Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: September 24, 2012              
Sharing by:  Pam Crawford

Genesis 1:27: "So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.”

One might ask, “what has happened since God looked over all that He created and said it was good? (Genesis 1:31) Could it be that we have inherited some generational baggage that we would be wise to unpack and discard?

Over the years I have recognized that my family has not always been healthy, physically, mentally, or spiritually. Some of us looked pretty good on the outside, but within our walls a very different picture was unraveling. You see there was a toxin that had infiltrated our lives and I am not sure I even recognized the potential hazard until the damage was in my own home. Thankfully, if we're connected to the proper power source we have quality tools to work at reversing the damage. It begins with prayer and a willingness to make the necessary changes that God reveals.

In my church right now we are in a series titled A Cord of Three Strands and we're looking at God, Family and Church. This past week we talked about the patterns we pass along and how we can reverse the damage. Our Pastor began his sermon in Genesis 3:1-4:1 where he showed us the origination of the pattern of sin. We then looked at Scripture which showed that the first parents Adam and Eve began the pattern of sin and from them we see that the "mold" of sin spread (Genesis 4:2-15). As I thought about this in the context of my own family, my own home, it all made sense. We often inherit habits, opinions, and examples that we inevitably pass along. Today with God’s help I am able to recognize many unhealthy habits that I have passed along.  Some were passed on through generational sin, some of willful sin, and others were out of sheer ignorance. Whatever the means they were destructive in nature.  

Because I cannot turn back the hands of time, I will simply pray for God to heal the damage I have caused in His timing, His way. Because of God's grace (undeserved favor) on my life; I know that part of that healing will come through a new example within me. Although I was convicted by much of the teaching on Sunday morning, I recognize it as a good thing. Being convicted is a sign that you have ears to hear and eyes to see error. I love when conviction turns into a quest to change that of which is discovered. I desire for my children and their children to be blessed through my redemption.  

My discovery began about 10 years ago when I began to see a type of "mold" that had infiltrated my heart. Over time it became necessary to explore how to correct it if healing and restoration was to take place. I'm still in the reconstruction process but thankfully, until we take our last breath there is hope. The Word of God has been the cleansing agent for this gal. I could stand in condemnation over my sin, but I know that condemnation is from the enemy. Instead, I will choose to correct that of which God reveals through His Word and the gentle nudges by people who truly love and care about seeing me become a new being in Christ.  

One of the forms of “mold" in my own life was a toxin called "unresolved anger." I am not sure if you know this or not, but anger is sin. It’s not a short-coming, it’s a sinful response. It causes all kinds of destructive behavior and eventually results in damage within relationships. When you allow anger to go unchecked it can get out of control and sometimes you don't even recognize all the crevices it hides in. Unfortunately I didn't recognize it as sin for a very long time and subsequently I let the toxins infiltrate our home through me. Thankfully if you know anything about mold you know that although it is very difficult to be removed; it can be removed through perseverance and a willingness to hang in there to see a clean end result. It’s a lot of work but the effort brings about healthy results.

Although I don't know what your "mold" looks like within your own family unit, I image that there are some spores in the air. Relational conflicts are hazardous and the best plan of action is a proactive one. May I end with an article by Jimmy Evans of Marriage Today that brought the message together for me? I hope you will be blessed by its content. Let's not forget that "mold" often returns if the climate supports it. In my case I have had to develop a form of maintenance against the mold of sinful anger. Through studying God's Word and through seeking wise counsel, I now have a better understanding of sinful anger and righteous anger. I avoid my sin nature when I first take everything to God in prayer. How I respond determines whether I'm following God's way or the way of man. I don't always get this right, but I am working at it daily. Be blessed. 

Deal With Conflict On A Daily Basis
by Jimmy Evans

A healthy marriage doesn't mean the absence of conflicts. Every family will disagree or experience tension. What makes a family successful is how they deal with those problems when they arise.

Have you ever noticed that dysfunctional families tend to experience problem after problem? They have more conflict because they don't deal with their problems—or they deal with them in the wrong way. Because of this, the problems remain. They grow. They constantly impact the family's relationship.

When people say they're "out of love," they aren't. It's just that the positive emotions they once felt have been clouded over by unresolved tension.

On the flip side, a successful family recognizes problems when they arise and then deals with them immediately. The loving atmosphere in these homes isn't a mask to gloss over disagreements. Instead, it reflects the genuine spirit that develops when people handle their problems in a healthy way.
Ephesians 4:26–27 says, "'Be angry, and do not sin.' Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

All of us will be angry many times in our lives, and that's okay because nothing is essentially wrong with anger. Even Jesus got angry! Close relationships with other people almost guarantee some sort of conflict.

The real issue is what happens when we do get angry. How will we handle it? In the scripture above, Paul writes that we should be honest about our anger but not let it lead to sin. In other words, we express our anger and bring it into the open without letting it accumulate. Going to bed angry—allowing it to fester and grow without resolution—can be incredibly destructive to a marriage or family. When you let issues accumulate, you give the devil an open door into your life. This taints your emotions. This creates a hardened, accusative spirit toward the source of your anger.

In my years of counseling, I've dealt with many couples who have told me they have fallen "out of love." Many of these cases involve suppressed, unresolved emotions that have either deadened the husband or wife internally or hardened them against a spouse. The result? Giving up on the relationship. The truth is that even when people say they're "out of love," they aren't. It's just that the positive emotions they once felt have been clouded over by unresolved tension. Once these conflicts are resolved within a marriage or family, love and affection return.
However, unresolved problems can create such a profound sense of emotional distress and deadness that divorce is a frequent by-product. That's why we must be vigilant to deal with problems on a daily basis in our marriage and families.

Part of this isn't just a relational issue, but a spiritual one. In addition to being honest with our spouse about anger, we must also expose our emotions to the Lord every day. Nothing can be hidden from Him! He will provide peace and a divine perspective if we will receive it."

In Christ by grace,

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