Saturday, April 14, 2012

In Weakness We Grow

It's time to get really personal here. It always amazes me how in tune I am with my children. When they are struggling with an issue, I always feel like I'm right there with them. Or maybe it's that they're right there with me. When God is dealing with us about something, we are ready to spot and convict others of the same thing.

There is absolute truth there!

For the past couple of months, I've been angry. I couldn't figure out what to do about it. It seemed that no matter how much I prayed, and tried to fix things on my own, the anger and bitterness was still there. I couldn't get away from it.

I struggle a lot with perfectionism, and I often push that onto others. One of the biggest pitfalls of this is the judgment that comes with it. I am so judgmental and I hate it. It's something I despise in myself, yet I fall into it so easily. Recently, I heard a comedienne speak. She said that Christians need t-shirts made, "Judge me. I'm judging you." I had to laugh because it's hurts that it's true sometimes. We figure out a certain area of our walk with God, and then we look down on others who haven't yet arrived. As if we ourselves have...

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." Matthew 7:1-5 (The Message)

About three weeks ago our pastor's sermon was titled, "Anger." I knew it was for me. I felt like he was reading my mail, or following the blogs that I chose to read. The day before his sermon I read a convicting post. I can't take things so personally. The only life I am completely responsible for is my own. I need to put all my focus on “working out my own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12) If I stand alone, then I stand alone with God. I am not the one who should convict others. That's the Holy Spirit's work.

My bitterness, judgment, and anger were all wrapped up into one messy package. I had forgotten how to enjoy my own life.

What do I do with my anger?
1.) Understand it's not a sin to be angry.
"You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge." Ephesians 4:26 (The Message)

2.) Know why you're angry.
*** The root of anger is always fear ***
What am I afraid of?

This one statement has helped me so much! I had never heard that fear was behind our anger. It is so true though! I have since looked at every situation and found that ultimately I was afraid of something.

I feel that this will be a life-changing revelation for me. I figured out my two biggest fears. The first one is with my children. I found that when I'm frustrated with my kids, it usually comes down to, "Maybe I'm not really a good mother after all."

And my second fear deals with others outside of my family, "Maybe I really don't matter to them."

It's amazing when you bring things into the light, how much easier it makes them to deal with. The fears get smaller when you recognize them for what they are. Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. When we know what the threat is, we can figure out how to combat it.

3.) What action do I need to take?
Don't react in your anger, but let your anger move you to action.
Anger is the fight part of you. It motivates you to change something or do something.

4.) Realize anger has a short shelf-life.
"Even legitimate anger left on the counter overnight turns into a maggot-infested attitude."
Ephesians 4:27 "Don't stay angry... Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life."

Over the past few weeks, I've learned a lot about anger in a hands on practical way. I've been amazed at how much easier it is to let go of it when you understand it.

My children have been along for the ride with me. I think anger is an attitude that other people latch onto. I've tried to talk about fear with them, but their minds don't yet seem capable of seeing those other emotions. All they can comprehend is the anger that's right in front of them.

I like to be creative in my discipline, and I was getting tired of taking away the computer and DS time. This week we had a blow up, and I wanted to deal with it in a more constructive way. I remember my mom requiring me to write papers on certain topics I was dealing with, and I thought this would be a good time to start with my children. They have written apology letters in the past, but this time I wanted them to write a research paper.

They had a few requirements for their paper. First, it needed to contain at least one example. The example could be anything, true or false. The example needed a solution that Jesus would agree with. The paper would be at least two hand written pages including two different Bible verses. They also needed to write about a goal they were making for themselves; something to help them grow and change for the better.

This project took several days to complete, and it came with much sweat and tears. Both kids handed in a sloppy copy that needed a few adjustments. I think we're all really happy with how they turned out, and I pray that the process allowed for some change in them to take place. That was my goal.


Anger
by Gabe

Have any problems with anger? Gabe has a problem. Lets help Gabe let go of his anger. One day Gabe was eatting a brownie. After he ate it his mother said clean up your crums. Gabe started to clean up his crums with his hands. His mother said with the vacume cleaner. Gabe lost his temper. Then his mother said sit on your bed. Gabe said Zech was the won who even made the crums. Then again his mother said sit on your bed. Then he walked up to Zech and said this is all your fault. Zech began to cry. Then Gabe stomped to his room. Do you think he should have done that to Zech? NO!

In Ephesians it sais don't let the sun go down on your anger while you give a foot to the devil.

Getting angry is not a sin. But letting your anger control you is a sin.

God also gets angry. Like when all the people in the world started worshiping Idoils. God gets mad a houl bunch. He got angry more than 75 times. But he still does not force people to do what he wants.

In Proverbs it sais He will die for his lack of desaplin. And stumble around in great stupitady. That actuly sounds pretie enbarising if your angry. Because it sais stumble around in great stupitady.

Gabes goal is to breath slowly intell he's not angry and figure out why he is angry.

And never ever forget to not hold on to your anger.


Gabriel worked really hard on the research part of his paper. He looked up many different verses and learned a lot about what the Bible had to say about anger. I taught him how to use BibleGateway, hence God got mad 75 times.
Together we made a poster for his wall that reminds him about the steps and goals he wants to take in getting rid of his anger. I found the information to be very practical and applicable to more than just children.
feeling angry helpful tips

Kindness

By: Ariel

This is why you should be kind. You should be kind because it makes people happy. And the Golden Rule is “Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated. When you don’t follow the Golden Rule it makes Jesus very upset. When you have the urge not to use kindness, think about the other person’s feelings. Here’s an example of not using kindness. We’re at my house and Gabes happily writing in his notebook. I walk over to him and kick him. Gabe yells “WHY DID YOU DO THAT”. Then mom walks in and I say “I didn’t do anything”. That’s not being kind and it’s also lying.

Another reason you should be kind is that being mean is a sin. In the bible God says” Love each other as I have loved you. The greatest love a person can show is to die for your friend. You are my friends if you do what I command John 15:12-14. That means be kind to people like God has been kind to you, and the biggest thing you can do for your friend is to die for your friend. That’s showing a lot of kindness for your friend.Heres an example of sort of dying for your friend. Someone at the playground is bullying kids. Then they start bullying Megan. I could say “Stop if you have to bully someone bully me “.

Here’s another bible verse Proverbs 11:17 A kind man benefits himself but a cruel man brings trouble on himself. That means that someone who is kind has good things come but a mean man gets bad things happen to him. Listen to this. We had just eaten spaghetti. Mom asks “Does anyone want to do the dishes. Ariel offers to them and she got paid a dollar because she offered to do them. If she didn’t offer to do them, she would have to do them tomorrow and not get paid.

Here are my goals. I’m going to try to not be mean to anyone for a whole month. When Gabe gets mean, just try to be nice. Jesus said when someone hits you turn the cheek so they can hit the other cheek Matthew 5:39. When I want to be mean I think about Valentine. If you don’t have a bird named Valentine think how the other person would feel. Think back to the golden rule “Treat others the way you want to be treated. Think about this, what if they said that to you. That is my report.


I am so glad that God doesn't leave us the way we are. I'm also glad He doesn't change us all at once. Imagine how overwhelming that would be? God is patient and kind, and does not give us more than we can handle. It is in our greatest weaknesses that we have the opportunity to exhibit the greatest growth and change. Thank you, God, I'm not the same person I was yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. This is just awesome! Loved reading it. It shows how well you've taught your children not only to love God, but apply The Bible to their life. Your blog posts are always so encouraging. :)

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