Thursday, 31 May 2012

Where Did That Come From?

Perhaps you were driving on the highway and someone cut you off and words spewed from your mouth that would have embarrassed a hockey player.   Maybe your two year old son just flushed his diaper down the toilet for the third time this week and you were tempted to see if he would fit.   Or perhaps you and your spouse started down a well worn path about your finances and the next thing you know voices are raised, sins from the past are brought up and one of you storms out of the room shouting “you’re just like your father/mother”.  Not a scene that would bring glory to God.

Where on earth did all this anger, frustration and irritation come from?  It came from within.

Paul Tripp has an excellent visual aid that sheds an embarrassing light on these moments.  He takes the cap off of a bottle of Deer Springs water.  He shakes it back and forth and asks the audience why water is coming out of the bottle.  The obvious answer is “because you are shaking the bottle.”  Then he rephrases the question and asks “Why is water (emphasis on the word water) coming out of the bottle?” the answer now changes to “because there is water in the bottle.”

You see the shaking of the bottle represents the situations in which we find ourselves.  Whether you are on the highway or sticking your arm down the toilet the reason expletives and nasty thoughts come forth is because those nasty words and thoughts have actually been part of you since birth, often referred to as our sin nature.  Like the water that comes out of the bottle thoughts of mayhem and murder, lust and covetousness and the boasting of what you have and what you have accomplished come from within.

Whenever we experience a negative emotion we must immediately ask ourselves “what is going on in my heart?”; “What is God trying to teach me at this moment?”  Why am I angry, hurt, afraid or lonely?

In most cases you will find, if you dig deeply enough, that you have replaced God, at least for that moment with someone or something else that became more important.  For the father who comes home from work after a busy day and wants some peace and quiet, he may over react to his children’s noisiness.  At that moment peace and quiet have become more important than his children, they have become an idol.  Or perhaps it is the mom who is refusing to let her daughter wear something to school, not because it is inappropriate, though it might be, but because the mom is more concerned about what others will think of her for letting her daughter wear the outfit.  The fear of man or the approval of man has become the mom’s idol.

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