Friday, January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023 DDF Breathes New Life Post/Trust Issues

Do you have trust issues? I was talking with a friend and she said she wanted to explain why she seems standoffish when we were talking with a group of ladies that I had just met at an event I participated in this week. She said she thought they were a pretty tight group, but over the past year one of the ladies confronted her and she was caught off guard. She also learned the group had been talking about her behind her back. Then they wanted to have a group intervention and meet to discuss the wrongs my friend had done to them.

Can you imagine you are part of a group, and they want to sit you in the middle and then throw stones of your wrongs which you didn’t even know existed. Who would want to be attacked like this. She refused to meet, but I could tell by her retelling this story that she was hurt by the whole experience. She is super sweet and said she is cordial and will not treat them like they had to her.

I too am leery to put my whole self out there with especially a group of women. It seems like it always ends up with an us versus them or the click just pushes you out. I think it happens more than we like to admit. This is a difficult cycle to break as I think human nature likes to point out flaws about others rather than highlighting the goodness of people around them. Hard to keep friendships with this attitude.

Gossip may seem like an innocent form of communication but can sever relationships and cause division in the church. While people may believe that they are simply sharing information, if their intent is to tear a person down, then they are not following the will of God. The Bible even lists gossip as one of the most depraved acts. The Bible often speaks about gossip as is causes trouble, quarreling, and bitterness. Scripture makes it clear that gossip should not be part of the Christian’s life. There a over 60 scriptures that address this destructive behavior.

The Proverbs contain many warnings against gossiping. If you have never read them just know that Proverbs are not promises but gives directions on how to live a healthy vibrant life in happiness.

“Without wood, a fire goes out; without gossip a conflict ceases” (Proverbs 26:20).

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6: 16-19).

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies with not escape” (Proverbs 19:5).

On the other side is listening to gossip. That is silent participation and is also wrong. It taints your own spirit and integrity. Your choice is to remove yourself from listening to the vileness of gossip.

“The simple man believes every word, but the prudent man watches his steps” (Proverbs 14:15).

“Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues” (Proverbs 10:19).

What we focus on is powerful.

The Bible teaches the importance of focus when it tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” As we navigate through this challenging world, we must choose whether to focus on our problems or the Problem-Solver. Jesus modeled this perfectly when He decided to look beyond the cross and focus on His Father's plan.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” Jesus focused on the future reward rather than the suffering and shame of the moment. His perspective gave Him the resolve to conquer death – even death on a cross.
What we focus on is essential.

In Psalm 121:1-2 we read, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” I imagine the psalmist initially looking down and focusing on his problems. Then he chose to look up, and when he did, he saw the majesty of the mountains. With eyes wide open, he must have thought, “Why am I worrying? I belong to the One who created the mountains, heaven and earth! Nothing is impossible for Him.”

When our perspective changes, doubt, fear, and worry have no choice but to retreat. With that in mind, we should start each day by "fixing our eyes." When we focus on Jesus, He gives us the gift of His peace as we trust in Him.

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

Prayer: Dear Lord, May we always fix our eyes upon You. Help us to be anxious for nothing as we rest in Your provision, protection, and constant presence. We love You and look forward to the glorious day when we will see You face to face. (Jan. 20 podcast posted)

Heard this song this morning, "On Our Way" by MercyMe

"We are on our way to breaking through because we were made for something new"

"We are on our way to chase our dreams because we were made for greater things"

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