Friday, 19 July 2013

Is There More Than One Right Way?

The answer to the question is “It depends on who you ask.”  If you ask the person who firmly believes that there is only one way to do a particular task then the answer is probably no.  Not to be wishy-washy but the answer could also be “yes” or “it depends”.

This question has provided Kathleen and me with many laughs.  Kathleen will say, with an attempt at seeming serious, “You know I’m not opinionated” and then proceed to lay out her way as the best way.  (Often it is the best way)  I still think emptying the dishwasher, bottom rack first makes the most sense.

Preferences and comfort levels come into play.  For example some people are very comfortable making purchases and paying bills on line.  Other people prefer using paper checks and going to the store to make purchases. Some people still prefer hand writing letters and calling people on the phone while there are others who prefer using Face Book and Twitter to communicate.  In these instances it is not a matter of right or wrong, these individuals are just different.  Accepting one another’s differences is healthy.

News flash!  God was well aware of our differences when He brought us together.  He was aware that we would approach circumstances differently; He was aware that we would have different opinions on any number of issues.  He knew that the wiring which He gave us, coupled with heredity and environmental factors could enable us to be a better version of ourselves if we were able to collaborate.

Life can be an exciting adventure if each partner is allowed to play to his/her strengths.  One is good at paying the bills and keeping the important papers organized.  The other is good at household repairs and remaining calm when hit by the storms of life. Why not sit down right now and make a list of how you and your spouse are different, leaving a line between each  entry.  Then go back and under each line item write how that difference could or does make a positive difference in your relationship.

God created us male and female for a reason.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

IPF

An interesting blog was published by Steve Timmis on the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog site.  The “I” in IPF stands for identity.  I remember being embarrassed in a beginning psychology class.   I was obviously not well prepared prior to coming to class.  The professor called on me and said “who are you?”  To which I responded by giving my name.  Wrong!  There is nothing like being an introvert who has just been embarrassed in front of the entire freshman psych class.  Apparently the professor made the assumption that I had read the chapter for the day and would have known to answer her question by giving my bio, not my name.

In paragraph one I identified myself as a freshman who was unprepared, klutzy, and an introvert, which by the way would have been a very acceptable answer to her question, but I digress.  Here’s Mr. Timmis’ point.  As a believer my identity is “in Christ”.  He goes on to say that this identity trumps and defines all other identities.  Thus I can only be the husband God wants me to be when I identify myself as someone united with Christ.

The “P” stands for purpose.  As someone who is in Christ, my purpose is to glorify God. (1Corinthians 10:31)  Everything I do and say should be governed by my desire to bring honor to the King of Kings.

The “F” stands for function.  My function is to act in a way that would glorify God because I am in Christ and He in me.

1Corinthians 3:16 says, “don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”  What I don’t think Mr. Timmis mentioned is that I am only able to function in a Christ-like manner because the Holy Spirit is indwelling me.  This presumes that I have been born again.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you.  Love one another.  As I have loved you so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

So husbands and wives you are to love one another just as Christ has loved you.  You are to do so because your identity is in Christ.  Your identity is not in who you married, what school you may or may not have graduated from, or your pedigree growing up.  Your purpose is to put God’s love on display to everyone you meet for your function in life is to be His ambassador.  Ideally this makes you so attractive that other couples who do not have a personal relationship with Christ desire what they see in you.

 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Is That All There Is?

Peggy Lee
A number of years ago there was an artist by the name of Peggy Lee.  She popularized a song entitled “Is That All There Is?”.  I’m guessing that there are individuals who wake up some mornings, or many mornings, asking that question.  They are either bored, feeling as though their job or life has little meaning or they are trapped in the tedium of life that at times can seem over whelming.

An article by Winn Collier put things in proper perspective.  It said,”  …every human act, when done as a reflection of (and in submission to) God’s reign in the world, is an intensively spiritual activity. Painting, plumbing, researching diseases, (waitressing, doing construction work, being a mom or managing computer infrastructures are all work that can be (and should be) done to the glory of God and for the bettering of God’s world.”

Wow, what a paradigm shift.  The most mundane of jobs when done as a reflection of God’s love can bring glory to the King of Kings.  If you have any interface with another person or your function in any way serves another you are in a position to be an extension of God’s love.  One way to exhibit God’s love is to do whatever you are doing in a way that would bring honor to God.  If you are in sales be truthful and put the customer’s real needs ahead of your commission.  If you deal with the public be warm, friendly and smile regardless of how grumpy the other person may be.  If you are a parent you have an awesome responsibility, does your child see God in you? It matters not whether you are decorating a cake, digging ditches or operating on someone’s brain your work matters to God.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add that each person that has been “born again” has been blessed with at least one spiritual gift (1Corinthians 12) When you can put that to use in your vocation or avocation you will sense more joy and satisfaction.