0 Comments


WELCOME TO RBC
MINISTRIES WEBINARS. I’M YOUR HOST, TIM JACKSON
AND WE’RE GLAD YOU’VE
JOINED US TODAY. TODAY’S WEBINAR
IS ON FINDING GOD IN
THE FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE, AND LIFE CAN
REALLY BE FRUSTRATING,
CAN’T IT, SOMETIMES? THERE’S ALL KINDS OF
HURDLES THAT WE HAVE TO FACE.
SOMETIMES THEY’RE HUGE HURDLES. SOMETIMES IT MEANS
THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE.
IT COULD BE A BANKRUPTCY. IT COULD BE THAT DIAGNOSIS
OF CANCER THAT NO ONE EXPECTS
AND NOBODY PLANS FOR. BUT THEN THERE’S THE LITTLE
FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE THAT JUST
SEEM TO EAT AWAY AT US, LIKE LOSING YOUR CAR KEYS,
SOMEBODY CUTTING YOU OFF IN
TRAFFIC, MAYBE THAT SNARKY COMMENT
THAT SOMEBODY MAKES IN
A SOCIAL GATHERING, OR… OR JUST THE FACT
THAT YOU’VE GOT TO REPAIR
SOMETHING AGAIN. ALL THOSE FRUSTRATIONS
ADD UP. THE QUESTION IS, HOW DO YOU HANDLE
FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE
WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE THEM? AND I’M GLAD YOU’VE
JOINED US TODAY, BECAUSE
SITTING HERE AT THE TABLE… ARE MY FRIENDS, GARY AND
LISA HEIM. WELCOME, GUYS. GARY: HI, TIM,
GOOD TO BE WITH YOU. TIM: GARY, YOU’RE…
YOU’RE A COUNSELOR. GARY: CORRECT. TIM: AND SO ARE YOU, LISA. LISA: THAT’S RIGHT. TIM:
BUT YOU ALSO WORK AT A CHURCH. GARY: YEAH,
BLYTHEFIELD HILLS BAPTIST
CHURCH IN ROCKFORD, MICHIGAN. TIM: AND WHAT
DO YOU DO THERE, GARY? GARY: I’VE BEEN ON STAFF THERE
FOR 17 YEARS, OVERSEEING ADULT
SMALL GROUPS AND DISCIPLESHIP, I DO A VARIETY OF
MENTORING AND WORK WITH
MEN’S MINISTRIES, AS WELL. TIM: OKAY. AND LISA,
YOU COUNSEL FOLKS. LISA: CORRECT.
I’VE BEEN A PROFESSIONAL
COUNSELOR HERE IN MICHIGAN… FOR ALMOST 25 YEARS NOW. TIM: AND NOW YOU DO SOME
SEMINARS AND DO SOME TEACHING, AND EVEN YOU WORK AT
A LOCAL SEMINARY, CORRECT? LISA: CORRECT, YES. GARY: GRAND RAPIDS
THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
WE’RE ADJUNCT PROFESSORS THERE. TIM: OKAY. AND YOU’VE
WRITTEN A BOOK THAT WE
WANT TO HIGHLIGHT TODAY, AND THE TITLE OF
YOUR BOOK IS WHAT? GARY:TRUE NORTH: CHOOSING GOD
IN THE FRUSTRAIONS OF LIFE.
TIM: THE TOPIC
OF FRUSTRATION, I MEAN, THE FIRST THING YOU SAY IN
YOUR BOOK IS THAT LIFE IS
DIFFICULT, ISN’T IT, GARY? GARY: INDEED IT IS.
LONELINESS, FEELINGS OF
FAILURE, STRUGGLING WITH LIFE. IF WE’VE BEEN MARRIED VERY
LONG, WE KNOW WHAT MARITAL
TENSIONS CAN INVOLVE. KIDS, SLOW TRAFFIC,
THAT CAN GET ME SOMETIMES. TIM: SO WHERE… WHERE DOES
THE FRUSTRATION COME FROM? GARY: WELL, YOU KNOW, BACK IN
THE GARDEN WE BELIEVED A LIE. THE ENEMY GOT ADAM
AND EVE TO BELIEVE… THAT THEY COULD BE SECURE
AND SIGNIFICANT WITHOUT GOD. AND BECAUSE OF THE FACT
THAT THEY BOUGHT THAT LIE,
THERE’S A SEPARATION FROM GOD. AND THAT’S LEFT US THIRSTY,
THIRSTY FOR SECURITY, THIRSTY
FOR MEANING. AND LEFT TO OURSELVES,
NOT ONLY ARE WE THIRSTY,
BUT WE’RE FOOLISH, BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN SEPARATED
FROM GOD. WE BELIEVE THE LIE, AND THEREFORE, LEFT TO
OURSELVES, WE NATURALLY… SEEK OUR SECURITY AND
SIGNIFICANCE IN THE WORLD. TIM: SO WE TRY TO
HANDLE IT ON OUR OWN… GARY: ON OUR OWN. WE LOOK
TO PEOPLE OR MY WIFE OR KIDS,
OR SUCCESS AT WORK, WHATEVER, TO MAKE ME FEEL SECURE
AND SIGNIFICANT. NOW, GOD LOVES US,
WE’RE HIS DEARLY LOVED
CHILDREN, BUT HE DOES… HE HAS RIGGED LIFE IN SUCH A WAY
TO FRUSTRATE US, BECAUSE ANY
TIME I’M GOING AFTER THAT LIE, SOONER OR LATER I’M GOING TO
EXPERIENCE FRUSTRATION, ‘CAUSE HE WON’T LET
THE LIE WORK. HE WANTS
US TO TURN TO HIM. TIM: NOW, NOW, WE TALK ABOUT GOD
AS OUR FATHER, THAT HE LOVES US, AND THEN YOU SAY HE FRUSTRATES
US. THAT SOUND… THAT SOUNDS
LIKE HE’S KIND OF MEAN. I DON’T DO… INTENTIONALLY…
I MEAN, I FRUSTRATE MY KIDS, BUT I DON’T INTENTIONALLY
TRY TO FRUSTRATE MY CHILDREN, BUT YOU’RE SAYING
THAT GOD DOES THAT. GARY: HE DOES,
AND IT’S A VERY GRACIOUS
THING THAT HE’S DONE TO US… WHEN WE REALLY
UNDERSTAND IT, BECAUSE,
AGAIN, WE BELIEVE THE LIE, LEFT TO OURSELVES,
IN OUR FLESH, AND SO WE’RE
GOING TO GO AFTER THE WORLD, THINGS OF THE WORLD
TO MAKE US… GIVE US A SENSE OF SECURITY
AND SIGNIFICANCE. GOD IS SAYING, “LIFE IS IN ME. I
LOVE YOU. I WANT YOU TO LOVE ME. “AND SO, YOU’RE GOING
TO TENACIOUSLY GO AFTER
THE WORLD AND THE LIES, “I’M GOING TO BLOCK YOUR PATH,
SO THAT EVENTUALLY, “IN THAT FRUSTRATION,
YOU’LL COME BACK TO ME
AND BUILD THAT RELATIONSHIP.” IT’S SORT OF LIKE PARENTS,
I MEAN, ANY GOOD PARENT,
ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, HAS SAID NO TO THEIR KIDS, AND
THAT’S FRUSTRATING, BUT THERE’S
ALWAYS GOOD PURPOSE BEHIND IT. TIM: SO LISA, WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT HOW WE TEND TO RESPOND
TO THAT KIND OF FRUSTRATION, I KNOW, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY
CUTS ME OFF IN TRAFFIC SOMETIME, I DON’T HAVE TO THINK
ABOUT IT, BUT THERE’S A LOT
OF TIMES I JUST GET ANGRY. I JUST KIND OF
JUMP RIGHT INTO THAT. GARY: IT’S AS NATURAL
AS BREATHING, IT REALLY IS,
TO BE MORE REACTIVE… THAN HAVE A PRESENCE OF MIND
TO BE RESPONSIVE IN A GOOD WAY. TIM: OKAY, SO ANGER’S
ONE OF THE WAYS WE CAN
RESPOND. WHAT OTHER WAYS? LISA: WE GET ANXIOUS,
WE GET WORRIED, FEARFUL.
WE CAN WITHDRAW. WE WANT TO PUNISH PEOPLE.
WE WANT TO GET THEM TO
COME THROUGH FOR US. WE… WE WANT TO TRY TO
DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE
WHAT’S GOING ON. TIM: ALL THOSE DON’T SOUND
VERY HEALTHY, DO THEY? SO… SO WHERE DOES THAT COME
FROM, THE UNHEALTHY WAY WE TEND
TO RESPOND TO THESE THINGS? LISA: WELL, THAT REALLY COMES
FROM OUR SELF-CENTEREDNESS. YOU KNOW, ALL OF US
ARE BORN INTO THIS FALLEN
WORLD AS FALLEN CREATURES. OUR NATURAL TENDENCY IS
TO LOOK OUT FOR OURSELVES.
WE WANT WHAT WE WANT, RATHER THAN REALLY BEING WILLING
TO THINK ABOUT WHAT GOD WANTS… OR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE
DESIRE IN THIS LIFE.
WE REALLY THINK ABOUT OURSELVES, AND WE REACT IN A WAY THAT’S
TRYING TO MEET OUR OWN NEEDS,
IN OUR SELF-CENTEREDNESS. TIM: SO IT’S…
IT’S WHERE WE DON’T TRUST
GOD TO HANDLE THINGS, AND WE FEEL FRUSTRATED BECAUSE
WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD, AND THEN WE TRY TO
HANDLE IT ON OUR OWN. GARY: CORRECT. THAT’S RIGHT. WE’RE TRYING TO MANAGE
AND CONTROL THINGS IN
OUR OWN STRENGTH. TIM: WHEN YOU… WHEN YOU LOOK
AT THE BOOK THAT YOU’VE WRITTEN
OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS, THINGS YOU’VE KIND OF
GLEANED AND PUT TOGETHER, THERE’S A LOT OF BOOKS OUT THERE
THAT… IN THE SELF-HELP MARKET, THAT… THAT REALLY JUST
FEEL LIKE HERE’S SOMEONE ELSE’S
FORMULA ABOUT HOW TO DO LIFE. WHAT’S…
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT WHAT
YOU’RE DOING WITH YOUR BOOK? GARY: THIS IS DEFINITELY
NOT FOR… A FORMULA. DON’T BELIEVE GOD WILL ALLOW
A FORMULA TO WORK, BECAUSE
FORMULAS GIVE US CONTROL, THINKING WE HAVE CONTROL,
WHERE GOD WANTS US TO
LEARN TO TRUST IN HIM. HE’S THE ONE IN CONTROL.
BUT REALLY WHAT THIS IS, IT’S KIND OF LIKE A MAP TO
HELP US AT LEAST DISCERN WHERE
WE ARE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, AS I’M FACING AND EXPERIENCING
THE FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE.
TELLS US WHERE WE’RE AT. LISA: YEAH. OUR BOOK REALLY
IS ABOUT CATEGORIES THAT HAVE
HELPED GARY AND I PERSONALLY, AS… AS WELL AS PEOPLE WE’VE
WORKED WITH IN COUNSELING, TO DISCERN WHERE…
WHERE AM I IN THE MIDDLE
OF ALL THIS FRUSTRATION? HOW AM I REACTING OR RESPONDING?
AND WHERE DO I WANT TO GO? I THINK HAVING SOME SIMPLE
CATEGORIES TO THINK IN
HAS REALLY HELPED US… TO THINK ABOUT HOW…
HOW WE DO WANT TO HANDLE
THE FRUSTRATIONS OF LIFE. TIM: I KNOW YOU SAID,
WHERE ARE WE? I THINK OF WALKING
INTO THE MALL AND THERE’S
THAT LITTLE “X” ON THE… THE CENTER CONSOLE
THAT YOU WALK INTO
THE CENTER OF THE MALL, IT SAYS HERE’S WHERE YOU ARE. AND THEN YOU TRY TO FIND
THE STORE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. AND SO YOU’RE TRYING TO MAP
OUT FOR FOLKS TO HELP THEM
UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY’RE… WHERE THEY’RE AT,
HOW THEY TEND TO RESPOND,
AND THEN WHERE THEY WANT TO GO. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT, BECAUSE WHEN
WE INTERACT WITH FRUSTRATION,
WE’RE ANGRY, WE’RE SCARED, IT CAN BE SO CONFUSING
INTERNALLY, JUST INTERNAL CHAOS. AND SO TO HAVE SOME
CATEGORIES TO HELP US DISCERN, WHAT’S GOING ON IN ME?
WHERE AM I AT RIGHT NOW?
CAN REALLY HELP US. TIM: SO ONE OF THE THINGS
AS WE KIND OF MAP THIS
OUT, LET’S SAY THAT, IT STRIKES ME WHAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT IS THAT WE ALWAYS
HAVE A CHOICE, DON’T WE? GARY: YES. THERE IS ALWAYS
AN OPTION, ALWAYS A CHOICE:
TURN TO GOD OR AWAY FROM HIM. TIM: OKAY, AND IN YOUR BOOK,
YOU DESCRIBE GOING NORTH
AND GOING SOUTH. THAT’S KIND OF THE METAPHOR YOU
GUYS ARE USING: GOING NORTH,
GOING SOUTH. AND LISA, WHAT DO
YOU MEAN BY GOING NORTH?
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT FOR US? LISA: SURE. WELL,
GOING NORTH REALLY JUST
MEANS TURNING TOWARD GOD, WHO IS OUR TRUE NORTH,
AS WE CALLED THE BOOK. BUT IT MEANS REALLY HAVING
OURSELVES SO DEPENDENT ON GOD, BELIEVING THE TRUTH
OF HIS LOVE AND HIS PROVISION
FOR US, THAT HE’S ENOUGH, THAT WE ARE THEN ABLE TO RESPOND
TO LIFE’S FRUSTRATIONS… IN A WAY THAT REALLY
REFLECTS LOVE OF GOD AND
LOVE OF OTHERS IN OUR LIVES. TIM: AND THAT’S NOT
OUR NATURAL BENT, GOING BACK TO WHAT YOU SAID
ABOUT SELF-CENTEREDNESS. LISA: RIGHT, EXACTLY.
YEAH, GOING NORTH IS NOT…
DOES NOT COME NATURALLY TO US. TIM: AND THEN, GARY,
GOING SOUTH IS WHAT? GARY: GOING SOUTH COMES
A LITTLE MORE NATURAL FOR US. TIM: NATURAL FOR ME,
THAT’S FOR SURE. GARY: IT SURE IS MY…
MY CASE, TOO. BUT I THINK,
LEFT TO OURSELVES, WE JUST… WE DON’T REMEMBER GOD IN
THE MIDST OF REJECTION AND
HARDSHIP AND FRUSTRATION. IT’S JUST VERY EASY TO
GO SOUTH AND MORE REACT. AND REALLY, WHAT WE’RE
BELIEVING IS THAT WE NEED
SOMETHING OTHER THAN GOD… AND WHATEVER HE HAS
PROVIDED FOR ME IN THAT
MOMENT FOR ME TO BE OKAY. TIM: SO… SO IF WE’RE STANDING
AT A CROSSROADS, SO TO SPEAK, WE’RE COMING TO A FORK
IN THE ROAD, WE HAVE A CHOICE. ARE WE GOING TO GO NORTH,
ARE WE GOING TO PURSUE GOD?
OR ARE WE GOING TO GO SOUTH? GARY: AND WE…
THAT’S TRUE, WE DO. AND IT’S OFTEN NOT THAT CLEAR
TO US IN THE MIDST OF THE CHAOS. BUT AS WE THINK THROUGH
THIS MORE AND PROCESS
THIS MORE AND MORE, WE CAN BEGIN TO SEE
SOONER WHAT THAT CHOICE
IS AND WHERE IT LIES. TIM: WELL, THEN
UNPACK IT FOR ME. GIVE ME THE REAL EXAMPLE OF
HOW THIS THING KIND OF WORKS. HOW… HOW DID YOU SEE IT
WORKING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP? LISA: OKAY, WELL HERE’S
A GREAT EXAMPLE OF… OF A DAY WHEN GARY AND I BOTH
WENT SOUTH, SO TO SPEAK. A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO,
WE PURCHASED A HOUSE
THAT NEEDED SOME WORK. AND ONE OF THE JOBS THAT NEEDED
TO BE DONE WAS THE GARAGE
NEEDED TO BE PAINTED, WHICH MY DEAR HUSBAND WAS
WORKING HARD AT THAT ONE DAY. I THINK IT WAS A SATURDAY
MORNING. AND I WAS IN THE HOUSE, AND I HAPPENED TO LOOK OUT
THE KITCHEN WINDOW WHERE I
COULD SEE HIM WORKING OUT THERE, AND SAW HIM PAINTING AWAY,
WHICH WAS GREAT. BUT I QUICKLY NOTICED SOMETHING
ELSE THAT WAS HAPPENING, AND THAT WAS A BIG,
BEAUTIFUL POT OF FLOWERS… THAT I HAD PURCHASED AND HUNG
FROM THE EAVE OF THE GARAGE… WAS NOW SITTING ON THE GROUND
BENEATH HIS PAINTING, AND IT… MY FLOWERS
WERE COVERED WITH PAINT. WELL, I WAS INSTANTLY
FRUSTRATED, AND I WENT
SOUTH IN THAT MOMENT. AND… AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF,
“THIS MAN NEEDS SOME HELP. “I’M GOING TO GO
OUT THERE AND HELP HIM.” SO I MARCHED RIGHT
OUT THERE, AND HERE’S
HOW I DECIDED TO HELP HIM. I SAID, “WHAT IS WRONG
WITH YOU? WHY DON’T YOU PAY
ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’RE DOING? “CAN’T YOU SEE THAT
YOU’RE RUINING MY FLOWERS?” NOW, OF COURSE, GARY WAS
REALLY BLESSED AND ENCOURAGED
BY MY HELP AT THAT TIME. GARY:
DEEPLY APPRECIATED THE HELP. LISA: AT THAT TIME,
SO YEAH, I REALLY REACTED. TIM: YOUR… YOUR JOY OF YOUR
HUSBAND FINISHING A PROJECT,
PAINTING THE GARAGE, QUICKLY SHIFTED TO SOMETHING
YOU DESCRIBED AS GOING SOUTH,
BEING UPSET, BEING ANGRY? LISA: ANGRY… VERY ANGRY, YES. TIM: AND SO YOU MARCH
OUT TO ADDRESS THAT. GARY, WHAT WAS IT LIKE
ON THE RECEIVING END OF THAT? GARY: I WAS SO GRATEFUL, TIM.
I JUST SAID, “GOD, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR THIS HELP.” TIM: OKAY, NOW TELL THE TRUTH. GARY: NO, IT WAS CLEARLY
A NORTH-SOUTH MOMENT FOR
ME IN TERMS OF A CHOICE. I DID NOT EVEN THINK
ABOUT GOD AT THAT POINT. WHEN SHE CAME OUT AND… AND
CONFRONTED ME LIKE THAT,
INTERNALLY I FELT SMALL. I FELT SHAME,
AND I WENT SOUTH AND I GOT MAD,
AND I REACTED TO MY DEAR WIFE. AND WHAT CAME OUT OF MY MOUTH
AT THAT POINT IN TIME WENT
SOMETHING LIKE THIS: “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT FOR
THREE STINKING WEEKENDS… “I PAINT THIS GARAGE, I DON’T
HEAR ONE WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT. “AND AS SOON AS I MAKE
ONE MISTAKE, YOU’RE OUT
HERE TELLING ME ABOUT IT.” NOW THAT WAS QUITE A WITNESS
TO OUR NEIGHBORS, AS THEY SAW US YELLING AND
SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER, BUT IT WAS A VERY SOUTH
MOMENT FOR BOTH OF US. TIM: AND I’LL TELL YOU,
I’LL BET YOU EVERYBODY OUT
THERE HAS A NUMBER OF THESE… THAT THEY COULD SHARE IF
WE WERE TO OPEN THE MIC UP
AND LET EVERYBODY SHARE. BECAUSE I KNOW MY WIFE
AND I HAVE HAD THAT IN
OUR RELATIONSHIP, AS WELL WITH FRIENDS, THOSE
KINDS OF THINGS GOING ON, WHERE WE ABSOLUTELY JUST
JUMP ALL OVER EACH OTHER. BUT OKAY, SO YOU WENT
SOUTH IN THAT MOMENT. UNPACK WHAT THAT CYCLE OF
GOING SOUTH LOOKS LIKE.
MAP THAT OUT FOR US. YOU TALK ABOUT THE FACT
THAT WE… WE GROAN,
WE GRUMBLE, AND WE GRASP. UNPACK THOSE PIECES FOR ME
IF YOU WOULD. GARY, BEGIN WITH…
BEGIN WITH THE GROANING.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE? GARY: WELL, WE ALL GROAN.
ROMANS 8:22-23 SAYS THAT, “WE KNOW THAT THE WHOLE
CREATION HAS BEEN GROANING… “AS IN THE PAINS OF CHILDBIRTH,
RIGHT UP TO THIS PRESENT TIME.” AND EVEN WE BELIEVERS,
IT SAYS, GROAN, AS WELL. TIM: SO PART OF THAT GROANING
IS REFERRING BACK TO THE GARDEN
LIKE YOU MENTIONED EARLIER. GARY: EXACTLY, THAT
SOMETHING’S BROKEN IN LIFE. AS CHRISTIANS, WE KNOW
LIFE IS FALLEN AND BROKEN,
AND THEREFORE, WE GROAN. WE FEEL THE ACHE OF THAT.
AND IT DOES… IN ROMANS 8
IT IS REFERRING TO THE IDEA… THAT WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD
TO THE DAY OF GLORY WHEN
EVERYTHING WILL BE RIGHT, BUT RIGHT NOW, ALL OF US
FEEL THE TENSION, FRUSTRATION
OF A BROKEN WORLD. AND IN THE MIDST OF OUR
GROANING IS A LONGING. I LONG
TO FEEL SECURE AND SIGNIFICANT. AND AS LISA CAME
OUT AND CONFRONTED ME,
I DID NOT FEEL SECURE. I DID NOT FEEL SIGNIFICANT.
I FELT SMALL. AND IN THAT MOMENT OF
FEELING REJECTED AND SMALL,
I WENT TO ANGER, ‘CAUSE I WAS DEMANDING THAT
SHE TREAT ME A CERTAIN WAY AND
MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I MATTERED. TIM: SO YOU WENT INTO A
DEFENSIVE MODE AT THAT POINT. GARY: ABSOLUTELY,
AND AN ATTACK MODE. MY ANGER WENT TO WORDS,
YELLING, AND REALLY TRYING
TO GAIN CONTROL OVER HER… BY MAKING HER FEEL BAD
FOR WHAT SHE DID TO ME. TIM: SO PART OF DEFENDING YOU
WAS PUSHING BACK ON HER IN THE
MIDST OF ALL THAT GROANING. GARY: EXACTLY. TIM: AND… AND YOU TALK
ABOUT GROANING. THE… THERE’S
A GRIEF THERE, ISN’T THERE? THERE’S SOMETHING THAT’S
BEEN LOST. AND YOU SAID LONGING,
WE’RE TRYING TO REBUILD THAT. WE’RE TRYING TO… TO FIND A WAY
WE CAN MAKE THAT LONGING…
SATISFY THAT ON OUR OWN. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT. AND… AND
IN THAT GRIEF IS A YEARNING… FOR THE SECURITY
OF KNOWING WE’RE LOVED. THAT’S A LEGITIMATE, DEEP
LONGING IN EVERY HUMAN BEING. AND JUST REAL QUICKLY,
IN THAT MOMENT OF GRIEF IS AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO LAMENT, TO BRING THAT TO GOD,
GOING NO… NORTH, SO TO SPEAK. I KNOW WE’LL TALK
ABOUT THAT IN A MINUTE. BUT TYPICALLY, WE DON’T
ACKNOWLEDGE THE LONGING. WE DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAIN
AND TURN TO GOD IN A WAY THAT
EXPRESSES THAT AND HOPES IN HIM. INSTEAD, WE FEEL THE PAIN AND
THEN QUICKLY GO TO ANGER, AND
THEN WE REACT. TIM: AND… AND THAT’S
WHEN WE GRUMBLE. GARY: YES. LISA: EXACTLY. TIM: AND TALK A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT GRUMBLING THERE, LISA. LISA: YEAH, WELL, OBVIOUSLY
IN… IN THAT SITUATION, MY GROANING WAS I LONGED
TO BE TREATED, OR TO HAVE
SOMETHING THAT MATTERED TO ME, TREATED IN A WAY THAT REFLECTED
LOVE FOR ME AND CONCERN. TIM: THE FLOWERS. LISA: YES, THE FLOWERS KIND OF
REPRESENTED ME, IN A WAY. AND WHEN THAT WAS…
THOSE FLOWERS WERE NOT TREATED
THE WAY I WANTED THEM TO, I FELT GROANING,
BECAUSE I LONGED TO
FEEL THAT SENSE OF LOVE. BUT WHEN THAT LONGING
WAS FRUSTRATED BY MY
DEAR HUSBAND HERE, I QUICKLY WENT TO GRUMBLING,
WHICH… WHICH MEANS THAT… NOT JUST COMPLAINING.
I THINK WE TEND TO THINK OF
GRUMBLING AS JUST COMPLAINING, ALTHOUGH IT CERTAINLY
INVOLVES THAT, BUT I THINK IT’S OUR
EMOTIONAL REACTION WHEN
WE EXPERIENCE GROANING. WE QUICKLY DON’T…
WE DON’T STAY WITH
THE PAIN OF THE GROANING. WE GO QUICKLY TO OTHER EMOTIONS
THAT ARE SECONDARY, LIKE ANGER.
THAT’S A VERY COMMON ONE. SOMETIMES WE CAN GO MORE TOWARD
ANXIETY OR FEAR, WORRY. GARY: JEALOUSY. LISA: JEALOUSY, ENVY.
I THINK THOSE KINDS OF
DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS… COME UP VERY QUICKLY FOR US.
AND THEN THOSE EMOTIONS LEAD US
TO WHAT WE CALL GRASPING, WHICH IS OUR WAY OF TRYING TO
GET CONTROL IN THE SITUATION. WE… WE THINK, DO, OR SAY
SOMETHING THAT’S INTENDED TO GET
CONTROL OVER THE SITUATION, ‘CAUSE WE DON’T LIKE GROANING.
WE DON’T WANT TO FEEL THAT WAY. WE DON’T WANT TO FEEL THE… THE
PAIN OF LIFE IN A FALLEN WORLD, AND SO WE WANT TO GET
CONTROL OVER THAT. TIM: OKAY, SO IF WE’RE GROANING
LIKE YOU TALKED ABOUT, YOU
WANTED SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T GET. AND THEN YOU FEEL THIS…
THIS JUMBLE OF EMOTION, DESTRUCTIVE EMOTION
YOU DESCRIBED IT,
NEGATIVE EMOTION INSIDE, THAT SAYS I GOTTA
TAKE CARE OF ME, ‘CAUSE
NOBODY ELSE IS GOING TO, AND I DON’T THINK
GOD IS GOING TO. THEN… THEN WE START
GRABBING ONTO THINGS TO TRY TO
FILL THAT VOID THAT’S THERE. AND… AND THAT’S WHEN WE END UP
DOING HARM TO OTHER PEOPLE IN
THE PROCESS, ISN’T IT? LISA: RIGHT.
AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I…
I DID TO MY HUSBAND THAT DAY. “I… I’M GOING TO GET CONTROL
OF THE SITUATION, BUDDY. “YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HURT ME
LIKE THIS. YOU’RE GOING TO TREAT
ME AS THOUGH I’M IMPORTANT.” AND THAT’S WHY I WENT
OUT THERE TO CONFRONT HIM.
IT WASN’T OUT OF LOVE FOR HIM. IT WAS OUT OF LOVE FOR ME
THAT I CONFRONTED HIM THAT DAY. TIM: A QUESTION I SAY TO
CLIENTS A LOT OF TIMES WHEN
I’M COUNSELING WITH THEM… IS THAT, “HOW DID THAT
WORK FOR YOU?” THAT WAS A REAL… A REAL
TENDER MOMENT, RIGHT? GARY: RIGHT. WELL, THAT’S
THE DEAL. OUR GRASPING TENDS
TO ONLY INCREASE OUR GROANING. SO AS SHE CAME OUT
GRASPING IN ANGER… TO GET ME TO FEEL BAD
ABOUT WHAT I DID TO HER, I DIDN’T FEEL AFFIRMED. I FELT
REJECTED, SO I WENT SOUTH. I GOT MAD, AND I JUST
WENT RIGHT BACK AT HER
AND ATTACKED HER, AS WELL. SO WE’RE REALLY JUST KIND OF
GRASPING FOR SECURITY AND
SIGNIFICANCE FROM EACH OTHER, AND ANGRY THAT WE’RE NOT
GETTING IT, WHICH MAKES
EACH OF US OUR FALSE GOD. LISA: RIGHT. TIM: OKAY, FALSE GOD. THAT’S
A PRETTY STRONG TERM, GARY. GARY: WELL, I DON’T
THINK IT’S TOO STRONG. WE REALLY DO STRUGGLE WITH,
I WOULD SAY, IDOLATRY WHEN
WE’RE GOING SOUTH, BECAUSE WE REALLY ARE NOT
REMEMBERING OR INTENTIONALLY
DEPENDING ON GOD… FOR OUR CORE NEED FOR
SECURITY OR SIGNIFICANCE. INSTEAD, WHEN I GET… WHEN
I GO TO GRUMBLING LIKE THAT, IT’S A SIGNAL TELLING ME
I’M LOOKING TO LISA OR SOMEBODY
OR SOMETHING TO GIVE THAT TO ME. AND THAT WOULD BE
A FORM OF IDOLATRY, NOT… WE DON’T BOW DOWN TO GRAVEN
IMAGES IN AMERICA, BUT WE DO
HAVE OUR OWN FORM OF IDOLATRY. TIM: YEAH, WHEN… OKAY, SO WHEN
YOU TALK ABOUT IDOLATRY, AGAIN, I… I BET MOST PEOPLE WHO…
WHO HAVE THIS KIND OF A…
OH, A STRUGGLE, A SITUATION THAT HAPPENS,
YOU KNOW, FLOWERS, PAINT, IT DOESN’T SEEM TO BE
THAT BIG OF A DEAL, BUT IT… IT PROVOKED A LOT
OF EMOTION FOR BOTH OF YOU. I DON’T THINK MOST PEOPLE
WOULD STEP BACK AND GO LIKE, “OH, THEY’RE… THEY’RE
IDOLATERS. THEY’RE… THEY’RE
PURSUING FALSE GODS THERE.” WE JUST DON’T TEND TO THINK
THAT WAY, DO WE, LISA? LISA: NO, WE REALLY DON’T.
BUT ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T…
WE WOULD SAY WE LOVE GOD
AND WE… WE’RE FOLLOWING GOD, AND I THINK THAT DAY
WE WERE BOTH BELIEVERS.
WE WOULD SAY WE BOTH LOVE GOD. BUT AS A PRACTICAL,
EVERYDAY LEVEL, WE WERE REALLY OPERATING
AS THOUGH THERE IS NO GOD, OR THERE’S A GOD THAT I WANT
TO COME THROUGH FOR ME, AND THAT… AND HE’S
SITTING RIGHT HERE. TIM: OKAY, SO THAT’S
WHAT YOU MEAN BY MAKING
SOMEBODY ELSE YOUR GOD. YOU’RE MAKING THEM
RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU TO
FEEL GOOD ABOUT BEING YOU. LISA: ABSOLUTELY.
I WAS NOT DEPENDING ON GOD
FOR MY NEEDS IN THAT MOMENT, AND THEN FREE TO THINK ABOUT
HOW TO LOVE MY HUSBAND WELL.
I’M THINKING ABOUT MYSELF, AND… AND I… AND MAKING
HIM INTO MY GOD THAT NEEDS
TO COME THROUGH FOR ME, THAT NEEDS TO…
NEEDS TO MEET MY NEEDS AND
MAKE ME FEEL VALUED AND LOVED. TIM: AND AS YOU’RE SAYING
THAT, I’LL TELL YOU, THAT JUST SOUNDS LIKE
SO MUCH A… A NORMAL THING. WHEN I’M FRUSTRATED,
A LOT OF TIMES I’LL HEAR
FROM MY FAMILY THAT I BARK. THEY’LL SAY I’M…
I’M BARKING ORDERS.
I’M… I GOT A SHARP TONE. AND THEY’LL COME BACK AND SAY,
“WELL, WHY ARE YOU BARKING?” AND MY USUAL RESPONSE IS,
“WELL, I’M NOT.” AND THEN I HAVE LEARNED TO
HEAR MYSELF, THAT THEY’VE KIND
OF MIRRORED BACK TO ME. SO WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
HERE IS REALLY ENCOURAGING
PEOPLE TO STEP BACK, THAT, HERE’S WHERE
YOU’RE AT, KIND OF THING. HERE’S WHERE YOU TEND TO
RESPOND. THINK… THINK MORE
DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT GOES ON. GARY: REFLECT ON THIS,
YES, WHAT’S GOING ON? WHAT EMOTION’S
DRIVING THAT THAT WOULD
SOUND ANGRY, GRUMBLING? AND THEN WHAT’S
UNDERNEATH THAT? AND YOUR… AND YOUR GROANING WILL PROBABLY
BE, “I WANT TO BE RESPECTED. “I WANT PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO WHAT
I WANT THEM TO DO AND DO IT SO I
FEEL LIKE I’M MAKING AN IMPACT.” YOU COULDN’T GET THEM TO
DO IT, SO IN YOUR FRUSTRATION
YOU START BARKING. LISA:
YEAH, IT’S A VERY IMPORTANT
QUESTION TO ASK OURSELVES IS, “WHAT DO I DO WHEN
I DON’T GET WHAT I WANT
IN LIFE? HOW DO I RESPOND?” AND THAT WILL SAY SOMETHING
ABOUT WHETHER I’M ACTUALLY
TURNING TOWARD GOD… OR AWAY FROM HIM IN THAT MOMENT. TIM: SEE, AND…
AND SO FRUSTRATION, YOU KNOW, WE… WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT FRUSTRATION IN LIFE. BUT THAT… THAT
FRUSTRATION SEEMS TO ME TO
BE A REALLY FERTILE SOIL… TO HAVE A DEMANDING
SPIRIT GROW, DOESN’T IT? GARY: ABSOLUTELY DOES.
LOOK HOW GOD GREW UP
ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS. HE LED THEM THROUGH THE…
A RED SEA AND IMMEDIATELY
PUT THEM INTO A DESERT. AND THERE THEY FACED DIFFICULTY:
NO WATER, NO FOOD. THOSE WERE FRUSTRATING MOMENTS.
AND THE DECISION POINT WAS, “WILL YOU TRUST ME (GOD),
OR WILL YOU GO SOUTH
AND JUST GRUMBLE?” WELL, WE KNOW THAT
THEY WENT SOUTH AND GRUMBLED, AND THEY BECAME VERY
DEMANDING, AND WE DO TOO. TIM: AND WE TEND TO LOOK AT THEM
AND WANT TO WRITE THEM OFF, AND SAY LIKE, “OH, THOSE
TERRIBLE PEOPLE.” GARY: “I CAN’T BELIEVE
THEY DID THAT.” BUT I DID IT WITH
THE FLOWERS, AND I’VE DONE
IT A THOUSAND TIMES SINCE. LISA: AND WE CAN FEEL SO
JUSTIFIED IN OUR DEMANDINGNESS, AND HOW WE REACT
IN THE FACE OF FRUSTRATION. TIM: SO THAT… THAT’S ONE OF
THE THINGS I WANT US TO BE ABLE
TO THEN TAKE A LOOK AT HERE, IS BECAUSE IF THAT’S
THE NORMAL BENT THAT WE HAVE, THAT’S THE NORMAL ROUTE, LET’S
SAY… YOU USED THE MAP ANALOGY. THAT’S THE NORMAL
ROUTE WE TEND TO TAKE WHEN
WE FACE FRUSTRATIONS IN LIFE. HOW DO WE BEGIN
TO MAKE THE TRANSITION
TO GO A DIFFERENT PATH? WE HAVE THAT FORK IN THE ROAD.
WE TEND TO GO TO THE… THE GROANING, THE GRUMBLING
AND THE GRASPING. WHAT ABOUT TURNING NORTH?
WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE? GARY: WELL, ONE THING I’D LIKE
TO SAY VERY CLEARLY, IT’S NOT
TRYING HARDER TO NOT GO SOUTH. MERELY TRYING HARDER
IS NOT GOING TO WORK. I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO
IS BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES, TO BE GROWING SELF-AWARENESS
OF HOW WE DO THIS AND
TO UNDERSTAND… THAT WHEN I’M DOING THAT,
I AM TURNING MY BACK ON GOD, AND I AM MAKING LISA,
OR OTHERS, INTO MY FALSE GOD. NOW, THAT WE WOULD SAY IS SIN.
NOW, THAT’S NOT A GOOD THING, BUT IF ALL WE DO IS
TRY HARDER TO BITE THE BULLET
AND NOT DO THIS ANYMORE, WE’RE ONLY GOING TO
DO IT MORE. REALLY, THOUGH… TIM: THAT WOULD BE KIND OF BEING
SELF-RIGHTEOUS, WOULDN’T IT? GARY: SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND… TIM: ‘CAUSE I’M TRYING
TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. GARY: EXACTLY. IT’S UP TO ME
TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD.
I THINK WHAT WE REALLY… I’M SURE WHAT WE REALLY
NEED TO DO IS GROW IN WHAT
I WOULD CALL BROKENNESS, IN THE SENSE OF
A GODLY SORROW TO SAY,
“LORD, I CANNOT STOP THIS. “I HURT MY WIFE.
I FORSOOK YOU. AND WHAT WOULD
YOU SAY TO ME RIGHT NOW?” AND WHAT WE SEE IS GRACE.
GOD IS FORGIVING.
HE’S KIND TO US. HE INVITES ME TO COME
TO HIM, BE HONEST WITH
HIM ABOUT WHAT I’M DOING, SO THAT HE CAN HELP US
AND FORGIVE US. FORGIVENESS IS AT
THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY.
IT’S THE HEART OF GRACE. WITHOUT GRACE AND FORGIVENESS
WE CANNOT GO NORTH. TIM: SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
THIS WALK OF FAITH, ‘CAUSE WHAT YOU’RE
DESCRIBING TO ME IS HOW
DO WE NORMALLY WALK IN FAITH, NOT HOW DO WE COME
TO FAITH, BUT HOW DO WE
WALK IN FAITH EVERY DAY? THAT… THAT POINT WHERE
WE MAKE THE DECISION, THE… THE CHOICE TO GO NORTH
HAS TO DO WITH BROKENNESS? GARY: IT DOES. IT COMES TO…
WITH CONFESSION. “FATHER, RIGHT
NOW I ADMIT WHAT I’VE DONE. “AND FATHER, RIGHT NOW
YOUR WORD TELLS ME THAT YOU
LOVE ME. YOU’RE GIDDY ABOUT ME. “YOU LOVE BROKEN PEOPLE, AND YOU
INVITE ME RIGHT NOW JUST TO COME
TO YOU AND RECEIVE YOUR MERCY. “YOU’RE SLOW TO ANGER,
ABOUNDING IN MERCY. I HAVE
A GOOD FATHER WHO LOVES ME.” AND WHEN I GO THERE
AND I TASTE AND BELIEVE, AND TRUST IN HIS FORGIVENESS
AND MERCY AND GRACE THAT
WANTS TO HELP ME, AFFECTIONS GROW FOR GOD. AND I… MY AFFECTIONS
FOR LESSER THINGS BEGIN
TO LOSE THEIR POWER, BECAUSE I’VE TASTED
THE GOODNESS AND GRACE OF GOD. LISA: YEAH. YOU KNOW,
THE SCRIPTURE TELLS US, TIM, THAT GOD RESISTS THE PROUD BUT
HE GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. AND WHEN WE HUMBLE
OURSELVES AND FACE HOW…
HOW WE GO SOUTH… REGULARLY IN OUR LIVES
AND HOW MUCH WE CAN’T
CHANGE IT. WE’RE HELPLESS. WE NEED GOD’S FORGIVENESS
AND WE NEED HIS GRACE. I THINK WHEN WE HUMBLE
OURSELVES IN THAT WAY, WE OPEN THE DOOR FOR GOD’S GRACE
TO HELP US BEGIN TO GO NORTH… AS WE ENCOUNTER THESE KIND
OF FRUSTRATING EVENTS IN LIFE. TIM: YOU… YOU TALK ABOUT GOD’S
LOVE FOR US AS BEING THE… PART
OF THE CHANGE FACTOR THERE. GARY: IT’S FOUNDATIONAL. TIM: THE… I THINK OF
THE PASSAGE IN… IN 1 JOHN
CHAPTER 3, VERSE 1 THAT SAYS… ABOUT THE LAVISH
LOVE OF THE FATHER TO
CALL US TO BE HIS CHILDREN. THAT… AND THAT IS WHO WE ARE. YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT BEING ABLE
TO TAKE IN AND RECEIVE THAT
LAVISH LOVE, AREN’T YOU? GARY:
THAT’S RIGHT. AND AS LITTLE…
YOU KNOW, I’M A PARENT. AND WHEN MY KIDS WERE
LITTLE, THEY DID THINGS
THAT FRUSTRATED ME, BUT I DIDN’T HATE THEM.
I DIDN’T JUST SHOVE THEM AWAY. I STILL LOVED THEM
EVEN THOUGH THEY DID THINGS
THAT WERE FRUSTRATING. SO HOW MUCH MORE DOES OUR
HEAVENLY FATHER LOVE US, WANT TO GIVE GOOD THINGS
TO US EVEN WHEN WE MESS UP
AND GO DEEP SOUTH, DEEP SOUTH. ALWAYS WE CAN TRUST THAT
GOD IS SAYING, “COME TO ME. “CRY OUT TO ME. I LOVE YOU.
I WANT TO HELP YOU.” THAT’S HIS HEART FOR US,
NO MATTER WHERE WE’RE AT. TIM: OKAY, SO LET’S
GO BACK TO THAT… THAT
HOT MORNING BY THE GARAGE. YOU’RE PAINTING.
YOU’RE THINKING YOU’RE THE…
ONE OF THE BEST HUSBANDS AROUND, ‘CAUSE YOU’RE FINALLY GETTING
THAT PROJECT OFF THE TO-DO LIST.
SHE’S GOING TO BE THRILLED. AND SHE COMES STORMING
OUT OF THE HOUSE. I THINK
I CAN SAY THAT, CAN’T I? LISA: YEAH, IT’S TRUE. TIM: CAME STORMING OUT OF THE
HOUSE AND CONFRONTED YOU, AND
YOU STORMED KIND OF BACK AT HER. WHAT WOULD GOING NORTH
LOOK LIKE IN THAT SITUATION? GARY: WELL, ONE,
IT WOULD BE SELF-AWARENESS,
TO KNOW MYSELF WELL ENOUGH… THAT WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS
HAPPENS, WHAT I TEND TO DO AND
THAT WOULD BE GO SOUTH. SO FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD
BE AWARE THAT INTERNALLY, AS I HEAR HER
CONFRONTING ME, I’M STARTING
TO GET REALLY ANGRY. AND THAT WOULD BE PROBABLY
I FEEL ASHAMED AND I’M,
THEREFORE, FEELING ANGRY. AND I’D SAY INTERNALLY,
“OKAY, THERE’S A SIGNAL
THAT I’M GOING SOUTH. “GOD, RIGHT NOW I’M ANGRY
AND I’M COMING TO YOU, “BECAUSE WHAT I’M NEEDING
AND WHAT I’M WANTING IS
TO FEEL RESPECTED. “I WANT TO FEEL LIKE I MATTER.
AND I REALIZE RIGHT NOW
THAT YOU ARE WITH ME. “YOU ARE ALL I NEED BY FAITH
FOR ME TO BE OKAY.” SECONDLY, I THINK IT
WOULD MEAN TO BE GRATEFUL
THAT GOD IS WITH ME, THAT HE’S HELPING ME
SEE THIS, THAT MY DEPENDENCY
IS SHIFTING FROM LISA TO GOD. AND IN THAT GRATITUDE FOR
HIS SUFFICIENCY RIGHT THERE, I COULD BEGIN TO SHIFT
AND SAY, “YOU KNOW WHAT?
IT’S RIGHT, IT’S TRUE. “I DID GET PAINT ON YOUR
FLOWERS, AND I CAN UNDERSTAND
THAT YOU DON’T FEEL LOVED. “YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE I’M LOOKING
OUT FOR YOU. HONEY, I’M REALLY
SORRY THAT I DID THAT TO YOU.” NOW, I MIGHT ALSO,
IN A RIGHT SPIRIT, WANT TO SAY, “COULD I TALK A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT HOW YOU CAME
OUT AND CONFRONTED ME?” TIM: HOW ANGRY YOU ARE? GARY: “HOW ANGRY YOU WERE,
YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I DON’T… “I DON’T THINK THAT’S REALLY
WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.” NOW, I’D HAVE TO SAY THAT IN
A WAY THAT’S TRYING TO HELP HER, AND WITH A SPIRIT
OF GENTLENESS AND HUMILITY,
KNOWING MY OWN SIN, NOT… NOT WITH ANY
KIND OF HARSHNESS. MAYBE I WOULDN’T
BRING IT UP, MAYBE I WOULD. I’D HAVE TO DISCERN
WHETHER THAT WOULD TRULY
BE GIVING TO HER OR NOT. TIM: ‘CAUSE CAN YOU DO THAT
IN THE MOMENT, OR IS IT
MORE AFTER THE FACT? BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IF OUR
NATURAL BENT IS TO GO SOUTH, IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT
A LOT OF TIMES AS… AS PEOPLE MAYBE FOR
THE FIRST TIME ARE STARTING
IN TO THINKING ABOUT THIS, THEY’RE GOING TO BE CATCH…
CATCHING THEMSELVES AFTER THE
EVENT TOOK PLACE AND SAYING, “OKAY, I’VE… I’VE JUST
MESSED THIS UP COMPLETELY.” GARY: THAT IS SO IMPORTANT.
IT’S SO TRUE. WE’RE GOING TO MISS IT
MORE OFTEN THAN WE’RE EVER
GOING TO CATCH IT. BUT IF WE CAN CATCH…
WE CAN START TO CATCH THEM, THEN
WE CAN START TO RECOVER SOONER. NOW, THAT TAKES SOMETIMES YEARS,
DECADES. WE’VE BEEN THINKING
THROUGH THIS MATERIAL FOR… AND THESE CATEGORIES IN OUR
HEART FOR OVER 15 YEARS NOW. AND STILL, I… I STILL GO
SOUTH A LOT, BUT I CATCH MORE. AND THINGS THAT USED TO
HOOK ME AND TAKE ME SOUTH
DON’T LIKE THEY USED TO. SO IT IS A PROCESS,
AND BE TENDER, BE GRACIOUS,
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF… AS YOU FIND YOURSELF
GOING SOUTH MANY, MANY TIMES. LEARN FROM IT LATER.
COME BACK TO IT, REFLECT ON IT. GOD IS GRACIOUS. HE’S FOR YOU.
HE WANTS TO HELP. TIM: IT STRIKES ME THAT THIS…
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT, BECAUSE OUR… WITH OUR NATURAL
BENT BEING GOING SOUTH, IT’S LIKE IF THAT WHOLE EVENT
FOR YOU ALL, YOU WENT SOUTH, THEN YOU EACH COULD GO
SEPARATELY AND CONTINUE TO GO
SOUTH AS YOU SPIRAL, WHICH MAKES IT EVEN HARDER
TO THINK ABOUT COMING
BACK TOGETHER… TO TALK ABOUT THIS, DOESN’T IT? LISA: ABSOLUTELY, YEAH. I MEAN,
I THINK SOMETIMES THERE’S A
PLACE FOR TAKING A TIMEOUT, SO TO SPEAK, AND PROCESSING AND
SAYING, “OKAY, NOW WHAT’S GOING
ON WITH ME? WHERE AM I AT? “HOW AM I GRUMBLING? HOW AM I
GRASPING HERE? WHAT AM I REALLY
DEPENDING ON FOR MY NEEDS? “AM I LOVING MY HUSBAND
OR AM I THINKING… LOOKING
OUT FOR NUMBER ONE HERE?” I THINK THERE’S A PLACE FOR
STEPPING AWAY TO DO THAT KIND
OF PROCESSING AND COME BACK. AND OFTEN WE DO HAVE TO DO THAT
AFTER WE CATCH OURSELVES. TIM: AND… AND THAT’S PART OF
TURNING NORTH, TOO, ISN’T IT? TO SAY I DON’T HAVE TO HAVE
THIS FOLLOW-UP CONVERSATION
TURN OUT THE WAY I WANT IT TO. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT. TIM: BUT I… I NEED TO
BE ABLE TO SHOW UP BECAUSE
I BELIEVE GOD’S CALLING ME… TO STEP IN THIS WAY, BECAUSE
I’VE BEEN A RECIPIENT OF GRACE. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT.
HISTORICALLY, I’VE BEEN
VERY AFRAID OF CONFLICT, AND SO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY
EASY FOR ME TO JUST SAY, “HONEY,
I’M SORRY, YOU’RE RIGHT,” AND NOT TAKE THAT NEXT STEP
OF SAYING, “COULD I TALK WITH
YOU ABOUT HOW YOU CONFRONTED ME? “YOU KNOW, WHAT WAS GOING ON
FOR YOU?” THAT WOULD BE STEPPING
INTO CONFLICT A LITTLE BIT. TIM: AND THAT GETS MESSY. GARY: THAT GETS MESSY
BECAUSE MAYBE SHE WOULD REACT
TO THAT AND NOT LIKE THAT. SO AGAIN I’VE GOT TO BE
FOCUSED ON WHO… WHO DEFINES
WHO I AM? GOD OR GODS? TIM: SO WHEN YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT GRACE, WE BEGIN TO STEP FORWARD
BY FIRST BEING AWARE OF
WHAT WE’RE FEELING, AND USING THOSE FEELINGS
TO KIND OF PUT A CHECK ON US? LISA: YEAH, WE SEE OUR…
OUR… THOSE EMOTIONS, THOSE DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS
THAT WE TALKED ABOUT
EARLIER AS SIGNALS. TIM: SO THEY’RE HELPFUL. LISA: THEY ARE HELPFUL. I THINK
GOD HAS GIVEN US THOSE SIGNALS, IF… IF WE TUNE INTO THEM.
SOMETIMES WE SEE THE SIGNALS
AS THE PROBLEM, AND WE TRY TO GET RID
OF THE SIGNALS RATHER THAN
LISTENING TO THE SIGNALS. TIM: I’M JUST NOT
GOING TO BE AS ANGRY. LISA: RIGHT, RIGHT.
“I SHOULDN’T BE ANGRY,” RATHER THAN SAYING,
“WHOA, I’M ANGRY. WHAT’S
GOING ON INSIDE OF ME?” GARY: WHAT AM
I WANTING RIGHT NOW? LISA: RIGHT, WHAT IS THE LIE
THAT I’M BELIEVING RIGHT NOW
THAT IS DRIVING THIS REACTION? TIM: AND TO BE ABLE TO THEN
GIVE THAT OVER TO GOD IN GRACE
THAT YOU’VE BEEN FORGIVEN… FOR GOING SOUTH,
FOR RUNNING TO DO…
HANDLE THINGS ON YOUR OWN. THEN YOU’RE ABLE TO STEP MORE
INTO THAT GRACE AND ENJOY THAT. GARY: I THINK THAT’S
WHERE THERE IS A LOVE
RELATIONSHIP GROWN THERE. THE MORE I SEE HOW I GO SOUTH,
THE MORE I BELIEVE AND TRUST
AND KNOW THAT GOD FORGIVES ME, AND THERE’S MERCY,
THERE IS A LOVE
RELATIONSHIP THAT’S GROWING. TIM: AND… AND SO WHAT
DOES GRATITUDE LOOK LIKE
IN THOSE SITUATIONS, GARY? YOU TALK ABOUT GRATITUDE
AND THEN IT GOES TO GIVING. WHAT DOES THE GRATITUDE LOOK
LIKE THAT COMES OUT OF GRACE? GARY: WELL, IT’S INTERESTING
THAT THE ROOT WORD IN GREEK… FOR BOTH GRACE AND GRATITUDE
ARE THE SAME:CHARIS.AND WHEN I THINK
ABOUT GRATITUDE, IT REALLY IS PRIMARILY
A GRATITUDE FOR THE FACT
THAT GOD LOVES ME. HE’S… HE DELIGHTS IN ME.
I’M A MESS. I’M A MESS, AND HE LOOKS AT ME AND
DELIGHTS IN ME BECAUSE OF
HIS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS. AND GRATITUDE IS REALLY
ROOTED IN WHAT I WOULD SAY, “GOD YOU ARE WITH ME.
YOU’RE ALL I NEED.
I DESIRE MANY THINGS, “BUT YOU ARE ALL I NEED FOR
ME TO BE ABLE TO BE SECURE
AS A SON, A BELOVED SON.” AND THEREFORE, I CAN GIVE AND
RESPOND. I’M RESPOND-ABLE. TIM: SO WHAT DOES GIVING
LOOK LIKE, LISA, IF…
OUT OF A HEART OF GRATITUDE? LISA: YEAH, WELL,
AS I AM TRUSTING GOD
FOR WHAT I MOST NEED, AND THAT HE’S GOING TO PROVIDE
THAT IN MY RELATIONSHIP
WITH HIM PRIMARILY, AND IN… IN OTHER
WAYS IN MY LIFE, GIVING MEANS I…
I’M STARTING TO BE AWARE THAT
OTHER PEOPLE AROUND ME GROAN, THAT THEY’RE LONGING FOR LOVE,
FOR ACCEPTANCE, FOR… TO FEEL
VALUED AND IMPORTANT. AND I CAN HAVE A…
A NEW AWARENESS OF THAT. I’M NOT JUST THINKING ABOUT
MYSELF NOW. I’M THINKING ABOUT
HOW I CAN LOVE OTHER PEOPLE… AND… AND CARE FOR THEM
IN THIS FALLEN WORLD. TIM: AND SO IF…
IF YOU’RE DEVELOPING
THIS HEART OF GRATITUDE, YOU RECOGNIZE THAT GRACE
ISN’T JUST FOR YOU. LISA: RIGHT. TIM: AND IT’S TO GIVE TO OTHERS.
AND WHAT YOU JUST SAID I…
I THINK IS REAL IMPORTANT. GARY, YOU TALKED ABOUT BECOMING
AWARE OF OUR OWN EMOTION, BUT AS WE BECOME MORE AWARE
OF OUR EMOTION AND USE THAT, AND WHAT’S GOING ON
INSIDE OF US, LISA,
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE FACT… THAT YOU BECOME MORE AWARE OF
WHAT’S GOING ON IN OTHERS. LISA: RIGHT, RIGHT.
AND I THINK WE CAN
EMPATHIZE WITH OTHER PEOPLE, BECAUSE WE FEEL OUR OWN
GROANING AND… BUT WE DON’T
JUST THINK ONLY ABOUT OURSELVES. WE BEGIN TO REALIZE
THAT OUR HUSBANDS, OR OUR WIVES
OR OUR KIDS OR OUR COWORKERS, THEY ALL HAVE GROANING IN THEIR
LIFE IN SOME FORM OR ANOTHER. AND THEY ALL LONG TO FEEL
VALUED, IMPORTANT AND LOVED. I CAN DO SOMETHING.
I… I CAN’T BE THEIR GOD, BUT I CAN DO SOMETHING TO
TOUCH THAT DESIRE IN THEM AND… AND BE A TASTE OF GOD
TO THEM IN THEIR LIFE. GARY: TIM, YOU SAID SOMETHING
REALLY IMPORTANT. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT US,
THE GRACE, LIKE LISA WAS SAYING. THERE’S TWO ASPECTS
OF OUR IDENTITY AS BELIEVERS: ONE IS THAT WE ARE DEARLY
LOVED CHILDREN. THAT’S OUR
SECURITY IN CHRIST. BUT THAT ALSO HAS TO BE
LIVED OUT IN THE GIVING, BECAUSE WE ARE ALSO SERVANTS AND
STEWARDS OF GOD’S EARTH HERE. SO WE SERVE A LOVING
MASTER, AND THEREFORE,
HE’S GIVEN US TALENTS. AND WE ARE HIS SERVANTS TO… TO
REVEAL HIS GOODNESS, HIS GLORY, BY HOW WE LOVE OTHER PEOPLE
AND REVEAL HIS HEART
TO THEM WHO GROAN. THAT’S REALLY FRUIT-BEARING
AND THAT GLORIFIES GOD. THIS IS ALL ABOUT FRUIT.
THIS IS WHERE THE RUBBER
MEETS THE ROAD, IN TERMS OF BECOMING SERVANTS AS
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE GRACE OF
GOD IN OUR LIVES. TIM: SEE NOW, AS YOU’VE
JUST DESCRIBED THIS, WHAT’S GOING THROUGH MY HEAD
IS THE WORD “DISCIPLESHIP”. GARY: EXACTLY, YES. TIM: WHAT… WHAT YOU’VE
PROVIDED IS A MAP FOR US TO
UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS… OF HOW WE GO THROUGH AND
DISCIPLE PEOPLE IN A COMMUNITY, WHERE WE HAVE CONNECTIONS
WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND WE GRUMBLE AND GRASP
AGAINST EACH OTHER, WHETHER IT’S IN CHURCH
OR WITH OUR NEIGHBORS
OR WITHIN OUR FAMILIES. BUT THEN WE HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY,
IF WE’RE IN COMMUNITY, TO BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT
THESE KINDS OF THINGS IN
A SAFE ENVIRONMENT OF LOVE. GARY: YES, THAT’S RIGHT. THAT’S
WHAT THE CHURCH IS MEANT TO BE, A PLACE WHERE BROKEN PEOPLE
CAN COME AND TALK HONESTLY
UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF GRACE… TO GET HELP TO GO NORTH. TIM: SO I’M REALLY EXCITED
ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU’VE
PUT THIS TOGETHER, BECAUSE I THINK IT
BECOMES A VALUABLE
RESOURCE FOR PEOPLE TO… TO TAKE A LOOK AT,
YEAH… MAYBE A LITTLE
BIT DIFFERENT LANGUAGE… THAN THE WAY THEY’RE USED
TO THINKING THINGS THROUGH. BUT LISA, YOU SAID
THE WORD “CATEGORIES”.
GIVES US SOME CATEGORIES, SOME HANDHOLDS TO SCALE
THAT CLIFF IN FRONT OF US… THAT JUST SEEMS LIKE
IT’S INSURMOUNTABLE, AND TO BE ABLE
TO GET OVER THAT. LISA: RIGHT, EXACTLY. I THINK
FOR US, THOSE SIMPLE CATEGORIES
OF GRUMBLING AND GRASPING, YOU KNOW, AM I BEING
A GRUMBLING GRASPER RIGHT NOW
OR AM I BEING A GRATEFUL GIVER? I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO BE.
AND… AND EVERY DAY I THINK
ABOUT THIS KIND OF THING. I… I HONESTLY, EVERY
DAY AS I BUMP UP AGAINST
THE FRUSTRATING THINGS OF LIFE, BIG OR SMALL, I THINK
ABOUT THESE CATEGORIES. AND THEY REALLY HAVE HELPED ME
TO DISCERN WHERE I AM, AND HELP ME TO THINK
ABOUT WHERE I NEED TO GO
AND TO TURN TOWARD GOD, AND ASK FOR THE HELP I NEED
TO MOVE THAT DIRECTION. TIM: WELL, I JUST WANT THANK YOU
FOR SHARING WITH US TODAY, ‘CAUSE I… THIS HAS BEEN REAL
IMPORTANT IN OUR DISCUSSION. BUT… BUT WE NEED TO BE ABLE
TO MOVE TO SOME QUESTIONS… THAT PEO… PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO ASK US HERE. BRENDA ASKED THIS QUESTION.
SHE SAYS THIS, GARY AND LISA, “DOES SCRIPTURE MEMORY AND
MEDITATION HELP IN CHANGING, “AND ALLOWING
GOD TO TRANSFORM…
TRANSFORM OUR MINDS… “SO THAT WE CAN TURN TO GOD
AND AWAY FROM SELF AND
GRASPING AND GRUMBLING?” HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE
OF SCRIPTURE IN THIS? GARY: THERE ARE THREE
LIFELINES TO GOING NORTH
TO GOD: ONE IS FOUNDATIONAL, WHICH IS WHAT BRENDA, IS THE
NAME…? BRENDA’S TALKING ABOUT,
AND THAT IS THE WORD OF GOD. SECONDLY WOULD BE THE SPIRIT OF
GOD AND THIRD THE PEOPLE OF GOD. AND WE NEED ALL THREE
IN THAT ORDER FOR US
TO CONNECT WITH GOD. SO SCRIPTURE IS
ABSOLUTELY FOUNDATIONAL
TO EMBRACING THE TRUTH… OF WHO GOD IS,
WHO WE ARE IN HIM. AND SO, THEREFORE, I WOULD
SAY SCRIPTURE MEMORY IS GREAT, SO THAT WHEN WE FACE
THE GROANING AND FRUSTRATIONS
OF LIFE AND WE’RE GOING SOUTH, TO HAVE SOME KEY PASSAGES
THAT KIND OF JOLT OUR NEW
HEART IN CHRIST… TO HELP US THINK MORE BIBLICALLY
AND TO SLOW DOWN AND THINK, “OKAY. WHEN I’M AFRAID,
DAVID SAYS, I WILL PUT
MY TRUST IN YOU.” OKAY, THOSE WOULD BE A FEW
VERSES TO HAVE IN OUR MINDS
SO THAT THEY CAN HELP US TO… TO NOT GO SOUTH
AS DEEPLY AND QUICKLY. TIM:
AND THOSE VERSES HELP US TO
REMEMBER THOSE GODLY TRUTHS… THAT DRAW US BACK
INTO CIRCLING BACK NORTH
INSTEAD OF GOING SOUTH. LISA: ABSOLUTELY. TIM: LISA, DEBORAH ASKS
THIS QUESTION, SHE SAYS, “WHAT DOES GIVING GOD CONTROL
REALLY MEAN IN PRACTICAL TERMS? “HOW DOES ONE DISTINGUISH…
DISTINGUISH THE DIFFERENCE… “BETWEEN GOD’S CALLING TO TAKE
AN ACTION VERSUS ONE’S OWN?” AS LIKE DOING IT BECAUSE THEY
FEEL LIKE SATAN’S PUSHING THEM, OR THE WORLD’S
PUSHING THEM TO DO THAT. LISA: OKAY, WELL, THAT’S
A VERY, VERY GOOD QUESTION. AND I THINK IT’S SO EASY
FOR US TO, AS FALLEN PEOPLE, TO THINK THAT GOD IS
CALLING US TO DO SOMETHING
WHEN IT’S REALLY OUR OWN… SELF-CENTEREDNESS THAT IS
DRIVING THE TRAIN, SO TO SPEAK. AND I… I THINK WE HAVE TO
REALLY BE IN PRAYER ABOUT THAT, AND ASKING GOD TO SHOW US
REALLY WHAT OUR MOTIVE IS. YOU KNOW, ARE WE TAKING CONTROL
FOR THE PURPOSE OF OUR OWN… OUT OF OUR OWN
SELF-CENTEREDNESS, OR ARE WE REALLY ACTING ON
GOD’S PROMPTING IN OUR LIVES? MOTIVE IS EVERYTHING,
AND DISCERNING OUR MOTIVES
CAN BE TOUGH SOMETIMES, AND SOMETIMES WE NEED HELP WITH
THAT. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO GET
SOMEONE ELSE’S INPUT ON THAT, BECAUSE THEY CAN SOMETIMES SEE
THINGS THAT WE CAN’T SEE. SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO… TO
HAVE HELP, I THINK, DISCERNING
OUR MOTIVES WHEN WE’RE CONFUSED. TIM: YEAH, THAT’S WHAT I FIND
BECAUSE I’M IN A SMALL GROUP,
AND AT TIMES I… WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO LET OTHERS
HAVE THAT KIND OF ACCESS… TO ASK US THOSE
KINDS OF QUESTIONS. ‘CAUSE WE’RE NOT REAL GOOD AT
DOING THAT ON OUR OWN, ARE WE? LISA: RIGHT, WE… WE NEED
COMMUNITY. WE… WE NEED OTHER
BELIEVERS TO HELP US WITH THIS. GARY: AND I THINK THAT’S WHERE
DEVOTIONS REALLY… TIME IN THE
WORD OF GOD IS VERY HELPFUL. YOU KNOW, DAVID SAID,
“SEARCH MY HEART O GOD, AND SEE
IF THERE’S A WICKED WAY IN ME.” SOMETIMES I’M CONFUSED
WHICH IS GODLY AND WHICH IS
AN UNGODLY DIRECTION TO GO IN. AND SO I THINK BEING IN
THE WORD AND ALLOWING US… TO BRING THOSE QUESTIONS
TO GOD THROUGH THE WORD,
SAY, “FATHER, SPEAK TO ME, “YOU KNOW, HELP ME TO DISCERN
WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE OF ME, “SO I CAN MOVE IN
A GODLY DIRECTION.” TIM: SO YOU’RE LOOKING
AT THE WORD, PLUS THE SPIRIT,
PLUS THOSE WHO ARE AROUND YOU… WHO CAN KIND OF HELP YOU
TAKE A LOOK… A CLOSER
LOOK AT THAT, AS WELL. GARY: THOSE ARE THE THREE
MEANS THROUGH WHICH WE
CAN KNOW GOD’S WILL. TIM: ANDREW ASKS THIS QUESTION:
“WHY IS GROANING,” IN YOUR DIAGRAM THAT
THEY WERE ABLE TO SEE, “WHY IS GROANING INSIDE
THE HEART INSTEAD OF GOD
AND GRACE, IN THE DIAGRAM?” WHY… WHY IS GROANING IN THERE? GARY: GOOD QUESTION. BECAUSE
BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS
ALIKE EXPERIENCE GROANING. WE ALL EXPERIENCE IN OUR HEART
THE TENSION, FRUSTRATION OF
A FALLEN, BROKEN WORLD. AND EVERYONE IS THIRSTY.
EVERYONE LONGS FOR SECURITY
AND SIGNIFICANCE. SO IT’S JUST A GIVEN, IN OUR
HEART, THAT’S WHERE WE ARE. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER
I WILL TURN TO GOD… FOR THOSE NEEDS IN
THE FRUSTRATION OF LIFE, OR WHETHER I’M JUST GOING TO
GO TO A FALSE GOD OF PEOPLE,
STUFF, THINGS, WHATEVER. SO THAT’S…
THAT’S THE REASON THAT GOD AND
GRACE IS NOT IN THE MIDDLE, BECAUSE I DON’T AUTOMATICALLY
CHOOSE GOD IN MY GROANING. TIM: AND… AND THERE’S
THAT LONGING COMPONENT
WE TALKED ABOUT, THE HUNGER AND THIRST
THAT GOD GAVE US, BUT THEN
THE GROANING COMES OUT OF US… TRYING TO FIND THAT
SATISFACTION SOMEWHERE ELSE. GARY: THAT’S… YEAH,
THAT WOULD BE WHEN WE’RE
GROANING AND WE GO SOUTH, WE’RE TRYING TO FIND
SATISFACTION ELSEWHERE FOR THAT. TIM: LET ME SEE.
ANDREA SAYS THIS:
“I’M ENJOYING THE DISCUSSION, “BUT HOW DO YOU MOVE FROM
KNOWING THIS IN YOUR HEAD
TO KNOWING IT IN YOUR HEART? “I KNOW GOD IS MY
ONLY SOURCE, BUT SOMETIMES
THE LONELINESS IS OVERWHELMING.” HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND
TO ANDREA, LISA? LISA: WELL, FIRST OF ALL,
I WANT TO SAY I… I CAN HEAR
AND APPRECIATE THE PAIN IN THAT, ‘CAUSE LONELINESS IS PAINFUL.
AND I THINK OFTEN WHEN WE HAVE
ONGOING PAIN IN OUR LIVES, IT… IT IS MORE
CHALLENGING TO GO NORTH
AND TO… TO CHOOSE GOD. AND I THINK SOMETIMES WE…
IT’S REALLY BELIEVING TRU…
WHEN WE BELIEVE TRUTH, AND SHE… IT SOUNDS LIKE SHE…
ANDREA’S BELIEVING THE TRUTH, THERE ARE SOME TIMES… BUT
WE DON’T CHOOSE TO ACT ON IT. AND WE MAYBE FEEL… LET OUR
EMOTIONS, OUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
DRIVE US MORE THAN THE TRUTH. AND… AND SO I THINK LEARNING
TO REALLY MOVE ON THE TRUTH, TO ACT ON IT,
TO LIVE OUT THE TRUTH. WHAT DOES, IN YOUR LONELINESS,
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO
BE A GRATEFUL GIVER, TO GET OUTSIDE
OF YOURSELF AND… AND
REALLY LOVE OTHER PEOPLE, AND IN A WAY THAT
CARES ABOUT THEIR GROANING
AND THEIR LONELINESS? SOMETIMES THAT ENDS UP DEALING
WITH OURS AT THE SAME TIME. TIM: IT… IT KIND OF PUSHES US
BACK INTO THAT, DOESN’T IT? GARY: YEAH. AND I’D LIKE TO
JUST ADD A THOUGHT, TOO,
TO WHAT LISA’S SAYING. SOMETIMES TURNING TO GOD
DOESN’T JUST TAKE AWAY
ALL THE LONELINESS. AS MUCH AS WE WOULD DESIRE
IT TO, SOMETIMES WE WILL STILL
MAYBE STRUGGLE WITH THAT. BUT I THINK THE QUESTION IS DO
WE CHOOSE TO REALLY BELIEVE THAT
GOD IS FOR HER… FOR US? HE LOVES US, AND THAT
LONELINESS ISN’T SOME SIGN OF
CONDEMNATION OR REJECTION, BUT HE’S… HE’S THERE,
HE’S FOR US, BUT IT DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN
IT’S GOING TO BE GONE. TIM: SO CHOOSING TO
BELIEVE THE TRUTH… DOESN’T MEAN THAT
MY FEELINGS ARE GOING
TO AUTOMATICALLY CHANGE. GARY: EXACTLY.
THAT IS A PROCESS. I MEAN, SOMETIMES THEY WON’T
CHANGE AUTOMATICALLY AT ALL, BUT I THINK A LOT
OF TIMES THE… THE LEARNING TO BELIEVE
THE TRUTH VERSUS THE LIES
IS… IS A PROCESS OF TIME. TIM: JOHN ASKED THIS QUESTION:
HE SAYS, “IS THE SOUTHNESS,” I LIKE THAT TERM,
“IS THE SOUTHNESS OF THOSE
WHO REACT TO FRUSTRATION… “NOT BY USING CONFRONTATIONAL
MEANS,” KIND OF LIKE WHAT YOU…
YOU GUYS DID IN YOUR EXAMPLE, “BUT… BUT RATHER
BY HOLDING THE FRUSTRATION
WITHIN THEMSELVES, “IS THAT POTENTIALLY
MORE DANGEROUS… “AND FRAUGHT WITH
GREATER CONSEQUENCES FOR
BOTH OF THE PARTIES… “THAN JUST KIND OF VENTING AND
EXPRESSING IT TO EACH OTHER?” GARY: EXCELLENT QUESTION,
EXCELLENT QUESTION. REAL QUICK, LET ME JUST
SAY I THINK THERE’S TWO
WAYS WE CAN GRASP. ONE IS TO ATTACK
LIKE WE DID, OR WITHDRAW, WHICH WOULD BE STUFFING AND
KEEPING EVERYTHING INSIDE AND
JUST WITHDRAWING FROM PEOPLE. I THINK BOTH ARE
EQUALLY DAMAGING. I THINK ATTACKING PEOPLE
CAN DO A LOT OF… I… CAN WE… WE CAN REALLY
HURT PEOPLE WITH OUR WORDS. BUT WITHDRAWING AND JUST
ABANDONING A RELATIONSHIP, PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING
ON, AND THAT CAN HURT, AS WELL. TIM: MARY ASKED THIS QUESTION: “WHAT SHOULD I DO
IF I’M GIVING LOVE AND NOT
GETTING IT BACK IN RETURN, “AND INSTEAD, I’M GETTING
REJECTION? YES, I UNDERSTAND
THAT EVERYONE IS GROANING. “YET, WHY AM I NOT
REAPING WHAT I’M SOWING?” AGAIN QUOTING FROM GALATIANS,
IF YOU RE… SOW, YOU WILL REAP. SHE SAYS, “I’M…
I’M LOVING, BUT I’M NOT
GETTING ANYTHING IN RETURN.” HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO HER? LISA: WELL, AGAIN, I… I
APPRECIATE THE QUESTION, BECAUSE
THAT’S OFTEN THE CASE, YOU KNOW. AND SOMETIMES WE LOVE WITH
THE EXPECTATION THAT WE’RE
GOING TO GET SOMETHING BACK, AND WHEN THAT DOESN’T
HAPPEN, THAT’S WHEN
WE REACT AND GO SOUTH. AND SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO…
TO THINK ABOUT HOW AM I… HOW AM I RESPONDING WHEN
I DON’T GET THE LOVE I WANT? NOW, IT’S TRUE THAT… THAT
SCRIPTURE SAYS WHAT, YOU KNOW,
YOU SOW YOU’RE GOING TO REAP. NOW, IT DOESN’T SAY WHEN
YOU’RE GOING TO REAP THAT. TIM: IT DOESN’T, DOES IT? LISA: IT DOES NOT SAY WHEN
YOU’RE GOING TO REAP THAT. AND YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE
TO TRUST THAT GOD’S LOVE IS…
FOR US IS ALWAYS THERE. WE MAY NOT FEEL IT.
WE MAY NOT EXPERIENCE IT
IN THE WAY WE WANT TO, BUT WE HAVE TO, BY FAITH,
BELIEVE THAT IT’S THERE… IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS US TO KEEP
MOVING AND KEEP LOVING AND… AND KEEP GIVING
IN A WAY THAT REALLY IS
CARING FOR OTHERS AROUND US. NOW, NOBODY’S
SAYING THAT’S EASY. TIM: I WAS GOING TO SAY
THAT’S JUST REALLY HARD. LISA: THAT IS VERY HARD. TIM: THAT’S THE RISK
OF LOVING WELL, THAT WE AREN’T
GUARANTEED TO GET A RESPONSE
THE WAY WE WOULD LIKE. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT. YOU KNOW,
ONE OF THE THOUGHT THAT GO… ANOTHER SIDE OF THIS IS I HAVE
KNOWN THAT… PEOPLE WHO, AND
I’VE BEEN GUILTY OF THIS TOO, THAT WE MIGHT GIVE, GIVE,
GIVE BUT NEVER REALLY LET
ANYONE KNOW OUR BROKENNESS, AND NEVER REALLY CLEARLY
ALLOW THEM AT LEAST TO KNOW
WHERE I’M STRUGGLING, AND TO INVITE THEM TO PRAY
FOR ME. MAYBE OFFERING A… MORE OF A, I’LL GIVE, GIVE, GIVE
BUT NEVER REALLY LETTING THE… THE LONGING TO BE CARED FOR
KNOWN. AND THAT CAN BE TRICKY. TIM: THAT’S VULNERABLE. GARY: THAT’S VERY
VULNERABLE, YES. BUT MAYBE
THERE WOULD BE A PLACE… FOR JUST TALKING
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT
THAT WITH THAT OTHER PERSON. WE DON’T KNOW HER SO
NOT SURE THAT’S MAYBE AN ISSUE,
BUT SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. TIM:
LOIS ASKS THIS QUESTION: SHE
SAYS, “HOW CAN I GO NORTH…” THEY’RE PICKING UP ON YOUR…
YOUR LANGUAGE HERE, “HOW CAN I GO NORTH
WITH FELLOW EMPLOYEES… “WHO ARE FRUSTRATED
WITH THE SQUEEZE THEY’RE
RECEIVING FROM THEIR EMPLOYERS?” TALKING ABOUT
AN EMPLOYMENT SITUATION
WHERE EVERYBODY’S ELSE… SOUNDS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
SEEMS TO BE GOING SOUTH… BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE
THEY FEEL TO PERFORM
AT A CERTAIN LEVEL. SHE SAYS, “HOW DO I… HOW DO I
BUCK AGAINST THE GRAIN OF WHAT’S
GOING ON IN THE WORKPLACE?” HOW WOULD YOU
RESPOND TO… TO LOIS? LISA: WELL, IT CERTAINLY WOULD
BE EASY TO JUST GO DOWNSTREAM
WITH EVERYBODY ELSE, YOU KNOW. THAT… THAT WOULD
CERTAINLY BE THE PULL, AND I CAN HEAR THAT IN THE
QUESTION TO GO THAT DIRECTION. BUT TO, AGAIN, COME BACK TO
AN AWARENESS OF GOD IN MY LIFE. WHO… WHO REALLY HAS
CONTROL IN MY LIFE? IS IT
MY EMPLOYER OR IS IT GOD? AND WHO IS REALLY
MEETING MY NEEDS? IS IT
MY EMPLOYER OR IS IT GOD? AND IF I… IF… IF GOD
IS THE ONE WHO IS REALLY
THE CENTER OF MY LIFE, WHO I BELIEVE IS…
LOVES ME AND IS FOR ME, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF
A VERY FRUSTRATING CIRCUMSTANCE, I CAN BE GRATEFUL FOR
HIS GOODNESS, HIS MERCY, HIS
SOVEREIGNTY, HIS… HIS LOVE. AND I CAN THINK ABOUT HOW…
HOW CAN I SPEAK WITH MY
FELLOW EMPLOYEES… IN A WAY THAT DRAWS THEM
THAT DIRECTION VERSUS JUST
GOING SOUTH WITH THEM, BUT ENCOURAGES THEM
TO HAVE FAITH IN GOD? TIM: I… I THINK
IT COULD ALSO BE HERE,
TOO, A PART OF THIS IS… IF SHE GOES NORTH AND
EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING SOUTH,
SHE’S GOING TO FEEL REAL ALONE. LISA: YES. TIM: AND IT’S THAT POINT OF
FEELING ALONE FOR DOING GOOD. JESUS SAYS WHAT DOES IT
MATTER IF YOU’RE PERSECUTED
FOR DOING SOMETHING WRONG? YOU KIND OF DESERVE THAT. BUT IF YOU’RE PERSECUTED
FOR DOING SOMETHING GOOD, MOVING IN THE RIGHT
DIRECTION, HE SAID THERE… THERE’S A PART OF… “I WANT
YOU TO KNOW I SEE THAT.” GARY: YES, RIGHT. TIM: SO OUR HEAVENLY
FATHER SEES THAT, AND HE’S PLEASED EVEN IF
OTHERS AROUND US AREN’T. GARY: THAT’S RIGHT. AND…
AND HE INVITES HER TO COME
HONESTLY IN PRAYER, POUR OUT HER HEART, HER LAMENT,
HER… HER LONELINESS. “GOD, PLEASE SPEAK TO ME.
WHO AM I TO YOU? “CAN… I WANT TO CONNECT
WITH YOU SO I CAN KEEP MOVING
IN A… IN A GOOD DIRECTION.” YEAH, THERE’S A LOT
THERE FOR HER. LISA: RIGHT. ALONG WITH THAT,
I THINK JUST THE IDEA… OF BEING SALT AND LIGHT
IN THAT SITUATION. IT COULD BE THAT GOD WOULD
HAVE HER BE A SIGNIFICANT
INFLUENCE FOR GOOD… IN THAT SITUATION, AS WELL. TIM: ANOTHER QUESTION SOMEONE
ASKS. HE SAYS, “IF… IF WE HAVE
TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION… “TO BE GRATEFUL TOWARDS
GOD AND LOVING AND FORGIVING
TOWARDS OTHERS,” MOVING NORTH, “ISN’T THAT JUST ANOTHER FORM
OF TRYING TO BE IN CONTROL?” GARY: I THINK IF OUR
GRATITUDE IS JUST BITE
THE BULLET AND BE HAPPY, YES, IT’S ABSOLUTELY TRYING
TO JUST PUT ON A HAPPY FACE. TIM: AND IT’S… IT’S A FORM
OF PRETENDING, ISN’T IT? GARY: IT IS. IT’S…
IT’S PRETENTIOUS. I THINK GRATITUDE
ISN’T ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT
MAKES ME JUMP UP AND DOWN, BUT IT’S GRATEFUL THAT GOD
FORGIVES ME. HE’S WITH ME. IT CAN BE A VERY QUIET
GRATITUDE, BUT NOT PRETENDING. AND THAT’S WHERE I THINK
SOMETIMES IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, MANY TIMES WE ARE IN GREAT PAIN
AND SUFFERING AND STRUGGLE, AND I DON’T THINK
WE NEED TO PRETEND WE’RE
HAPPY IN THE MIDST OF THAT. I THINK WE NEED TO CONTINUALLY
COME TO GOD WITH THAT… SO THAT WE CAN CONNECT
WITH HIM AND GRATITUDE
CAN BECOME GENUINE. TIM: LET ME ASK YOU ONE FINAL
QUESTION HERE QUICKLY. FRANK ASKS THIS. HE SAYS,
“WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO
PREVENT GROANING?” LISA: I DON’T THINK YOU CAN
PREVENT GROANING, AT LEAST
ENTIRELY, IN THIS FALLEN WORLD. I THINK THAT IS A REALITY
THAT WE HAVE TO ACCEPT, THAT WE LIVE IN
A BROKEN, FALLEN WORLD, AND WHEN YOU INTERACT WITH THAT,
THERE’S PAIN IN THIS WORLD. NOW, WE CAN INCREASE OUR…
THE MORE WE GO SOUTH, THE MORE WE INCREASE OUR
GROANING AND THE GROANING
OF OTHERS AROUND US. THAT’S FOR SURE. SO MAYBE TO
SOME DEGREE, WE CAN DECREASE
IT BY CHOOSING TO GO NORTH. BUT THE REALITY OF…
OF LIFE IN A FALLEN WORLD
WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, AND WE… WE JUST REALLY CAN’T
GET AWAY FROM THAT ENTIRELY. TIM: AND IT… AND IT’S
ALMOST LIKE IF THAT’S OUR GOAL,
TO GET RID OF THE GROANING, WE’RE ALMOST CONDEMNED TO GO
SOUTH ALL THE TIME, AREN’T WE? LISA: ABSOLUTELY. THAT’S WHAT
GOING SOUTH IS ALL ABOUT. I WANT TO MANAGE AND
CONTROL GROANING IN THIS. TIM: I’LL COME UP WITH
A SOLUTION TO DEAL WITH THAT, AS OPPOSED TO SAYING
THAT’S A NORMAL PART OF LIFE. THE QUESTION IS
WHAT DO I DO WITH IT? GARY: THAT’S RIGHT.
AND THAT’S HOW GOD GROWS US
AND DISCI… AND TRAINS US. THAT’S PART OF THE CURSE.
LIFE IS BROKEN AND IN
THAT GROANING OF LIFE, THE… THE QUESTION
IS ALWAYS WILL I TURN
TO GOD OR AWAY FROM HIM? AND WITHOUT THAT
GROANING, IF WE JUST ERASED
GROANING IN OUR LIFE, WE WOULD BECOME VERY ARROGANT,
SELF-SUFFICIENT PEOPLE. IT’S A GIFT.
GROANING IS REALLY A GIFT. TIM: AND THAT’S EXACTLY
WHERE WE DON’T WANT TO GO.
AND I… AND I HOPE TODAY… THAT YOU’VE ENJOYED HEARING FROM
GARY AND LISA IN OUR DISCUSSION, BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT
FOR US TO UNDERSTAND,
HOW DO WE GROW? AND… AND HOW DO WE DISCIPLE?
HOW DO WE BECOME A TRUE
FOLLOWER OF JESUS AND… AND WALKING BY FAITH,
NOT BY WHAT WE CAN SEE
AND HANDLE ON OUR OWN, BUT TRULY TRUSTING
THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US
EVERYTHING THAT WE NEED… TO LIVE LIFE AS
HE’S CALLED US TO LEAD IT? AND I’LL TELL YOU, THERE’S
SOME THINGS WE’D LIKE YOU
TO DO HERE AFTER THE WEBINAR. WE KNOW A WEBINAR ISN’T ENOUGH
TO UNDERSTAND ALL THIS, SO WE WANT YOU TO
GO TO OUR WEBSITE, AND IF YOU GO THERE,
WHAT YOU’LL SEE… THERE’S A BLOG WE HAVE THAT
IS THE TITLE OF OUR WEBINAR,FINDING GOD IN THE
FRUSTRATION OF LIFE.
WE HAVE THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS
OF GARY AND LISA’S BOOK… AVAILABLE TO YOU ELECTRONICALLY
THAT YOU CAN DOWNLOAD. YOU CAN BEGIN TO READ THIS,
AND I THINK YOU’LL GRASP
BETTER EVEN MORE THAN OUR… FROM OUR DISCUSSION SOME OF THAT
MATERIAL THAT’LL HELP YOU… TO NOT GO SOUTH AND
LEARN HOW TO GO NORTH. YOU ALSO HAVE A CONNECTION
TO THEIR WEBSITE THERE, THAT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO
SEE THEIR SPEAKING AND…
AND TEACHING MINISTRY, AND BE ABLE TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THAT, AS WELL. SO WE REALLY
APPRECIATE YOU COMING TODAY,
AND WE HOPE AND PRAY THIS, THAT WE’VE HELPED YOU
TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND JUST
SOME OF YOUR OWN STRUGGLES… OF HOW YOU TEND TO GO SOUTH.
YOU BEGIN TO IDENTIFY
SOME OF THOSE… THE EMOTIONS THAT
COME ALONG WITH THAT. BUT THAT WE’VE ALSO ENCOURAGED
YOU THAT THERE IS A HOPE OF
BREAKING THAT CYCLE… SO THAT YOU CAN HEAD NORTH.
THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS
SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU. ALL OF US NEED TO BE ABLE TO
HEAD NORTH AND TO PURSUE GOD
WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS, BECAUSE HE CAME
TO OFFER US LIFE. AND TO DO THAT MEANS WE’RE GOING
TO HAVE TO TAKE THOSE RISKS… OF PURSUING HIM WITH
ALL OF OUR HEART. AND SO TILL THE NEXT TIME,
I’M YOUR HOST, TIM JACKSON.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *