I had a laugh with my good friend Monique the other day… she was telling me how she’s got a mouse problem… and the mouse is hiding in the kitchen somewhere…
The Funny part wasn’t the fact that there was in the kitchen… in fact Monique is terrified of the little thing… the funny part was how she discribed her kitchen
“It’s like a death trap Goose” she said
“There are traps and poison all over the place” she then chuckled…
It was a little bit funny however after I thought about it for a while I thought… isn’t it strange that we are so willing to get rid of a mouse, a wasp , even a spider from our house that in a years time… in two years time… will have no impact whatsoever on our lives, yet we sit and stew on things in our lives that can destroy us… but not only ourselves but those around us.
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people who are in relationships where there is anger issues and it’s tearing these couples apart… why?
Because there were issues before hand that hadn’t been dealt with properly before hand…
The problem with Anger is that it isn’t like a stop gate where you can just let things in.. or our… but it’s like an account balance it’s saying “You took something from me and I will keep pushing until I feel I have been compensated,” the problem with this is that often you’re not even with the person who wronged them. Some one somewhere in this persons life hurt this person… but instead of dealing with the issue… they hid it deep down inside…
Anger is something that you need to deal with as soon as you can… there is an old proverb that says “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger…”… you see don’t even let it get to the end of the day before dealing with it… in other words keep a short account of your anger.
The reason for this is when you don’t deal with it it jumps from relationship to relationship with the person who is angry… now there’s an even bigger problem because they are now angry… but they don’t know who they’re angry with… or what… so they will just snap at things that make them feel vulnerable. They’re taking the pain, hurt, and rejection from one season of their life to the other.
They start to loose sight of what makes them mad… and they make excuses about what makes them angry and they blame others, and the people they blame may not be the original source of the pain!
It happens a lot in marriage… and we’re starting to see it more and more.
It doesn’t matter how cute a guy is, or how sexy a girl is, or who he is or where he has come from or if you think you are best friends… if you are going out with a guy or girl who has anger issues… run for the hills… get out of it when you can!
“But we’re in love!!!”
I know this sounds harsh but “Get over it”… get out of there while you still can… MOVE ON… because either you break it up now… or they will crush it out of you later.
Because you are going to be consistently blamed for things that you will never understand.
You can apologize hundreds of times, you can say sorry, and no matter how hard you try you will never feel like they will let you measure up to their debt… and the reason why?… because the debit is most likely not with you!
You are just bumping into wounds that they brought into the relationship.
Ephesians 4:31 says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior” (NLT)
You see it’s like if you get diagnosed with cancer… you don’t ask where you got it from… you just want to get rid of it…
So why do we let these things so close into our hearts that we are willing to suffer the rest of our lives for it???
How long are you willing to have anger in your home?
Get rid of it… do not have it in your life… and if you are the one with the anger issues… take time think back and find out where it originated… because the people around you shouldn’t need to suffer for your actions.
And if you are thinking of getting married someone with these issues… get out of there while you can… don’t let it crush you… and what ever you do DON’T make excuses for it!
Because if it has come up already in your relationship it will again and again and again.
If you were the God who loves you so much that he was willing to send his only son to die for you and would do anything for you…
What would you expect him to want you to do?
Have you ever wondered why when you go and confess to God or a priest why nothing changes?
Why you keep going back time after time again…. for the SAME THING??
Here’s what I think… Because God is thinking “Why are you telling me? I already know… Tell the person you have wronged”
James (Jesus’ Brother) says something similar in the book of James here’s what he said:
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” – James 5:16 (NLT)
Now I understand what you’re thinking… hold on… the person I have wronged may not know I have hurt them they are going to be distraught when I tell them.
But here’s the thing… here’s what I think…
You have ALREADY hurt them and you have ALREADY wronged them, and by holding onto your secret doesn’t protect them, but destroys YOU, it eats away at you.
You see every relationship you go to… every friendship you’re in… every situation that reminds you of your secret means you feel guilty and that will continue to eat away at you… the only way you can get rid of it fully is to confess… not just to God (because He already knows) or a priest but confess to EACH OTHER especially to the person you have wronged.
James says… confess to each other… learn from it… heal from it… grow from it… and then pray to God for his help for you to move on so that you can “see wonderful results”
You see it seems to me that you’ll never be able to move on… until you are honest with yourself and others…
But it’s so scary!!…
Yes it is…
However is it more scary that trudging it through your life until you have to finally confess it on your death bed?
Do you want something to eat away at you for that long?
When you can be FREE NOW!
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. – Hebrews 4:12 NLT
I’ve been thinking a lot about the different camps that divide the church… and while there is a need to stand up for the truths that are in the scriptures… and there is a need for us to highlight messages that aren’t true… we all would agree with most of that… HOWEVER I believe that the camps we have found ourselves in are just making us lazy.
There used to be a time that people used to turn to the Bible when challenged… they used to check translations… they used to put it into context of the whole story of the Gospel message that had been threaded through the dozens of books of the old and new testament.
These days… we listen to the pod casts of those that we like… we talk about the Gospel with only those who share our views… we read books by people we know will challenge us a little bit without making us have to think too hard about the logical conclusion…
And we have become lazy…
We have become slack on the gospel story…
We are missing out huge chunks of the message of God.
It’s good to like good writers… it’s good to talk about gospel things with people who share our same view and it’s good to read books that cement our way of thinking… However… we need to get outside out nice little insulated Christian bubbles and look beyond what other people within our circles are thinking… we need to really get back into the Bible.
There seems to be more and more people who assume what they believe is right but it’s not based on personal study… it’s based on simply what they were told… that’s why you are seeing large crowds of presumable smart sophisticated Christians following people who’s message just doesn’t stack up biblically.
I love the book of Acts and I have most likely read that book of the Bible more than any book of the Bible… but this scripture caught my attention… I love how scripture is like that… you can read the same story 4 or 5 time and then one day this amazing realization hits you.
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. – Acts 17:11 NLT
These guys are just cool… they didn’t just take what Paul and Silas had to say… they were challenged and they went back and read the scriptures… not just read the scriptures in this version it says they SEARCHED the scriptures… and not just once or twice but “day after day”
So are you just believing what is being told?
Or are you being challenged and then going and checking it out in light of The Truth…
Sometimes it feels like God is hunting me down with a message that he wants me to get… not just in my head… not just in my heart… but deep down into the deepest crevices of my soul… so I thought I would stop, and listen.
You see I wonder if we have it all wrong as Christ followers.
Do we really want people to become Christians?
If we do… what does one look like?
I’ve seen bitter custody battles over children by two people who claim to be Christians…
I’ve read books about wars between two Nations who claim to have God on their side… Is our God schizophrenic?
I’ve worked with people who said they are Christian… but their behaviour would seem they are far from that.
The reality is you can ask 5 different people “What is a Christian?” and you will most likely get 5 different answers… or at least views on the subject.
And here is why I think that… because there is nothing to define what a Christian is!
Hold on… what does the Bible say about the matter… surely the Bible would solve this who argument for us…
You would think so right?
You see the Bible mentions Christians 3 times (to save you the trouble Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16) and for the most part it is used as a derogatory name… it was other people calling Jesus followers ‘Christians’… and when Peter (in 1Peter) uses the word it is in reference to what people where calling them. It was almost as if people were actually saying “look at that bunch of Jesus FREAKS… those… CHRIST-ians”
And this brings me to where I seem to be getting chased… hunted… pursued. It seems that every sermon I hear or Christian book I read a word is haunting me… the word ‘disciple’. Even our own Church HPCC discussed ‘being a disciple’ at our evening church last night!
Christ never called us to be Christians… I mean what is that?
Christ called us his DISCIPLES.
“Go into all the world and make disciples” Matthew 28:19
Not make Christians…
The world is sick of Christians… and that’s OK because that is not what we were called to be… we were called to be disciples of Christ.
Even our churches are filled with people who call themselves Christians but do little more than turn up on Sunday and sing a few songs… they do just enough to bring it up in an arguement “Oh no… I wouldn’t do THAT… I’m a Christian”
Now imagine if our churches were full of Disciples?
People who were students of Jesus?
The word ‘disciple’ appears over 200 times… and it starts to paint a really clear picture of what it means to be a disciple.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my disciple (follower), you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (NLT)
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)
You see it makes it very clear… we are to love one another… we are to turn from our selfish ways… we are to humble ourselves.
You see it’s not about us… it never is about us… it is about reflecting everything back to God.
But being a disciple is hard work… it is dedication.
No wonder people opt to be called Christian rather than a disciple of Christ… because being a disciple means you have to live like one.
Being a Christian means you can live however you want whenever you want… why?
Because being a ‘Christian’ isn’t defined… as far as the world is concerned it’s about being good.
But you will never be good enough until you surrender your life fully to Christ Jesus and become a disciple.
As my pastor in Queenstown Shar Davis used to say “Simple but not Easy”