Welcome to the first official week of our “12 Christian Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy” study. Each post I’ll reference from the book and highly encourage you to go out and get a copy. Submit your thoughts in the comment section for what in the chapter stood out for you. We’re all different. I want to know what is impacting you the most. As for me…what you’ll find throughout this study is I’ll share experiences from my life, stories meant to help others feel like there might just be someone out there that struggles with the same issues they do. We’re all imperfect people…so feel free to laugh and I’ll just laugh right along with you.
Life is so much more fun when you live life out loud!
I was kind of hoping for an “ease into” first chapter. You know…kind of get us used to being together…getting used to getting our minds open to study. But NO! No can do! As I was reading I quickly realized that they were wasting no time getting right to the point. There’s no time for playing here…huh! Time to get this ball rolling!
Stop thinking so much about yourself! It’s it about time you think about somebody else. I have two teenagers. And if any others of you out there have teens I know you’ve said these statements. After all teenagers are the biggest “globe heads” of any age range. It’s just assumed that the world should be revolving around their heads. GLOBE HEADS! Maybe they aren’t so far off the mark.
I grew up in a very small southern baptist country church. I have so many stories from that wonderful place where I first met my Savior. One of the things that now strikes me most is that we were very much about the structure. How many of you know about JOY? I grew up with JOY! Jesus first…Others second…Yourself last. I grew up with the mantra of “take up your cross and follow me.” That’s can’t be bad. Jesus said it, it must be right. I was always doing, always listening, always…always…always. There are times when I’ve been so busy “doing” for Jesus and “doing” for others, that there’s been nothing left of me. Don’t get me wrong – I know Jesus loves me and I return the sentiment. My JOY was in serious disrepair. I vividly remember times where I would sit in a little room…ok – it’s was the bathroom, but who wants to say that sit in the bathroom. Anyway, I would sit in there and think “I’m so sick of being happy.” I was sick of having the happy smile, the happy voice, the happy walk. The thing was I wasn’t happy at all. I was sinking and I was sinking fast. Doesn’t make me bad or wrong. Just makes me human. I didn’t know what to call it at the time, but now I realize that I had some really big needs that were going unmet.
No one told me that it was wrong to have my needs met. That just it, they didn’t tell me anything. I didn’t say anything and nobody asked!
I can’t be the only one out there that’s feeling the same and maybe not even realizing it.
God created us to be incomplete all by ourselves. Many times we can think that we can do it all by ourselves. It’s often comforting to feel like you can control your little universe. If I just do everything myself and eliminate all outside influences…except those I choose to include which just goes to show you how much I can control:)
Go with me to page 17 near the bottom “As God’s image bearers, created in His likeness, we are also created to reach outside ourselves to get what we need.” OK – so in my better moments I know that I can’t live in a bubble all my life. But sometimes it feels a little…well…vulnerable to let people in to mess around in your “stuff.” Right?
- What things in your life have taught you about how to get your needs met?
- Do you pull back at needing people and asking for help?
God created us to need other people. Not in a destructive, neurotic “need to be needed” kind of way. God wants us to be loved not only by himself, but also by each other. It’s logical to want and need comfort. After all “good, JOY seeking Christians” spend the greater parts of their lives giving it to others while realizing the need for it themselves goes unnoticed.
- Our needs are designed to drive us to growth.
Our neediness forces us to realize that we are people who need to look to God and ask Him for what we need. We simply can’t do life on our own. When we try to eliminate God’s voice in our lives what we get are lives filled with confusion. Our need drives us closer to God, to others, and to maturity.
Explain why one of the most spiritual things you can do is to need other people. See Ecclesiastes 4:10.
- Our needs are designed to drive us to humility.
As long as we think we are better than everyone else we will never admit our own needs and ask for help. We’ll just keep pulling away from all the “other” people that seem to be broken while never realizing the truth about ourselves.
- We are responsible for ourselves. Galatians 6:5 tells us the “Each one should carry his own load.”
- We also need to be loved. We need to be connect to God and others to keep us going. Proverbs 29:23 says “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Humble people know that can’t do it all by themselves.
Each of us needs to be functionally independent and, at the same time, relationally dependent. Take a minute and journal about what this statement looks like lived out. How are you doing living a functionally independent and relationally dependent life?
- Our needs are designed to draw us closer to God.
Matthew 9:12 -13 says this…“When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.’ Then He added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
- God is not interested in people playing perfect. I think there are certainly times that God sits up there looking down at us thinking what idiotic people we are.
- I love this statement on page 23 about us crazy, imperfect people and the way we think… “We are drawn to this gospel message because we have problems. And after joining a church, we spend the next forty years trying to hid our problems. Having no problems is a problem.”
I love that because it’s so TRUE! Why is it that the best place to show someone our problems is the very place where we try to hide them. We can have a fight with out spouse all the way to church…just ripping each other up one side and down the other…but as soon as we walk through those doors it’s smiles on. The topics change from week to week, but they are there. I’ve done it. Heck…I’ll probably do it this weekend too:)
- Neglecting our needs leads to spiritual and emotional problems.
If God made us with needs then it only makes sense that if we continually let those needs go unmet and refuse to even consider that they may be real we’re heading for some real problems.
- When we neglect our needs that’s when we see things like depression, anxiety, all kinds of abuse and compulsive behaviors. When these things start showing up it’s God’s way of saying “HEY YOU! SOMETHING’S WRONG!”
- When something’s wrong it doesn’t mean that we are wrong. In fact, when we begin to realize that something is wrong that is when we are the most right! What we’re experiencing in that moment isn’t the problem. For a food addict the food isn’t what’s wrong. The food is just the symptom. A little digging can get you to the root.
- Getting our needs met helps us meet the needs of others.
When you give and give and give…you’re giving tank eventually gets empty. Filling up your tank gives you the fuel you need to continue to give to others.
- On page 26 it says “The most comforting people in the world are those who have been comforted; the most understanding people are those who have been understood; and the most loving people, those who have been loved.
- Luke 7:47 “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
When have you seen this principle in real life? When have you seen someone able to give because they have been able to receive the very thing that they were giving?
What do you struggle to give freely because you yourself need to receive it first?
Am I asking for what I need?
If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.
Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.
Have a great week!
Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend entitled “12 Christian Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy.”