Friday, August 10, 2012

Have You Lost Your Head?

Have You Lost Your Head?
Philippians 2:1-8
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Very seldom does arguing accomplish anything except to widen the gap between two parties. “To win an argument is to lose a friend,” Quote by Benjamin Franklin. There are some behaviors that hinder good relationships with other people and these are often associated with a deficient relationship to God. God has created us as social creatures (Genesis 2:18) and as social creatures, we naturally have the desire and capacity for fellowship but, because of our deficiency in Christ, inadequate feelings and thoughts over take us causing deeper problems. We bring our deficient attitudes and problems to other people causing heated arguments and as the age old adage says, “We begin to make a mountain out of a molehill!”

What is your relationship with God? Have arguments with others escalated into sinful actions or reactions? Has God separated Himself from you and discouragement has set in? Isaiah 59:2 ~ But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Regardless of the situation you have encountered, the most important question is this, “How have you handled it?” God’s way is to grind away the powder of pride and leave us with an indestructible character of true godliness. Unless you are inhuman or from another planet, you have probably already experienced this unforgettable despairing event–––something common to all mankind.

What should be our response to arguments that have caused shame, humiliation and /or criticism? 

We need to endure patiently never trying to get even. Trust the Lord for wisdom through this experience without retaliation or revenge. Ecclesiastes 7:8 ~ Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

We need to accept willingly the words brought against us and not get mad. Accepting criticism is the hardest thing in the world to do. We need to see criticism as a tool of God to shape our lives for future good.  1 Peter 2:20 ~ For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

We need to judge honestly and not get defensive! Human nature craves to be justified of guilt and there are six words we all hate to to say, “I was wrong–––I am sorry.” Although we may be innocent of the charges brought against us, we need to be wise, looking deeper into the situation and see if the purging hand of God is at work. Proverbs 16:6 ~ By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. By Christ’s steadfast love and faithfulness our iniquities have been atoned for and when we fear the LORD it turns us away from evil doing.

We need to commit totally to the Lord and not be discouraged! The attitude we need to commit to  daily is, dying to self and the flesh, not an end in and of itself, but a beginning to the crucified life. Galatians 2:20 ~ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Thought: When I want to be justified of all my guilt...I need to die. When I want my own way...I need to die. When my heart has been shattered by hurtful words...I need to die. When desires and dreams that are wonderful and good are all put aside...I need to die. When relationships have failed and I am blamed ...I need to die. When I have lost my head and not guarded my heart...I need to die. Christ gave to us a powerful example to follow on the eve of His crucifixion when He, in His deepest sorrow, spoke these words, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” Christ became obedient unto the death of the cross and if I want to be transformed into His image, I must also embrace the cross, putting to death my will and trusting God in His sovereign care of me.

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