Saturday, June 20, 2009

Understanding Why You Get Angry

Do you understand why you get angry? It's because things aren't going the way you would like. Either a person is doing something that you don't want him to do, or he's not doing something that you want him to do. You're angry because someone or something isn't meeting your expectations.

If you let others determine how you feel, you'll have a miserable life. And it's unlikely that your anger is going to fix whatever problem is bugging you. "For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God" (James 1:20). Ask yourself a couple of questions.

1."Am I placing unrealistic expectations on others?" If we're honest, much of our anger comes from our own stubborn opinions. The problem isn't with them, but with us. Instead of trying to make the other person change, we need to soften our hearts and stop demanding that he or she performs to our expectations. This alone could solve many marriage problems.

2."Am I angry over something that I can't change?" It's easy to get angry over the government's wasteful spending of our money, but for most of us, we can't do anything about it. Getting angry over things we can't change only steals our joy and makes us miserable. And that's just not worth the trade.
Keep looking up!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fulfilling Your Drives in the Right Way

God told Adam and Eve they could eat from all the fruit in the Garden of Eden except for one tree which was off-limits (Gen. 2:16-17). If they had been eating the fruit God had provided for them, they wouldn't have been hungry for the forbidden fruit!

The Lord gave them a hunger drive and then provided legitimate food to fulfill it. We are tempted whenever we try to fulfill our God-given desires in an illegitimate way. If we will fulfill our drives in the right way, it cuts off the urge to fulfill them in the wrong way. That's why the pecan pie looks so tempting before eating the Thanksgiving dinner, but becomes repulsive after we've stuffed ourselves with turkey and dressing. The pie doesn't appeal to you like it did before because you fulfilled your hunger drive.

The opposite is also true. If we've been eating forbidden fruit, we won't be hungry for legitimate fruit. The first bite of the forbidden fruit is always the sweetest, but it becomes less enjoyable with each bite and creates a craving that can't be satisfied. Before long, we're addicted to forbidden fruit. An addition only partially satisfies, so it requires you to keep consuming more and more, while sucking the joy and happiness out of your life.

To be set free from the addiction, we must learn from the prodigal son, who was eating with the pigs when "he came to his senses" (Luke 15:16). He finally realized how miserable he was, and decided to change meal plans by returning to his father. We must get so disgusted that we make the decision to stop eating the off-limits fruit and return to God's provision.

Galatians 5:16 tells us, "Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." The only way to overcome lust of any kind is through a genuine work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We just don't have enough power within ourselves to overcome temptations. However, the Holy Spirit does have the power to change our desires, and if we'll submit to Him, the desires of the Spirit will displace the yearnings of the flesh.

As we grow in our love for God, the love for forbidden fruit dwindles. So the next time you are tempted, instead of saying no to fruit, say yes to Jesus.
Keep looking up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Do You Believe Gossip?

A wise schoolteacher sent a note to all parents on the first day of school: "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens in school, I'll promise not to believe everything your child says happens at home."

Don't believe everything you hear! Instead, be skeptical when you hear scandalous information about someone. A woman in North Dakota committed suicide because the gossip around town said that her husband was having an affair. The facts came out later that the rumor wasn't true, but the damage had already been done.

Before you believe questionable tidbits about someone, make sure you verify the information with two other sources. Second Corinthians 13:1 says, "Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses." This is a Scriptural safeguard to keep false accusations from destroying a person's reputation.

The next time someone tries to tell you gossip, just remember that the person who gossips to you, will also gossip about you!
Keep looking up!