
Imagine how tight and united we would be??
There comes a time in our lives when we have to reevaluate why we’re doing things… especially when we’re talking about the relationship between US and GOD…
You see it’s easy for us as Christian to forget about living in faith isn’t it?
We go to church…
We read our Bible…
We say our prayers…
We do good things for those around us…
And we read spiritual books and listen to Christian music…
The problem is not that we do these things… but that we don’t do them with faith in God.
It reminds me of the famous reformer Martin Luther… in a book of his life called “Here I stand” by Roland Bainton he was quoted as saying this:
“I was a good monk, and I kept the rule of my order strictly that I may say that if ever a monk got to heaven by his monkery it was I”
But then Luther came across Romans 1:17 ”It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”… Sola Fide – by faith alone… and from this came the rallying cry of the protestant reformation (the reason we have other churches other than Roman Catholic).
Even Luther came to the point when he realised there wasn’t anything… nothing at all… he could do except have faith in the Lord… give his whole life over in faith.
However the simple truth of Sola Fide… of living by faith alone isn’t based on the one verse in Romans… in fact it is scattered all throughout the Bible… if you don’t believe me, have a read of these verses below and just reflect on them…
- We are Justified through faith… (Rom 3:30; Gal 2:16)
- We receive Gods promises through faith… (Heb 6:12)
- We stand fast through faith… (Rom 11:20)
- We are children of God through faith… (Gal 3:26)
- The Holy Spirit is in us through faith… (Eph 3:17)
- We receive righteousness through faith… (Rom 3:22)
We live through faith and we die through faith… everything else is just pointless… it’s meaningless… It makes no difference how ‘good’ we are… or how ‘good’ we think we are…
When you give your life to God you’re dying by faith to one life… and it’s raised to life by faith in the resurrection of Jesus in our new life.
Sola Fide… Faith alone…
There isn’t any other option…
Do you have faith or are you playing a dangerous game of ‘playing Christian’ and going through the motions?
This isn’t going to be one of those nice feel good type of blogs… so if you’re not prepared to think about making some hard decisions then turn off the computer now and walk away… we’re gonna get serious!
I’ve been trying to sort my life out, it’s been a long process… but growing fruit is like that isn’t it?
I’m just starting to see the fruits of it all come into a new season now… but it hasn’t been easy.
Can I be perfectly honest with you?
I’m not going to sugar coat it… I’m a hypocrite – if I was to be perfectly blunt.
I never meant to be… I just became one… it wasn’t a planned move… it wasn’t a clear pathway I chose to go on… it wasn’t even waking up one morning thinking “I think I’ll be a hypocrite today”... I just became one.
You see Christian’s are REALLY good at coming up with excuses why they do things… In fact we’re starting to become famous for it… as an example – we are called to “Love” yet Christians are more known for what we are against than what we are for…
We’re part of the crew that gets drunk with everyone else… yet we say we’re “in the world but NOT of it”… We make excuses for living with our partners before we’re married, when we know the Bible says not to do it… but because it’s not a ‘direct command’ we think we have discovered some great cosmic loophole… We say that our bodies are a temple of the Holy spirit but we go out for a quick smoke at lunch time, or don’t eat properly or exercise regularly.
Lets start to get real people…
I know we all make mistakes… heck I’ve got be to pretty high up on the ledger as far as mistakes go… however fruit needs to grow, and we need to make sure we are starting to put ourselves in an environment for it to do that.
Now I was happy to continue my little life of having my feet in both camps… until I re-read this verse.
“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
…. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. ” – 1 John 4-10
Hold on… so if I know I’m doing wrong yet I still choose to do what is wrong… I don’t really know who Christ is???
But I’ve been a Christian all my life you may shout, however according to this verse… and plenty others within the Bible… you may have the ‘label’ of Christian… but you’re not a Disciple of Jesus… you’re not a follower… you’ve just got the label and go to church… you’re a casual Christian…
And just when you thought… but the things I’m doing are fine… Jesus didn’t COMMAND it… actually he did!
We get blindsided by this one phrase…
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” - Matthew 16:26
Lets face it… we’re hypocrites… and we’re selfish…
It’s sucks aye?
We’re so into making sure we’re HAPPY that we forget to look to the only one who can free us… the ONLY one… and what for? Our own selfish desires??? Our own comfort????
“But surely God wants me to be happy??”… no he doesn’t!!
God wants you to be so much more than just happy… “Christ came to give life… and life in ALL it’s fullness…”(1) or in some other versions “ABUNDANTLY.” He GAVE his only son as a sacrifice to FREE us so that we can be MORE than just happy and we’re willing to look for loopholes so that we don’t feel guilty about it???
What do you do with a scripture life 2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”
It doesn’t say “pick and choose scriptures that make YOU feel comfortable” does it???
We don’t want to give up what we have because giving up hurts… we have to die to who we once were... and dying isn’t fun (ask anyone!) … it’s often painful, and you have to give up so much… but the plans and the promises of God are so much more worth it…
Are you a person who ‘just goes to church’ and maybe sometimes reads the Bible or are you someone who is making a commitment to want to follow Jesus’ command and actually become a follower…
But here’s the thin… that means a death... death to what you’re clinging too… making excuses for…
I’m not here to judge… not my job… and it’s not my intention… I’m most likely more of a sinner than most of your who read this blog… however… I want to give my life over FULLY to what God wants for my life…
however if you are feeling uneasy… if you are feeling angry at me for writing this blog… if God is just quietly poking at your heart… then it may pay to give over your dirty laundry to God… he’s the only one who can deal with it.
It’s going to be hard… it’s going to hurt…
But Gods plans are so much better than anything I could ever come up with…
Have you got the courage to look through your life and start to make those changes… because that’s what repentance is… a TOTAL turn around… the other direction… not looking back.
It’s time to stop making excuses for your sin.
I know you probably get this a lot… but do you realise just how AWESOME you are?
It amazes me that we live in a society where the people who are the best at what they do get knocked down… in New Zealand we call this the tall poppy syndrome, which means that those who raise their heads above the others get lopped down to size.
Do we realise how insane this is?
Surely it would be better for society if the best did well… and not only did well but then in turn helped those who needed help… but that’s not the case (generally… there are always exceptions) but what usually happens is those who do well keep it quiet so that they don’t gets mocked and brought down or go elsewhere so they don’t have to help those who insist that because they’ve done well they now owe society something.
I’ve been a social commentator in the past and I’ve been one of the knockers…
You see we’re all arm chair critics until someone asks us for answers to all the problems that we have just picked out.
The thing that really makes me upset is that it happens in our own homes... and we let it happen.
We’re letting ourselves and others let our pasts define us, we’re letting our family members our partners, our friends etc… tell us that we’re never going to be able to make a difference in our own live because of the mistakes we’ve made in the past…
Well I’m here to tell you… IT’S TIME TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!
The great thing I love about the Bible is that it is FULL of people like you and me who made mistakes… Take Paul as an example, he used to kill and persecute Christians and then God turned his life around and he ended up writing most of the New Testament. Peter denied Jesus 3 times and then ended up leading his Church.
You see where you’re going and what you’re doing aren’t nearly as important as WHO YOU’RE BECOMING.
Your mistakes are part of your human-ness they are the things that build who you are becoming… no one said it was going to be an easy ride… in fact Jesus said “you will have trouble”.
Yes the past mistakes will often come with consequences, some will be visible to the world and some will stick with us as hidden scares for a while… but they don’t define us, they are the rough edges that help make us smoother.
So it’s time to get up and start believing in yourself…
I don’t mean get cocky… I mean have confidence that you are who you were made to be because there is a bigger plan… you were made to be you… so why pretend to be someone you’re not?
I’m telling you… you’re awesome!
And believe me I don’t tell that to everyone! ;OP
- Figuring out the Magicians tricks… (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
Feminist Gloria Steinham famously made the statement “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” it was pretty witty statement that has been thrown around for years… it even appears in the song ‘Trying to throw your arms around the world’ from the U2 album Achtung Baby (a song I love for the record).
I wonder… if woman need to start thinking MORE like this…
Now before you think “Has Goose become feminist???”, I want to make things clear that I believe that we were created for relationship… and a relationship between a man and woman… an equal partnership, divided by the two different genders.
Ok so that’s clear…
I have so many female friends who are so eager to be in a relationship that they are almost willing to throw away all their beliefs… their hopes and dreams… their futures… just to hold onto a myth of ’the perfect relationship’…
or sometimes it is just to have a man in their life…
or the illusion of a family unit.
Woman please hear me… know who you are.
You are more than just a relationship tyre that gets kicked around.
You shouldn’t be loved because you’re good in bed… or the kitchen… or look good on someone’s arm…
You should be loved because YOU ARE YOU…
That should be good enough for anyone who you meet who wants to be in a relationship with you… and if not – they don’t deserve you… you don’t ever sell yourselves shorter than the beautiful princess that you are.
Know who you are…
There are so many women who have a low self esteem or a distorted view of themselves…
Here’s the thing… The God who made you doesn’t make junk… in fact it says in the Bible that “he knew you BEFORE you were born”… and then if that wasn’t enough he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross just so that he could continue to live with YOU.
Even better than that… he wants to have YOU as part of his family…
The God of the universe loves you so much… why would you sell yourselves short for some guy who likes you in bed… but isn’t willing to help you with anything else??
Your partner should be willing to die for you… they want the best for you… the want to see you succeed…
You see true love looks like this…
It’s patient... it’s willing to take its time FOR YOU.
It’s kind… it’s not belittling you or making you feel bad.
It’s not envious… it doesn’t restrict your friends or screen your calls (unless your in a dangerous place)
It trusts you.
You see love gets the best out of you… sometimes it’s hard because the same that loves gives you… you need to be ready to give the same back… it’s a sacrifice for both sides.
Maybe the phrase should be “you need a guy who doesn’t really love you like a fish needs a bicycle”
Because when you find the right guy… he will move mountains for you.
But women… know who you are.
Because when you’re picky about who you are… you start looking for the same in the person you want to be with.
You are awesome... because that’s how you are made.
You don’t need to settle for someone who doesn’t love you for who you are… EVER!