Archive for November, 2014

Nov 29 2014

On Relationships and Being Alone

Published by under Life

Think about the jealousy you experience when you imagine your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife being with someone else or leaving you. We want them to be with us and ONLY us.

Now think about God and how much he loves us. When God thinks about us doing wrong and “being” with someone other than himself, he doesn’t like it a bit.

I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.
_Genesis 3:20

Maybe more than jealousy, our significant other leaving makes us fearful. So many of us fear being alone.

God, because he made us, knows these things about us. Throughout the Old Testament, God promises the people things like this…

I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
_Leviticus 26:12

God was offering his PRESENCE. And eventually, Jesus fulfills this promise, comes to earth, and walks among us…

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
_John 1:14, Message version

God knows that PRESENCE is one purpose he created us for. In the Garden of Eden, God was WITH Adam and Eve…

…the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
_Genesis 3:8

We were made for presence. It’s inherent in our design.

This is why it’s often hard to endure being alone.

This is why it’s often hard to be away from people we love.

This is why it’s often hard to think about someone leaving us.

With this in mind, the words of Jesus take on a brand new, more meaningful significance.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
_Hebrews 13:5

And how does he accomplish this? The Holy Spirit…

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
_John 14:26

If you feel yourself sad in loneliness or in fearing that someone you love may leave you, you’re not silly. It’s part of our nature – a nature we share with God. When Jesus was crucified, his greatest pain was verbalized – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He felt left alone.

Recently, I’ve realized little is solved dwelling in the place of fear, thinking about being alone or getting left. Much good and peace is found thinking about the place of security. God has made us a promise. And he is not lax in keeping it. He will always be there for us. FOREVER! This is the security the human heart desires. And it’s why the permanence of marriage is designed to bring us good and reflect God’s commitment to US. Human beings thrive in secure relationships.

He wants to be our God. May we be his people, trusting him with everything, knowing he IS everything!

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Nov 22 2014

A Thought on Being Vulnerable with Less Nervousness

Published by under Life,Relationships

Five years ago, my brothers and I did a day-long endurance race – running and cycling around Nashville and doing mental challenges a la Amazing Race.

One of the events we came to was coffee bean counting. My brothers and I are not stupid. But for this event, we were.

The challenge was to count out 1,000 coffee beans. It took us forever. We were one of the first teams to arrive at the challenge, and we kept seeing teams leave before us.

Finally, we understood what we were missing.

There was a scale that was made available to us but we didn’t use it. Teams were counting 50 or 100 coffee beans and weighing them. Then they multiplied that weight by 20 (for the 50 beans) or 10 (for the 100 beans) and added beans to the scale until it weighed that number.

We made something relatively simple relatively difficult because we looked at the problem the wrong way.

My incomplete definition of vulnerability is “acting toward or speaking something to another person without knowing how they’ll react.”

We could be rejected. And that never feels good.

But here’s a different way to think about vulnerability.

Vulnerability is sharing truth with someone else.

Notice what that definition doesn’t include? Anything about a reaction from the other person. Vulnerability is about telling someone a truth. They may not like the truth you tell them but it doesn’t make what you say less true!

When we focus on the reactions of other people,  we imagine the worst. We focus on our fear and not the truth. We put ourselves in a prison, keeping our best and most valuable words locked away to wither. Fear of man is a lousy master.

Think about a few of the ways fear messes up our lives:

  1. Prevents you from telling some woman or man how you actually feel about them
  2. Prevents you from telling someone something really nice you believe about them
  3. Prevents you from telling someone about your faith or some other truth they really need to hear

When you speak, speak the truth – whether you’re talking about the capital of Nevada or the person who is the capital of your heart.

I don’t want to be heavy-handed, but by definition, not to share the truth is to lie. In a somewhat counterintuitive way, when we’re NOT vulnerable, we’re a bit dishonest to the truest parts of ourselves.

Recently, a good friend of mine took a big risk. She wrote a note to a guy she liked. At one time the guy had shown a lot of interest, but she wasn’t feeling it. So after a while, the guy moved on. Somehow, after 18 months, she ended up liking him and wrote him a short, poetic, beautiful, powerful love letter even though she was pretty sure he wasn’t interested anymore. But he was. And they’re dating now. And really happy to be with each other. All because he was vulnerable with her for months and she became vulnerable with him.

Open yourself up. Focus on the truth of what’s inside. Not the reaction on the outside. Be vulnerable.

Let life come through your mouth!

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