3-30-2012 When A Good thing Is NOT a Good thing
Have you ever desired something and then found that desire controlling you to the point that you MUST have it and then you HAD to do WHATEVER was necessary to get it!! Me too. In fact if I could be really honest with you it happens more than we’d be willing to admit. One of the reasons we chose the interactive bible study “Instruments in the Redeemers Hands” is because we want to start painting the Christian life to be one that is genuine, humbling, and requiring change which necessitates community.
Last night my daughters were getting a little too loud. I desired PEACE in my home. They were bouncing around the house. I was up early yesterday morning so by 7 PM I had hit the 16 hour threshold in my day. My body was shutting down. So when they asked if we could watch a movie, I was all for it, but at the same time, I was not in favor of HELPING get ready for this event to happen. I (selfish Tom) wanted PEACE at ALL COSTS! So peace is a good desire isn’t it. Especially after 16 hours of being up and having a tired brain, and having to do overtime as Daddy (Deb had a migraine). Until it becomes a demand.
At this point the kids, started to get louder. Bethany couldn’t find a movie and Tiffany was being overbearing with her. And here is when things went South. A good desire became a demand!! I MUST have peace. I was really craving this, at the cost of speaking and teaching my children to recognize that there heart attitudes which we try to focus on in the home, were not pleasing to the Lord. In essence I was being lazy and self centered. Yep, that’s me behind closed doors. I demanded they stop!!
Quickly the desire which became a demand was turning into a need!!! This was now essential to my well being. As the situation at the table and computer escalated I now made this top priority in the home. I mean I couldn’t actually enter into their conflict and interrupt my good desire? Never did I stop to consider what was going on in their hearts. No questions, just demands. PEACE at all costs. So this desire was starting to morph into something I didn’t imagine it could be 10 minutes ago.
Now this need became an expectation!! Didn’t my kids KNOW that I was King of the home, breadwinner, caretaker, food maker, and playmate all wrapped into one!!! How awesome I am (so I thought). Little did I know in the moment but I was about to crush them with my self centered, tyrannical ruler ship. So I sent one child upstairs and left the other one in tears to try and find something she couldn’t!! That settles that, so I thought.
When we expect someone and everyone to meet our needs and they don’t love us in return and fail to follow through in their expression then what we tend to do in our disappointment is that we Punish them often with words. Here I told them there is no movie tonight!!!! Boy that felt good. Now their expectation of Daddy daughter time was gone. Crushing victory just happened in my home. Now the girls are crying, I’m aggravated because I failed to intervene in a biblical loving Fatherly fashion, and that little desire that I elevated to “must have” status” had become the worst moment of our night. In reality there is a better way to handle conflict. This whole scenario is described in the New Testament.
1-What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (Jam 4:1-3)
This is what we were talking about this past week in our bible study. Can you imagine Christians talking about their struggles. Not sports, family, kids, weekend activity, and anything else, but the need to change!!
So we are spending Wednesday nights identifying what is the real cause of our conflicts. It’s our hearts which the bible declare are (desperately wicked -Jeremiah 17:9). The prophet Isaiah said the whole body from head to toe was sick and faint (Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.(Isa 1:5-6)
So after three weeks of this course, I pray we all are starting to recognize while we are weak HE (God) is strong! He can and does change hearts (Ezekiel 36:26). The first point in this process is recognizing that we need help. There is a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). We no longer have to allow sin (self centeredness) to dominate our lives (For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Rom 6:14). This is a safe place where people who are hurt and broken can come and find an ever present help. Keep coming and watch God intervene and help us see the log! And don’t forget to invite a friend. This is good food for the soul!!! God bless your weekend!!!