Tag Archives: fear of man

Growing Pains

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Do you ever realize that spiritual growth usually comes along with some sort of trial. It seems to be some necessary process for growth that it is paired up with pain, heartache, hardship or loss. I recently had a such an experience and spent the last couple of days trying to sort it out.

I have written recently about the idea that I like to be liked, in this post. I know I am probably not alone in this, because who doesn’t? I however may take it to a different level because I think I care too much what others think of me. That being said, I recently found out that people whom I have known for many years, and I thought were my friends are talking about me behind my back and  the comments were not complimentary. This hurt me on two different levels, one being that people who I thought were my friends are obviously not. Secondly that there are people out there that I like and called friends who don’t like me back. This causes me a lot of confusion and disappointment

After the initial sting of hearing these comments I spent time contemplating what I said, did, or  didn’t do that caused this, and what I can do to rectify it. As I was thinking on  these things, I thought of something my boss said to me the other day. She said “I don’t trust anyone, or any person that is”. I thought, how sad to go through life thinking this way. However, after this current situation I thought maybe she has a point. I have a habit of letting people into my life too easy and I open up and let down any defenses I may have. I am a person who wears his heart on his sleeve and will tell you how I feel, and it will be evident how I feel by my actions and facial expressions. Maybe I should be more guarded like my boss and not trust anyone, this way I won’t get hurt.

The more I thought about this however I realized there is a lesson to be learned in all of this. I continue to realize that I put my trust in people and my satisfaction is in their approval. The funny thing is, there is no where in scripture that says our hopes and approval should be in others, rather it is to be in Jesus and Jesus alone. Time and time again we are told to love others, not have others love us. We are told to count others more significant than ourselves, but no where does it say make others love you. This is pride speaking, I am making myself more important than I am. I am finding my worth in others, or as Paul puts it, I am putting my confidence in the flesh. He goes on to say in Phil 3:8 “indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

I have failed at this miserably, I continue to count things I do as worth, and my confidence is in my flesh and the approval of others is the measuring stick of my worth. So although I feel as though I have lost friendships and the pain is still fresh. I have learned that is because my trust was in the wrong place, myself. I had made myself and others too big .Where my faith and confidence should be in Jesus. I know I will let others down and others will let me down. As my boss said “I don’t trust  anyone, or any person that is”, but she finished this statement by pointing skyward and saying,”There is only one I trust”. This is words to live by. I wish it just didn’t have to feel this way in order to learn this lesson.

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Filed under Religion, Sanctification

The Story is Not About You

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I was watching a show with my kids the other day, and there was a part of the story where this girl was chasing after some boy she previously broke up with.  Things however were not turning out the way she was hoping it would. This dilemma caused the girl much sadness and angst, and was thinking about ways to get the boy back .This is when her good friend stepped in and said, “I don’t think you are the main character in the story anymore”. This got me thinking about how we all think we are the main part of some story.

We might have different stories that we want to be the main character in, but if we are honest with ourselves we will discover this to be true. For me I have a desire to be liked, and even more than that is the desire to be needed. I find that I have a propensity to do things to get positive reactions from as many people as I can. I am not always conscious that I am doing this, but when I step back I can see how my actions are based on the approval of others. Why do I do this? Usually because I want people to talk about me and make the story about me. Again this is not in the forefront of my mind, but when I check my motives I realize I will do things with the hopes of getting people to like me. More than this is the my desire to feel needed. Who doesn’t want to be the hero in someone’s life. I find I gravitate to people who are going through a difficult time and I want to comfort them. Now that being said I do genuinely want to help people and comfort them. I do however need to check my motives and make sure I am not just trying to be someone’s savior. Last time I checked that job is already taken.

These are some of my ways that I try to be the main character of the story, but what are yours? I was once told an analogy about this as being a bottomless cup. We all want to fill the cup with something that makes us feel complete or the main character of the story. For me as mentioned is the feeling of being liked or needed. For you maybe it is success, or position that makes you the main character of the story. Or maybe it is looks, you want to be the head turner when you walk into the room. Whatever it is we all have something that wants us to be noticed, liked, needed, or the feeling of having power. Unfortunately the cup being bottomless will never be filled with the satisfaction you are filling it with. The desires we are trying to fulfill will never be quenched. Unless that is if you change your cup.

The day after hearing this cup analogy, I came across this passage. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot…Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. Ps. 16:5,9  What we need to do is break that bottomless cup of ego, of self-centeredness and replace it with the Lord. Not only is he the cup, but he is  also the substance that fills it. This concludes with us finally being satisfied and our whole being will rejoice. Instead of self-focused, self-centered living that never satisfies, allow the Lord to be the main character in the story.

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Filed under Christian living