4 May 2017

One Simple Solution To A Better {whatever} .....

Thank God for light bulbs. I mean the kind that comes on when you are not exactly even directly thinking about something and then -- zap! 



That's what happened last week and I want to share the zap with you. It's so simple, I kinda feel silly I never saw it before. Not only is it simple, it is powerful.

Here it is:


A lot of what we want in terms of our relationships and work and church 
don't happen because 
we hold back. 

That's it.



A huge reason why we hold back is because someone has not met our expectations.

The senior pastor cannot..
My spouse should... but doesn't...
The kids ought to be more...

Think about it for a while.

These disappointments have a way of causing us to hold back. 
We decide not to be party to what's happening in church. We withhold affection and tenderness. We skirt around the generous option so as to 'teach them a lesson'.

In a way this is part of our survival/defence mechanism and there is a place for it. We don't want to become rugs and be taken for granted or for a ride (though, have you been able to really avoid that?). But this same mechanism when it kicks in can hold all the potential and promise in a relationship hostage.

Many gifts are not developed and used.
Many deeper intimacies are not experienced.
Many possibilities may be left unexplored.

Again, I want to say there is a place to have job descritpions and expectations, but when people let us down, we don't have to let the whole thing get even lesser because we let our hearts grow cold, even cynical.

The Math is simple. If someone isn't doing enough, and we pull back, the sum total is less. 

On the other hand, if we separate the need to deal with inadequacies and incompetence with our response and participation, then the scenario becomes more positive.




Find a proper channel and give the feedback.Write an honest appeal.Sit down for a vulnerable chat.

At the same time, don't stop doing the good you can and making the difference you can (the difference you make is actually very significant as it is unique to you).

Unless you hear what you can confidently say is God's word to you to act in a certain way, I think these two verses provide the parentheses for how we should respond:


Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? ~ 1 Corinthians 12v15-17

This points out the truth that we make a difference, and it is a unique, needed difference. God has put us together in our marriage, family, churches (even though you made certain choices, but pause and think and you will see Grace stands behind it) for us to be a part of it. We are a part of it and have a part in it.


Again, I have been in that place of complaining and grumbling before and I know it has taken away from the whole. In fact, there is another little verse that should startle us. In Philippians 2v15 it says that if we can act without grumbling and complaining, we shine like stars that contrasts with the way the world operates!


Here is the other side of the parenthesis:



Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~ Colossians 3v23-24


If we think of the first end of it as Engage. This other end then is about Excellence, not so much in terms of churning out the best piece of work, but in terms of directing the focus and glory of our efforts towards Christ. I have found it really hard to laze and be snarky when I work for Jesus, think about His love for me and the unending supply of Grace that always suffices as long as I stay connected to Him.


These two wonderful promises come to mind:

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples." ~ John 15v5-8, The Message Bible

I can do all things in him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4v13, RSV

 Are you holding back in some way?

Why should our homes and churches and communities be less because we are missing your smile, your abilities, your ideas, and your energy?

Come on, Engage, with Excellence.


This week:

How can you address what's holding you back? 
What is one way you can brave it and give more of yourself away?

Let's see how it goes... and share your experiences back here in the comments please.



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