Points from the Pastor's Pen
Dear Friend, May, 2021
“Instead of speaking the truth in love, we will in all things GROW UP into him who is the head that is Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
Why is it that some of us grow old, but never GROW UP? I believe there are at least four bridges we must choose to cross if we are going to GROW UP.
First: We must move from the place of FEAR to the place of FAITH. Too many adults base their decisions/actions on the fear factor. They live 24/7 with a high level of worry and anxiety. While it is true that our world can be a fearful place, it is also true that our faith in a God who “gives good gifts to his children” can help us leave the place of FEAR and cross over to the place of FAITH. The God of peace is there even in the worst storms of life. To GROW UP you must choose FAITH over FEAR and let the God of Peace rule in your heart.
Second: To GROW UP we must choose FORGIVENESS over BITTERNESS. Everyone has injustice and unfair things happen to them. Too many respond by choosing to live in the place of unforgiveness and bitterness. These individuals are never able to GROW UP because past events continue to bind and control them. These people have no future because they live in the past. But when we choose to forgive and release those who have hurt us, we are set free to GROW UP. In the place of forgiveness our focus turns from the past to the present and the future. Where do you need to choose FORGIVENESS over BITTERNESS so you can GROW UP in Christ.
Third: To GROW UP you must choose GIVING over TAKING. Our world is filled with takers who, like the rich fool (Luke 12), think life is all about the getting of more things. These people are usually selfish, self-centered and think life is all about them. They are never satisfied or happy. In choosing GIVING over TAKING, I usually remind myself that: I will “reap what I sow” and that my time, talents, tithe and all my stuff are gifts from God. I do not own them. Those who GROW UP will choose to move from the place of TAKING to the place of GIVING.
Fourth: Those who GROW UP choose THANKFULNESS over COMPLAINING. Complainers are never happy because they always find something to whine about. However, the thankful person always finds something to be grateful for and has joy and peace. Our complaining is always rooted in not trusting GOD. A thankful spirit is always rooted in trusting a good God. Thankful people keep growing up in Christ. Complainers get stuck and stop growing. Are you a thankful person or a complainer? What have you chosen?
These are the four bridges that spiritually/emotionally healthy people choose to cross. They choose to move from:
The place of FEAR to the place of FAITH.
The place of BITTERNESS to the place of FORGIVENESS.
The place of TAKING to the place of GIVING.
The place of COMPLAINING to the place of THANKFULNESS.
In our days of Covid-19, everyone has been confronted with the temptations of fear, bitterness, taking, and complaining. I am praying as a Christ follower, you will choose instead to GROW UP in Christ and choose faith, forgiveness, giving and thankfulness.
Your friend and Pastor