A Creative Word

Practical, occasionally funny, faith-focused thoughts.

Category: anger

Use the Manufacturer’s Warranty

Once, a close friend and I had a discussion on a subject very close to our hearts: how men we loved, and who loved us, had hurt us. We didn’t bash them, but we did recognize that they weren’t able to heal those hurts.

Not long after this discussion, the Holy Spirit showed me something I hope I never forget. It was a picture of a young boy, maybe three or four years old. He was holding a yellow toy truck.Boy with Truck

The truck was one of his favorite toys, and he loved it best of all. But he had broken it. The boy certainly didn’t mean to break it, and he wants to fix it.

But, as he turns it this way and that, looking it over and tinkering with it, he isn’t able to repair it. Now, you and I know that this young boy doesn’t have the capacity, the tools– or the knowledge of how to use the tools– to fix the truck.

And the hard fact of the matter is that all his love & efforts won’t repair the damage.

But of course, that isn’t obvious to the young boy. He thinks, “It’s MY truck. I broke it. I should be able to fix it!” But as he fumbles with it, he is only making the damage worse.

You and I can easily predict what will happen next. Soon, he will become frustrated with himself and the truck. Then, he will become angry with the situation, although he’ll most likely direct his anger at the truck. Finally, he’ll give up, cease trying to fix the truck and find something else to occupy his time.

Now, it’s obvious to you and me that all the young boy has to do is take the truck to his Father and ask Him for help. His Father knows just what to do to fix the truck. And after He lovingly repairs the truck, it will be BETTER than new!

The same is true with us. Although our husbands, our parents, our friends, our children—even our pastors and church families– may “break” us, they can’t fix us. They really can’t. No matter how much they want to.

They simply are not equipped to repair us. But— and like the Sir Mix-a-Lot song, it’s a big but– we have a 100%  guaranteed warranty from our Manufacturer! Our Father is willing to repair all parts of us, and when He restores us, we are actually better than before.

I’m not exaggerating.

Take a look in Deuteronomy—whenever something was damaged, or stolen or ruined, God’s restoration resulted in an increase! You can trust that when you become broken, you can allow God to heal you, and you WILL be better than before!

This is exciting news. But it also dispels something some of us having been subconsciously believing. Sometimes we are waiting for the person who hurt us to apologize, to say they didn’t mean what they said or did, or at the very least that they didn’t intend to hurt us. Sometimes, there are very specific things we want them to say do to “repair” the damage they did to us.

And not only are we (based on sheer odds alone) not likely to get those actions/words or even similar ones, EVEN IF WE DID, those words (or actions) would NOT heal our hurts. These would not REPAIR the damage done to us.

However, just like the broken truck, our Heavenly Father DOES know exactly what will heal us! He does have the capacity and capability to repair, renew and restore us.

Yes, of everything. Broken hearts from broken families, aching wounds from crimes committed against us, even the horrific pain of lives ended too early.

How do we receive that? Spend time alone with Him—pour your heart out to Him. (Psalm 62:8) You can trust Him! Rest quietly with Him. Listen to Him. Do what His Word and His voice direct you to do.

Then as you live your life, understand that while you won’t be protected from all hurts, you can trust that God will never let anything happen to you that He can’t repair, renew and restore. Never.

So, LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY! Go ahead and put your heart into relationships—if (ok, when) they hurt you, God will be able to heal you.

Finally, here’s a wise idea: Keep in close contact with friends who—like you– are living their whole lives in the direction of God, and wisely, reserve the sharing of your most intimate thoughts, desires and emotions—your soul– with these people. While it’s great to enjoy time with other friends, and appreciate how wonderful they are, you’ll find that you’ll naturally discuss and focus on what those you are closest to focus on.

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I’d love to come speak to your group or church. You can check out my ‘casts here, and my speaking topics here.

>What’s Shaping Your Identity?

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Today, I read this on a blog:
“Some of you see this pain as a friend – it gets you the attention you need from others, and the thought of losing that attention can be frightening. To you, losing the attention of others means being alone and that seems unbearable. Still this is another lesson you must learn – to the degree you feel alone is the degree you depend on others for your satisfaction, value, and self worth.”

I know that we sometimes hold on to pain– or anger, or hurt– and I guess I never really thought about why, but now it seems clear.

It’s an Identity issue. (Hey– we’ve just been talking about those!!!)

Pain, Anger… these things help establish to us or to others WHO we are. “I am the one who was wounded– wrongly.” “I am the one who was done wrong.” “I am the innocent– and righteous– victim.” “I am the one whose gift is never recognized because of un-spiritual people are in charge at work or at my congregation.” “I am the one allowed to be suspicious, bitter, angry, selfish… because someone hurt me.” “I am a Christian, but I’m the body part that doesn’t have to be present when the body gets together– because the other body parts hurt me!”

How can you know when you’re holding on to pain or anger and letting it become– or at least shape– your identity?

I know that when I hold on to anger or hurt, it comes up frequently in my conversations… if you’re not as verbal as I am, then maybe you’re experiencing it as the conversations or situations you rehearse mentally, over and over again. Is that happening in your life right now? Has it happened in the past?

Letting go of those hurts and that anger allows us to begin to really believe what GOD says about us, rather than what we or others say about us.

And believing what God says about us opens doors to joy, as we begin to experience Life as He intended us to!

Not to ignore what has happened to us… we must gain the tools that help us to cope and determine to forgive (sometimes daily) so that God’s healing can come to us.

Even after we decide to forgive, the enemy often reminds us of the offense… and if we begin mentally rehearsing it, we’re right back where we started! So… remind yourself (and the enemy) outloud that you’ve decided to forgive, and cast down that vain imagination.

This is one of the toughest disciplines there is. In fact, fasting food seems easy compared to disciplining our thoughts! (Another truth from the previously mentioned blog!)

But the rewards are amazing!

Imagine truly believing that you are an HEIR– inheriting what Jesus does!!!
Imagine truly believing that you are EXPERTLY CRAFTED, of many things that PLEASE GOD!!
Imagine truly believing that you absolutely have every ounce of love He has to give– that no matter how much good you do, no matter how badly you fail or fall, He won’t love you any more than He does right now, and He won’t love you any less!!!!

If you TRULY believed– and behaved– as if all that God says about you is REAL IN YOUR LIFE, how would your life be different?

One thing is for sure: there’s more joy and more peace (wholeness– nothing missing and nothing broken) when I let go of hurt and anger, and make room for what is TRULY my identity.

And to experience it, we only have to trade in our pain and anger… that’s better than the $3k the govt is offering for trade in on cars older than 10 years!!!!!

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