dan's corner

 

 
 
 

 

Feelings

After six years of running our course the common denominator for participants is feelings, or rather feelings which are out of order.

So many of us run on feelings and don’t bother to analyse each issue we encounter on its own, separated from other previous experiences. We allow ourselves to become ‘conditioned’ by our circumstances and make life decisions and judgements from this stand point.

Our responses become automatic, as we are creatures of habit and from an early age these habits have been formed.

‘That’s just how it is, so I deal with life as best I can UNDER the circumstances’.

We come into this world with needs we were designed to have and require to be functional. We have been designed to live in Peace. But these needs are not always fully met which will cause us some Pain.

So we try to fix it ourselves and we become selfish, there is a need in my life so I’m going to fill it myself….. Selfishness.

Selfishness will always end up in Conflict simply because often those who we try to have our needs met through are also trying to have their needs met. They don’t have it to give so just like me they are also… needy.

So we live in Conflict with those around us our circumstances and within our own psyche…. no Peace.

If my relationships aren’t working and I can’t make them work the way I want then maybe I will just go get involved in doing i.e. work, sport, hobbies, clubs or serving church. Or maybe I might get involved with something to comfort the pain. For example, alcohol, drugs, over eating, smoking, video games, sport, pornography…. an endless list.

Sounds familiar?

In the chart where are you right now? Bits of each or is it more of one than another?

 

Conflict                     Selfishness            Pain                   Peace

Frustration                 Pride                       Guilt                   Love
Disappointment         Jealousy                   Shame                 Joy
Impatience                 Envy                       Sorrow               Hope
Tension                     Deceit                      Depression         Purpose
Fear                           Lust                         Rejection            Caring
Aggression                Control                    Anger                 Anger*
Anger                       Anger                      Hopelessness      Mercy
Anxiety                      Infatuation              Doubt                 Grace
Rebellion                Stubbornness           Despair              Acceptance

*We can see that anger can occur in all 4 categories. Having anger in the Conflict, Selfishness and Pain column makes sense. We need to realize that if we have peace then we need to protect it fervently hence anger is a part of the retaining Peace process. It motivates us to put right a wrong or bring justice into a situation. So don’t mistake your anger over certain issues as necessarily being wrong.

 

If you feel life is like pushing a barrow of cement up a hill then you are probably living in the Conflict column.

‘I never intended to be here, life was never meant to be like this! It’s so unjust!’

Deuteronomy 28:13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

‘commands’ seems to be the way out?

What are His commands?

The phrase ‘Trust in the Lord’ appears 47 times in the bible, He seems pretty definite in His ability and interest in our lives to fix our mistakes and situations. But it’s up to us to walk it out.

Matt 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

How do we love then?

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

i.e. the Peace column.

Trouble is if we are living a life of conflict it’s very difficult to love isn’t it?
We need the right input which is true love.

Religion misses the mark today just as it did in Jesus’ day. He constantly battled with the Pharisees over law and grace. Religion tells us that we are not good enough and so we have to clean up our act to make ourselves acceptable.

Impossible task really and an empty outcome, frustration and self condemnation is often the fruit of this behaviour or even worse an attitude of judgement towards those who don’t ‘follow the way’. Doesn’t look like the description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13 does it?

Faith is about a relationship not rules. If a relationship can fulfil my needs then everything else will fall into place but this relationship has to be stable, trustworthy, bigger than me and real.

Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

It’s the door of your heart he is talking about here.

The reason many don’t ‘give peace and chance’ is because religion says you will have to give up all those things you love and start doing the things you don’t love.

You know what? Those people are right!

However my experience been quite the opposite. Having a relationship with Jesus has opened up wonderful possibilities and experiences I would have never thought I could have had or even thought about.

Plus I know I’m loved. I know who I am. I never fear my needs will go unmet what ever they are and I am secure in knowing the outcomes for my future are assured. If someone told me 12 years ago what I would have now I would have laughed at them!

I have come to know eternal life is not just living forever… that could become boring.

Eternal life is as long as it is broad as it is high and is deep. Full of purpose,
significance and fulfilment and it all started the day I opened the door.

Sure there are challenges and disappointments that life brings however even though I have tripped over in life many times I am still standing! I can overcome and that is powerful only because He is powerful and has chosen to be involved in my life.

Living at the head and not the tail, over and not under circumstances.

Living in the Peace column of life.

Sounds good doesn’t it!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

   

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