Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Power of Words

There is a very old saying “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.” That is garbage! If I had a dime for every person who is carrying the baggage of hurtful words around with them I could afford a Starbucks Vente Caramel Brulee Latte for the rest of eternity, provided God will let coffee into heaven.

At my age my disc space is limited. I barely remember important things, let alone the unimportant. But even I can remember something that was said about me by my elementary school principal. She said that I was not very bright but a very nice boy. Denial has served me well. Dennis Rainy tells a great story of how he was told by his typing teacher that he would not amount to anything. He drove to her house on the day he graduated from college to tell her she was wrong. Many people have been scarred by things that have been said to them. They have let careless words, most likely spoken in anger, define who they are. “You are stupid.” “You will never amount to anything.” “Can’t you do anything right?” “We were counting on having a boy.” And the list goes on.

Research has discovered that for us to be equipped to engage in a healthy long term relationship as an adult we needed to have experienced respect, encouragement, comfort, security, appreciation, support, acceptance, approval, attention, and affection in massive doses as a young person growing up.

Few, if any of us, have experienced that kind of love from our earthly parents. Two things tend to happen. We forget that the person we married is probably as starved for affirmation as we are, and we tend to look to our spouse to fill the void that was left from our childhood. How likely is that?

To compound the problem our self-talk keeps repeating these phrases just so we don’t forget them. Perhaps they even become self-fulfilling prophecies. Enough already!! Quit playing those negative, degrading tapes in your mind. Park your mind. Replace your old messages with Psalm 139:13 “For You (God) created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” In other words you were designed by God and as some wise theologian once said, “He don’t make no junk.” Furthermore the Sovereign God of the universe sacrificed His Son for you. He promises never to leave you or forsake you. He promises that “in all things (He) works for the good of those who love him…” In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells us that He has a plan for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, a plan to give you a hope and a future. Let the promises of God fill those voids that cause you to be constantly looking to your spouse to “complete” you. When you draw life and healing from God you become a source of blessing to your spouse.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Did Something Bump Into Your Happy

I just love the phrase “Bump into my happy”. I don’t know if Lysa Terkeurst is the originator of the phrase but it so captures what happens to most of us. She was kind enough to give us the following glimpse into her life at http://lysaterkeurst.com/

"Most days, I wake up fairly happy. It’s not like I wake up in mood for a party but generally I’m not grumpy when I arise. I wake up and things seem pretty good, level, and fresh with possibilities. And then inevitably something will bump into my happy.
An early morning meltdown by one of my little people. It’s amazing what a bad hair day can do to a tweenagers’s attitude.

Or a forgotten something for school. And one of my people wants their irresponsibility to suddenly become my emergency.

Or an email from somebody who clearly gets high from trying to bring others down.
Or me misjudging our time and suddenly everything is rushed and hurried and stressful.
Or my husband fussing because he wants to keep the house at 68 degrees and I can’t stop shivering until the temp hovers closer to 72. It’s amazing how much of a difference 4 degrees makes. (Seriously 68 is like living in an ice cave. I’m just saying.)

Anyhow, things happen. Things that bump into my happy. And suddenly I’m a little off kilter and little less nice.

Well, I’m learning something about a little mental perspective I need to have when things bump into my happy. In that moment, Satan is scheming to have me help him out. If he can just get me jostled to the point where I react out of anger, it’s like lighting a spark near a puddle of gasoline.
Even the smallest spark can ignite quite a fire. A fire that will spread and feel much bigger than what the situation ever should have been…We can choose to play into Satan’s schemes and add to his attempts to separate us from God’s best. Or, we can choose to fight for our relationships and against Satan’s attempts to trip us up. When I think about it in these terms, it helps me realize who my real enemy is.

My real enemy isn’t any of the people that bump my happy. My real enemy is the one who tries with all his might to get me to jump into a grumpy mood and help him tear down all that I love."
You just have to love Lysa’s perspective. It is interesting how many Christians profess to believe in Jesus but how few acknowledge that there is a Satan. He is real and we would all do well to put on the armor of God every day Ephesians 6:10-18 then things are less likely to bump into our happy.