There a numerous open patches of land around our house. I always find it interesting why people feel they can throw their garbage, torn up sofas and badly used beds on these vacant pieces of land.
I’ve seen owners put up signs, “No Dumping,” “You are under surveillance,” and “Keep out private property,” to no avail. The dumping continues and the owner has three options to deal with it. They can fence in their property, which is quite cost prohibitive. They can let the trash pile up, which is a fire and health hazard. Or, they can clean it up.
It’s the same way with people. You can put up a fence, your boundaries, to keep people from dumping on you through their hurtful words and actions. This option will work some of the time, but not always. This leaves Options #2 and #3: you can let the garbage pile up, causing you both physical and mental health problems or you can clean it up through forgiveness and experience peace (Col. 3:13).
I hear a, “It’s not fair. I’m not the one throwing the garbage out!” coming. You’re right it’s not fair. We live in a fallen world, however, where it will happen whether we like it or not. Yet fairness doesn’t help you take out the garbage. The person who tossed it your way might never come clean it up (i.e. ask your forgiveness). Will you choose to leave it there and let the smell of it rob you of your joy or will you clean it up through forgiveness and keep your joy? Make the faith choice to follow Jesus and get rid of the garbage by forgiving others as He forgave you – a lot!
Set Free N“O”www
It’s so interesting to watch rabbits scurry away when I walk past them. You can see their trails all over the hills caused by them running misdirection plays to keep their enemies away from their homes. These trails lead no where in particular and to follow them would be a waste of time. This is where we get the phrase “rabbit trails” because we can waste time doing unproductive activities that make us feel useless and like a loser, which can lead us down a path to our drug of choice.
From our point of view “rabbit trails” are a waste of time, but not from the rabbit’s perspective! Their lives depend upon acting this way. Same trail, but two very different out comes.
This goes to why you need to listen to and do what Jesus says so to do (i.e. a Biblical worldview) for yourself. What He might say to someone else to give them victory might not be what He needs to say to you. What He might say you can do with your eating habits, He knows someone else can’t do or it would harm them.
Stay away from comparing your life with others. Be the child of God He made you by listening to your Father for yourself. You’ll be happier if you do.
“S”et Free Nowww
No, I’m not talking about gang warfare. I’m talking about the battles that take place in the home between husband and wife. It’s the arguments that arise when needs and/or expectations are not clearly communicated. Uncommunicated expectations can never be met creating “losers.” Unbiblical expectations, even when expressed, will also never be met, which means eternal frustration in the home and more fights. In either case, one person is unhappy and unfulfilled, which brings on the need to hold their ground (aka turf) and “fight” so they can win and hopefully feel better about themselves.
This is where another one of the “good works” God has for us (Eph. 2:10) enters the real world, the world of your marriage. Jesus wants to use each spouse to help their partner become more like Him. This good work in marriage is to stop the turf wars! Either partner can call a time out and arrange a moment to talk at the first opportune time. Both parties can now reduce the noise in their heads by listening to Jesus (i.e. a Biblical worldview). “What is it that I really want? Does what I want line up with the Word of God? If not, am I willing to allow the Spirit to change me; thus stopping the turf war? If so, have I clearly communicated this need so the other person understands exactly what I want (Eph. 4:29)? Am I asking something from my mate that only God can give me?”
It takes the first principle of the Set Free Nowww to start this process: Being secure because you’re God’s child. He meets your needs, not your partner, though at times He may use your partner. He can show you if what you’re fighting over is something He wants for you (i.e. biblical). He can show you how to communicate with your partner.
It takes a secure child of God to create an atmosphere where Jesus is heard and not us. When this happens, it’s no longer about winning or holding onto our turf, but becoming more like Jesus where both spouses win.
“S”et Free Nowww
I teach the following truth in my parenting classes: it’s the child’s behavior unless the parent causes it. If the parent screams at their kid, it’s going to be a huge battle to get their kid to stop screaming at them. The parent has to own up to their behavior, change it and model what they are asking from their child.
If, however, the parent talks to their child in a normal tone of voice and their kid still screams at them in public, the parent can lovingly discipline their child because their child is responsible for their own behavior. In doing so, the parent can be at peace and keep their joy even if they have to discipline their child in public because it’s the kid’s fault, not the parent’s.
“Stop the presses. You mean I can feel okay with disciplining my kid in public, let alone home, without feeling bad or embarrassed?” Yes you can, if you’re secure in who you are as a child of God. Jesus said practicing the truth would set you free, which includes embarrassment.
Truth: you’re not the one screaming. Truth: you’ve modeled and taught correct behavior. Truth: you disciplined your child in the correct manner. Truth: there is no such thing as Supermom, who has perfect kids who act perfectly in public (in fact that’s when they usually at up!). Truth: you’re a good parent as you’re doing what Jesus would have you do by disciplining your child out of love.
It all starts with being secure in who you are – a child of God. You can listen to and do what Jesus says to do in every situation (i.e. a Biblical worldview), which includes raising your children to love Jesus. Supermom is a myth created by the world that when followed makes women feel tired, irritable and worthless. Living as a child of God who listens to Jesus in every situation, including parenting, brings joy and peace. It’s your choice as to how you’ll feel based on who you’ll listen to as a parent at the supermarket.
“S”et Free Nowww
It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday morning and you’re holding a garage sale. You’ve got a few customers roaming your driveway. One person points out a wok and asks, “Does it work and how much is it?” You tell them it’s $2 after you’ve plugged it in to show that it works just fine. They give you $2 and off they go with a smile on their face and a “brand new” wok in hand.
A couple hours later they return and demand their money back. They said the wok only had 3 of 4 legs when they left. “No,” you firmly reply, “It had four.” This person starts to scream in your face and demand their money back. What do you do? I recently witnessed such a sale where the owner and customer almost went to blows over a used $2 item with other customers wanting to join the fray!
What would you do? Hopefully you’d filter this situation through your Biblical worldview. You have the truth in your mind of who you are – a child of God who is loved and accepted by their Father. You have in your filter the truth that as a child of God you have a Father who can provide for your every need, including what the $2 was going toward. You have the truth securely tucked away that you have a relationship with a living God who can tell you what to do at that very moment in time – scream and defend your “right to be right” to keep the $2 or stay at peace while giving the money back and trust Him for the outcome.
We have an eternity to fully understand the truth of being a child of God. Why not start learning it in real time today?
“S”et Free Nowww