It’s Just Emotion

My emotions got the best of me!  Ever hear someone say that?  What they are usually communicating is that there was a circumstance and rather than thinking rationally, they reacted emotionally.

We see this play out in marriages, when the pressures of finances are causing unusual stress and then someone says, “Well, if you didn’t spend so much” or “If you made more money” and things escalate from there.

Last weekend, we took a look at making emotional decisions and the danger of doing so.  It got me thinking of how God made us emotional beings, but he also made us spiritual at the same time.  Yesterday I was reading the Apostle Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 6 about many of the stressful things he had endured.  Then, when it comes to explaining how he got through it, he says it was “in the Holy Spirit.”  In other words, Paul says, “The way I got through all these emotional times in my life was through the help of the Holy Spirit.”

What would happen if you made it a personal goal to yield more and more to the Holy Spirit and less to your emotions?

What might that look like for you?

Try these:

  • Pray each morning: Holy Spirit, I yield and surrender to you today”
  • Practice being more attentive to what your spirit says over your emotions
  • Read passages about the Holy Spirit & our emotions (Gal 5; Eph 4:17-5:21)

The more you practice living in the Spirit, the more your emotions will come under the control of the Spirit.  I think you’ll find your foot spends less time in your mouth, which can lead to athlete’s tongue and other issues! 🙂

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Talk To Yourself Properly

Posted in Attitude, Expectations, Faith, Mind, Victorious Living by PCraig on August 22, 2013

All of us do it.  We all talk to ourselves on a regular basis.  Throughout the day we say things like, “I wonder what goofy thing I’ll say at school today?” or “I never make a good first impression, but here we go” and “I just don’t think I’m going to be able to fulfill this request, I’m just not able.”

The real danger in talking to ourselves is not THAT we do it; it’s HOW we do it.  Often what happens is we internally enact a future that hasn’t happened yet, but telling ourselves the worst possible outcomes.

What would happen if you changed the way you talked to yourself?  Think about saying, “I think they’re going to like me in this interview” or “This talk I’m presenting to my co-workers should be well received.”

By telling yourself positive stories and picturing it happening is an effective way of pushing yourself toward the desired goal.  The Bible says that faith is being sure of what we hope for even though we don’t see it yet.  (Hebrews 11:1)

One reason we may be hesitant to do this is we’re actually afraid that if it works, we will be held to a higher standard.  If you expect failure, weakness and low achievement, it’s a lot easier to live up to it.  But, why settle for that?  You and I were made for so much more than we are currently living.

So, let’s expect great things.  For the next 30 days make a conscience effort to say to yourself only things that are positive and praiseworthy.  What if it only produced 10% better results, or 20% more effectiveness, perhaps a 25% better marriage?  Wouldn’t that be better than settling for something less?

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Puffer Or Builder

Posted in Attitude, Relationships, Victorious Living by PCraig on August 15, 2013

Are you a puffer or a builder?  It’s a great question to ask.  The apostle Paul informed us that we could be one of the two.  I read this portion of Scripture again the other day and it really struck me.  How do you know which one you are?  Let’s look at what he had to say about each:

“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1

Here’s the context: Paul is talking to a church that think full of knowledge.  Do you know any people that think they know it all?  He says they are puffed up.  So, here’s some ways to know you’re a puffer:

  • Do you feel challenged when others talk that you have to interject and “one-up” them?
  • Do you feel the need to impress others with your vast knowledge?
  • Do you care more about getting your point across than the actual person and their feelings standing in front of you?
  • Do you feel competition when having conversations with others that end up alienating and offending instead of “winning” them to your side?

How do you know you’re a builder?

  • Do you seek to understand the other person’s perspective first?
  • Do you value relationships more than information, data, or opinions?
  • Do you treat others as you desire to be treated?
  • Are you willing to let go of your need to feel superior in order to strengthen the other person?

In Paul’s conversation to this church in Corinth, he wanted them to see that all their perceived knowledge was not growing the kingdom.  As a matter of fact, he told them that their meetings were often doing more harm than good.

May God help us to be full of love so that we are looking for ways to build others up, instead of seeking to puff up ourselves.  So, what do you think, are you more of a puffer or a builder?  Just so you know, God knows how to build the people up who are always trying to build up others.

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Jesus With No Hands

Posted in Body, Involvement, Ministry, Used of God, Volunteerism by PCraig on August 8, 2013

I heard a story of a cathedral that was bombed out during World War II by German bombs.  It was a cathedral in England.  Later, German students actually went to serve there.  Part of what they did was put together this statue that had been blown up.  They were carefully piecing it back together.  It was a statue of Christ.  It had the inscription at the bottom “Come unto me.”  The Christ figure had his arms outstretched but they couldn’t get the hands to look right.  They finally made a decision.  They took the hands off and changed the inscription.  The new inscription said, “Christ has no hands but ours.”

Isn’t this true yet today?  The fact is that God uses our hands, our voice, our lives to bring Him to life in others.  This past weekend I challenged everyone to find their gifting, passion and use it for the glory of God.  Here were two key truths:  we are His body and we belong to each other.

So, how’s His body doing through you?  If the church only had you to rely on (and people like you), what kind of church would it be?  Weak, anemic, unengaged?  Or, mighty, strong, and connected?

Let’s be His hands today and everyday, because those are the ones He uses.

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Finding Hope

Posted in Encouragement, energy, Happiness, Hope, Involvement, Joy, Ministry, Purpose by PCraig on August 1, 2013

Someone said that a person can live without food for about 40 days, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.

What gives life hope is purpose.  If there’s no purpose to our lives, then what’s the point, right?  How do discover the meaning and purpose of our lives?

Here’s some questions to ask:

What are my strengths?

What do I have a passion to do?

What do others say I’m good at?

When do I feel the pleasure of God the most?

What hurt have I come through that could help others?

Looking at these questions can give an indication of what God might have designed for you to do with your life.  Our hearts, talents, gifts, abilities, experiences and feedback from others can help guide us to our purpose.  Once you discover it, then you’ve got something to live for each and every day.

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