Drama Drama Drama

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Galatians 5:15-16 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

I was recently watching a show where the main character finally found some peace among her peers, declared, “what is the fun in that?” and purposefully stirred up strife for her entertainment. It got me to thinking, how often do we use drama in our lives for entertainment?
Something is done to you so you fester and spread it to everyone else, DRAMA.
You are not liking the way another lives their life because yours is so together, so you talk bad about their choices, DRAMA.
You are uncomfortable in a room so you use the opportunity to point out another’s issue, DRAMA.

Drama Drama Drama a process that many live their lives in and I must admit there were seasons I was right along with them. Of course, I have moments now, but living in the constant drama is no longer a choice in my life. When someone lives in the constant upheaval that drama stirs up, you choose to partner with anxiety. There is no peace. There may be moments of quiet, but it doesn’t take long for the drama to raise its ugly head again. 

  Some sources of Drama:

  • Gossip
  • Judgment
  • Criticism
  • Negative Talk
  • Slander
  • Stirring up strife

 

When you take part in drama you are  in opposition to what the Lord wants to accomplish in your life and the lives of others.
Drama leads to walking in competition, controversy, rivalry, and dispute.

I am talking about stirring up drama for drama’s sake, simply for your entertainment or to be the center of attention. But if you are truly having an issue with a brother or sister in the church that has harmed you or sinned against you the word says to follow the steps in Matthew 18:15-18

How to avoid Drama Drama Drama in your life.

  • Pray about it: First and foremost, pray about the situation that is mulling over and over in your head, before you do anything else.
    You can start by praying for your own heart in the situation, taking your eyes off of your own opinion and seeking the Lord’s view on the situation. Then pray for the person you are feeling less than lovely about. 
    Avoid talking the ‘issue’ out with a friend or a peer and let the Lord who is the master fixer be the one to work on the situation.
    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
  • Examine your heart: “Is this really my business?” 
    What is the motivation in your concerns for another person? Do you really desire to see a situation fixed or do you lean more towards being right? Is your judgment self-motivated? Are you seeing the situation the way the Lord would see it or with self-righteous eyes? Does sharing another’s shortcomings with everyone else help their situation improve? Does He need your help to fix them?
    There are times that we are to take things to our brethren to encourage their walk with the Lord. But we must not underestimate the work the Holy Spirit is doing in another’s heart. We all started somewhere. We all have faults and flaws. If we are constantly nagging and spreading gossip about another’s issue, your motivation is not in the right place. It is you trying to do the work in them, rather than letting the Holy Spirit.
    Lastly with this thought… while examining your own heart, don’t assume that you know theirs. Often there is a work going on in that life that you have no idea of.
    1 Thessalonians 4:11and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,
    Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
  • Go to Leadership: If you have prayed and taken the matter directly to the person you are struggling with and still feeling like an issue needs to be dealt with. Take your heart in the matter to your pastor or leadership. 
    They may see things from a different perspective or have some insight on a peaceful resolution. Make sure though, that you truly want to work on the situation and are not just wanting to produce gossip.
    Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.”
  • Be a PeacemakerTo stir up drama, it only entertains for a moment but that drama has a lasting impact on the hearts of all involved. The definition of peace is freedom from disturbance. Quiet and tranquility.
    We are blessed to live a life of quiet and tranquility and bless others when we leave them in peace rather than drama mode.
    God calls the peacemaker blessed! I want my God to call me blessed, to call me his daughter.
    Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 
  • Guard your tongueWhen you are with a gathering of others, are you improving the atmosphere with your words, or are you shifting it to the uncomfortable world of DRAMA. You may be comfortable in a drama-filled situation, even entertained by it, but you leave the environment full of anxiety and head shaking rather than life-giving.  Resist sharing the short-comings and personal details of someone else’s life.  We grew up chanting to our peers when they were hurtful, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
    Are you building one another up in their absence? Are you speaking what you believe and hope for their life rather than the situation they are in?
    This statement still rings true, it is perfectly okay to grace people with a smile and silence if your words will become bitterness to an atmosphere.
    Science has proven that our thoughts, negative or positive impact on our health. If we speak out the negative won’t it impact those around us?
    What if we determined to only be LIFE GIVING? How would that affect others in our life?
    I myself have over shared with a cry of ” please, pray for this situation,” not with a motive for drama, but in reality drama or not, I was still wrong. I should have just taken that prayer straight to the Lord, not changed the atmosphere of others with my ‘concerns’, and certainly not live with the regret of oversharing.
    Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
    1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

    Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
        and those who love it will eat its fruits.

  • Walk in kindness and forgiveness– If you are walking around in anger at what another is doing in their lives, or judgment for their choices, you are not walking a life of forgiveness. If you are spreading all of their business around, you are not walking in kindness.
    God calls us to be kind and to forgive. It seems simple in theory but when we are seeking drama for our entertainment it is so easy to walk in self-righteous mode and not be walking out what He calls of us at all. To ‘vent’ our frustrations of another for nothing more than entertainment sake is hateful, not kind, hurtful, not life-giving and certainly not forgiveness. 
    When I am tempted to judge another, God often has to remind me of what He had brought me out of. How far He has led me from my past and how He alone restored my ways. 
    It is a process. I am still in process. So why should I expect anything more of them?
    Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    Matthew 18:21-22  Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
     
  • Walk away: If you are finding yourself tempted to gossip, stir up strife, slander, or any other forms of causing drama, pray for strength and walk away. If you are stuck in an atmosphere of another creating drama, excuse yourself and walk away. It is better to walk away and say nothing than to sin against your heavenly father by harming his church with your drama for entertainment.

    I know this is a heavy topic. I know that many walk daily in drama drama drama, not even realizing what they are left with a life of anxiety and strife and often don’t even know the root of it.
    So I leave you with this thought, I believe it sums the topic up nicely.   
    It is impossible to tear down and destroy when you are being a light and building up. 


    Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

 

Fruit of the Spirit part 2:

rotting apples

Part 2: The fruit is Rotting

The journey to writing about Spiritual Fruit, actually started because I knew I had produced fruit in my life at one point, but in the most recent season, I was not seeing the evidence. It was almost as if my Fruit of the Spirit was rotting away. 

Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Reasons your Spiritual Fruit may be rotting.

  1. You are leaving your harvest behind in your walk. You may have the Fruit of the Spirit at the moment, but when life gets hard or the world is tempting you have let it go and become buried in the mess.
  2. You have not shared the harvest with others by connecting with a community. You must USE your fruits of the Spirit. We cannot hold on to our fruits of the Spirit for our own gain. Our gifts are to bless and impact the Kingdom. It is then that we will see more fruit production because God’s math multiplies a good thing!
  3. Distraction is a killer of the fruit of the Spirit. When we are consumed with the weight of this world or the busy craziness of life, we are not focused on our God. He is the producer of our fruit. If we are disconnected from Him our fruit will rot.

 

Let’s look at the fruit of the Spirit and see how it may look when rotting. Now mind you, I am not talking about a once in a while I messed up, but if I am constantly walking in the ‘mess’ I am going to have rotting fruit.

*LOVE: Love your neighbor as yourself, love your family, love your church, love the stranger and love your enemy well!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I already failed at this one today, as I was not very patient or kind with my own husband.  I was tired and moody and failed. I was not showing the fruit of the Spirit within me. Now he was gracious and the Lord gives us grace, but how much more love will the Lord bless in my heart when I can actively obey his call to LOVE and love well?

*JOY: A feeling of great happiness. A source or cause of delight.

Psalm 47:1- 
Clap your hands all you nations; Shout to God with cries of Joy.

When I was grumbling and complaining to my husband about what I perceived as an offense, I was not shouting for Joy. I was not walking in joy. How many of us grumble and complain from the moment we see someone until we depart?
If we are grumbling and complaining we are not showing the fruit of the spirit, Joy.  If we are spending more being critical than we are walking in Joy, we are going to be sitting on the rotten fruit of the Spirit.

* PEACE: It is impossible to walk in stress and anxiety at the same time as peace.  I may begin my morning in peace, and by the afternoon of facing the daily stress, I often have chosen to let peace fall to the ground and rot. I must WALK in peace.

Isaiah 26: 12- 
LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

God has established His peace for me, I do not need to pick the garbage back up. He has done it and I have to share it.

 

*FOREBEARANCEHolding back or self-restraint. Specifically, a refraining from the enforcement of a punishment; holding back judgment.

Matthew 5:38-42
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Oh how I have wanted to retaliate, throw the stones back that was smacking me in the face. Even though I didn’t, my heart was so ugly with the thought of revenge. My Forbearance was undeveloped for sure. I don’t even think that one had a chance to rot. But now that I am aware of what it is and how to walk in it, Lord will give me the strength to sow that seed with HIS grace.

*KINDNESS- Friendly, thoughtful and considerate. 

Luke 6:35- But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

I think kindness is taking love into action by actually connecting. For myself, in the past, I could compare my kindness vs. others towards me and get disgruntled. But I must be kind to the ungrateful enemy as well as those that will sow back. I can’t expect anything in return, just sowing the kindness for the sake of being kind. Because the Lord has given me much, I must share much.

*GOODNESS- The quality of my character and conduct. For example; integrity, honesty, and uprightness.

Ephesians 4:29- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is so easy to tear down what we see as flaws, but the Lord directs us to build up. Edify others with our speech and conduct. He has called us to be faithful and honest. In my name of ‘sickness’, I have not walked in goodness but in despair and my character showed it. I affected the atmosphere around me and truly was giving off an offensive rotten fruit.

* FAITHFULNESS- Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion.

Matthew 5:7- When you make a promise, say only “Yes” or “No.” Anything else comes from the devil.

I am learning to take on less so that I can be faithful in my YES. There is nothing more frustrating to others in my life when I can not follow through. This area of study has me more thoughtful on what I am able to do.  

*GENTLENESS-  Walking in the tenderness of the Father. Choosing to use a soft word.

Proverbs 15:1- A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

So many times with my family I have been harsh and I have watched the anger stir up. I have also experienced the anger stirred up in myself from the harshness in others. At the same time, I have seen the hand of God move when I answer with a gentle and tender heart. Lord I am praying that my action of tenderness is my first and my fruit won’t fall from you and rot.

*SELF-CONTROL-   Controlling your emotions and desires or the expression of them in difficult situations. 

2 Timothy 1:7- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid; but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

God has given me the tools I need to be self-controlled. When I blow up in my emotion of the moment, I have not glorified His work in me. I have not turned to the creator with my emotion. I have let my spirtitual fruit is rotting.

I am still a work in progress, and I know the Lord gives me grace in my seasons of mistakes, but I have made up my mind to not WALK in this state, but rather in HIS POWER.


Different but still loved

I have three boys. My oldest tends to share characteristics with both my younger boys. However my younger two boys are complete opposites.Image

 

This is the side of the room that belongs to my slightly OCD son who is into sports and extremely organized. He is not a great fan of video games and would like to be physically active most of the time. He fights hard for his grades, with much effort and care. He will erase his homework over and over until the work is just perfect.

 

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This is my other sons side of the room. He is what the world would label ADD. He is not athletic in the slightest, he prefers books, intellectual aspirations and using his grande range of vocabulary. He gets great grades without trying and has little interest in perfection. He likes playing video games often. To get him to be physically active, is as bad as pulling teeth.

 

These two boys of mine are completely different and completely loved. I could not imagine my world without either one of them. I am extremely blessed. They are compassionate, loving and use their many talents and gifts uniquely. 

They are a small picture in the larger scale of life. Think of these two in the world around us. They are as different as night and day, as are the children of the Lord.

We are all equally loved, equally thought of and He is a jealous God that wants time with each and every one of His children.

He sees our differences… he already knows them… He created us uniquely for His purpose.

I know it is common that if someone doesn’t think the way we do, or see the world the way we do, or take action the way we would our hackles go up. But that is not the Love of the Lord. The Lord gives us all free will, why must we try to force others into our box and into our way of thinking, judging and full of hatred. This hatred is tearing the country apart and often leaves Christians with a horrible reputation.

My son that is the neat freak gets a daily dose of learning how to live with another completely different than him. He used to go insane being in the same environment with his brothers mess. But he has learned how to help his brother in his weakness and love him for his differences. 

I am looking at these boys, as their example on how to show the love of Christ despite if they are driving us insane with their differences. Jesus called us to love one another. In these struggling times it is so easy to point the finger to the one with differences than us. But let us not forget that we are to love them, God holds them every bit as valuable.

Ephesians 4:2-3
 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

The lesson that was shown, not told

On my glorious girl time away, my friend and I had a late night dinner at Famous Dave’s. The food was SO amazingly tasty. We could not get over how fabulous it was. That is until the next morning, my friend got food poisoning. She was so sick, that she could barely lift her head. But she absolutely insisted she was fine, not wanting to miss the conference. Now I do not skim over this lightly, but I wish to spare you details….she was SICK.

When we made it to the conference and found our seats she looked so horrible, I suggested she go lay in the car. I learned by now that suggesting we leave would not be an option. But it wasn’t until we were at the conference and the worship began while she was still in the car, that I realized she wasn’t pushing through for herself. She had pushed to get there for me, she would NEVER settle for me missing out on what the Lord may have for me. My heart was overwhelmingly blessed, and humbled.

Thankfully after a couple hours of napping my friend came back in and heard Joyce Meyers speak.

After the session we came back and took a good nap in the hotel room, and my friend woke feeling like herself.

Throughout the whole time I saw so many  ways that my friend was always thinking of me. She brought me breakfast on a tray one morning and had coffee made, she was always trying to let me sleep extra, she took my bags to the car, and she always wanted to make sure I was taken care of.

My friend taught me in many ways, more than the conference ever could. She taught me how to love and serve another without selfish ambition. The conference was wonderful and I learned many things I could apply to my life, but these were things told, the lessons learned from my friend, were things shown.

I am so very thankful for these real life experiences and an opportunity to sow seed of my own. I pray that her harvest is GREAT and that others will learn from her soft gentle ways and not keep looking her over because she tends to be a quiet soul.

I have been challenged myself with this time away and it is a challenge that I will take seriously: How can I express unselfish love and motivations in the way that was shown to me? Am I making sure that others are put above myself? Am I being Christ in the most tangible way to others on this earth, by putting them first? Thank you sweet friend for the example.

Titus 3:14

Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

( New Living Translation )