Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Relationships 101: Things I'm Learning About I Cor 13:7

I Cor 13:7
Love hopes all things, endures all things, believes all things'

It expects/pulls out/calls out the best in each other, when the old man wants to be offended... believing and communicating with a Joy filled attitude and a spiritual/emotional posture of,
'That's not who you are; that's not the person you long to become; the fruits of the Holy Spirit are available to you bc you don't live in the old covenant, but in the NEW!  The same Power that conquered the grave, and the same Jesus that can conquer all the spiritually dead habits you long to ditch, LIVES IN YOU!' 

The new man, as an act of faith, develops a filter of LIFE-GIVING thoughts, feelings, and communication through which he operates from a foundational belief that respectfully communicates to others:
"No matter what I say
No matter what I do
You will always be in charge of your choices.
Not me or my pure hearted, intellectually formed sales pitch,
Nor my persuasive, logic based arguments,
Not even turning myself into a pretzel,
or suffering from sleepless nights trying to 'figure out' how to convince you of the validity of my thoughts and ideas. "

In many, many instances, the Rest and Peace of God may not have actually led me to engage in any unsolicited dialogue about my ideas at all, had I paused - - -
and waited patiently for His Rest.

And if AT ANY TIME, what's coming out of me isn't
And self control,
Then the Holy Spirit's not in it..,
And I may not launch into my schpeel,
Not in text, email, or verbal words.
Not if I intend to be a Kingdom woman
and an ambassador of the Lord Jesus,
Put on this earth to worship God and glorify Him forever,
To join forces with the Lord as Healer
And not with the enemy against the Lord's Beloveds.

My time and energy is limited, and needing to be expended to strictly what the Holy Spirit HAS INDEED assigned me to, and not what the old man feels is 'responsible,' based on social/cultural norms,
or on a less-than-mature understanding of how to be relationally effective.

Unless I have been given specific Biblical authority over another person,
And/or unless they've specifically asked or released me to give my unsolicited input or thoughts,
Then as one walking in 
Rest and Peace, 
as well as Christlike Love,
I walk away-
and invest that time and energy the old man would've wasted on a choice that doesn't work, and often wounds,
and instead, I give that effort to a better choice that might bear fruit.

Nobody likes a commentary, a wise woman taught me once.   And even children know to steer clear of those we  call 'blow hards,' or what we used to call 'show offs.'  A religious spirit is the biggest turn off, even when the bearer of it is pure of heart in every way.  

Kindness is what leads us to repentance.
'Preach often, but rarely use words.'
So if I'm hurting, afraid, or saddled with anxiety,
I cannot
1. emotionally and behaviorally react to the old man's triggers
2. acknowledge the old man's companions of negative, unhealthy coping mechanisms (developed at some pt, in order to survive a difficult stretch of circumstances beyond one's control that brought confusion or pain, and caused habitual patterns of thoughtless, careless, knee jerk reactions),
nor can I
3. relapse/backslide into the old man's emotional habits that used to automatically respond to fear or hurt with defensiveness, micro management, control, lack of integrity, or trying to lead/govern another person one hasn't specifically been released to lead, all as self preservation techniques. 

The enemy sets traps/'hooks'/triggers for each of us to relapse/backslide to our individual 'old man' bag of coping skills/defense mechanisms that enabled us to survive in the past, and we start digging around in the different ways we used to automatically respond, but this new life in Christ is abundantly full of newer, healthier ways of coping and of ACHIEVING SUCCESS in every relationship we're in- even the ones we once felt the most insecure about. 

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