WOW! This chapter was tough and good! It is hinged on the question:
What drives your life?
Are you driven by guilt?
Blessed is the one whose guilts are forgiven,
whose sins are covered -Psalm 32:1
We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it. How freeing! Mistakes, bad moves, mispoken words...we need to ask forgiveness and move forward!
This is a perfect parent thought. As a parent, I often camp on guilt. I've done the best I can for my children, but kids can make you feel guilty. (actually, WE take on the guilt!) We need to let go and focus on our purpose!
Are you driven by resentment and anger?
Those who have hurt you in the past can't continue to hurt you unless you hold on to the pain through resentment.
"Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple" - Job 5 verse 2
Just take a look at that Job -- He knows what he's sayin!!!
Are you driven by fear?
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18
Are you driven by materialism?
Ouch! Doesn't that stuff get in the way of getting things done for God? Clutter is confining.
Self worth and net worth are not the same!
Are you driven by a need for approval?
This is where codependency often comes in. Often, we are so closely tied to friends or family or even acquaintances that we are devastated by any rejection.
One key to failure is to try to please everyone. As Jesus said:
"No one can serve two masters." Matthew 6:24
Lots to consider today. Don't be discouraged. We may have opened a wound, but only when a wound is opened can it truly heal.
Think about what drives you...say a prayer and put God in the driver seat:
God, I have to confess, for years I've let ___________________run my life. I don't have the strength to overcome my hangups, but YOU do. Take over, Jesus. I'm gonna sit next to you and rest a bit. Then I can do what you want me to do. Thanks for giving me new focus and energy. - Amen
Now, on to the GOOD STUFF:
It's OK to say, "No" !
When God leads you to your purpose, you don't have to do everything everyone asks you to do (or YOU think you have to do!!!)
Truth be told, I can be my biggest task-master at times.
Are the things I'm doing moving me toward God's goal for me?
Hmmmm....It's gonna take some prayer and quiet time with God to sort this out!
"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3: 13-14
That Paul - what a guy! (he wrote that Bible Verse!) He had it all together...right? Nope! He struggled with distractions just like all of us.
It's neat to see how God used Paul, even with his hangups. Paul came back to God's purpose over and over again. So can we.
So...let's take a close look at what we are doing. Let's invite Jesus to be a part of every bit of it AND let's take care of what God's given us.
This is a good place to start...and we'll see where Chapter 4 leads!