86 Giving

Secret number 18 to finding humility is Giving.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Acts 20:35

Freely you have received.  Freely give.  Matthew 10:88

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 19:19

Jesus commanded us to love.  Giving is one way to love.  We know this, yet we resist giving.  How many organizations ask us for money?  Lots, and not just at Christmas.  We get letters all year long for money.  We see appeals for charities on TV, in magazines and in news-papers.  We sometimes feel barraged.  I add to this with my own appeal.

We give, and yet how much giving is enough?  Jesus said “[I]f anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)  Any size gift matters in God’s Kingdom.  Yet, our question remains, how much do we give?

We need to hear from our Master what He would have us give.  Our flesh wants nothing to do with giving.  The world and the enemy foster selfishness and self-protection.  We tend to want to keep what we have, perhaps giving small tokens as long as that does not mean any personal sacrifice on our part.  Our Master calls us to sacrifice.  “Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”  (John 15:13-14)

We do not like to hear “sacrifice”.  Humility enters and compels us to think of others above ourselves.  We need to lay aside our desires, plans and agendas in order to give sacrificially.

God does not call us to give what we do not have.  He does, however, call us to lay aside some of our own needs and desires in order to care for others.  What do you feel called by God to give to someone or some organization?

Keep in mind, when we give, we have this promise from God:

My God will meet your every need out of His riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Humbly yours,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


85 Forgiving

Secret number 17 to finding humility is to forgive.  Jesus taught the disciples to pray to the Father like this, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Mt. 6:12)  Undoubtedly, you have heard much about God’s forgiveness.  It seems to be the primary topic used by teachers of the Word.  His forgiveness enables us to be in relationship with God.  Forgiveness is vital.  Yet it can take time and requires humility.

We need to forgive others as an act of faith through the power of the blood of Jesus.  Our lack of forgiveness shows unbelief in the power of His blood to make atonement for everyone’s sins.  To be consistent, we need to recognize the blood is good enough not only for our sins but also for the sins committed against us.  In fact, submitting to Jesus’ Lordship necessarily involves forgiving those who hurt us.  Keep in mind the story of the servant who was forgiven much and then went and demanded payment from a fellow servant for a small amount. (Matt. 18:23-35)

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matt. 6:15

Receiving God’s forgiveness enables us to forgive others, which then frees us from the shame and hurt caused us by other’s sin against us.  If we refuse to forgive others at this point, we then block ourselves from receiving God’s forgiveness.  We need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness.  Do you want to be forgiven?  Then forgive.  This is easy to write but how do we forgive others who have wronged us?  We first need to keep in mind that we have been forgiven by God and by others.  Whether or not we feel forgiven, we need to remember that we have been forgiven.

Second, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  We don’t need to forget what others have done to us in order to forgive them.  Rather, we need to let go of any thoughts of revenge or punishing those who have hurt us.  If we want to punish others, we only succeed in hurting ourselves.  Bitterness is the poison we swallow in hopes of hurting the one who hurt us.  Lack of forgiveness blocks healing.

If forgiving others still feels impossible, then we need to have a good, long conversation with Jesus.  Tell Him exactly what happened in detail.  Then we need to listen to what Jesus has to say.  He has a healing word for us.  We only need to listen.  Remember, He said, “the sheep listen to His voice.  He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3)

If, after a long talk with Jesus, you still feel weighed down with bitterness and don’t feel able to forgive, know this:  You really can’t forgive on your own power.  It’s okay.  God understands.  Now don’t’ hear me say that you don’t need to forgive.  Rather, you need God’s power to forgive!  Ask God to give you the power to forgive.  Then watch for His divine power to work and receive the ability to forgive from Him as a gift.  God will forgive through you and in you.  Allow His forgiveness to flow through you.  After receiving His forgiveness, give it away.  We don’t deserve to be forgiven, it is a gift.  Those who hurt us don’t deserve to be forgiven.  Forgiveness is about grace; we neither earn nor deserve it.  We receive forgiveness from God and give it to others.  Life in God’s kingdom requires forgiveness.  Nice side benefit:  when you truly forgive you actually begin to forget!

Finding the grace to forgive,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


84 Anger

Secret number 16 to finding humility is learning to let go of anger.

Stop your anger!  Turn from your rage!  Psalm 37:8 NLT

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11 NIV

I have changed my ideas about anger a few times over the years.  At one time I thought anger was an evil to be avoided.  Later, I realized that I really could not avoid encountering anger at times.  I even went to the point of embracing anger as a friend.  I thought it could be used as a way to overcome shame.  Yet, all the anger I have felt over the years has not taken away my shame.  Anger signals a problem but, in and of itself, does not solve the problem.

We need to understand why we are angry and deal with the issue.  Then we need to let go of the anger itself.  An analogy from fishing is catch and release.  We need to catch our anger—realize we are feeling it and find from whence it comes.  We may need to do something in response.  The anger can give us emotional impetus to do that, but then we need to let go of anger.  Holding on to anger harms us and those in our lives.

In our perfectionism we vacillate from squelching our hearts with shame to giving free vent to our anger which can result in shaming others.  We need to learn how to put our hearts on a “dog leash” or, in the case of our home, a “cat leash”.  We need to actually feel what our hearts feel while also learning to respond appropriately.  Shaming ourselves for feeling only squelches the feelings, intensifies them and prolongs them.  At the same time, these intense feelings do not give us permission to do whatever we feel like doing.

Our Example, Jesus knew beforehand that Judas would betray Him and was in anguish about it. (John 13:21)  Since Jesus experienced intense emotions, we will, as well.  Experiencing intense emotion does not mean we are not spiritual.  We have emotions.  How we respond to our emotions is what matters.  The way of humility involves letting go of the intensity of our emotions rather than holding on to this intensity.  Holding on to this swirl can lead to bitterness, selfishness, strife, etc.  Emotions take time to wind down.  Jesus, in dialoging with others and taking His strong emotions to His Father is our example in dealing with our own strong emotions.  We need to let hope replace anger as we learn to let go.  Learning is a process and takes time.

As we learn to let go of the past and look forward to the future we will realize that our past need not tie us down; our future can look very different from our prior experiences.  We need to trust God and believe in Him.  Our future is full of hope, bright and beautiful.  God is a Way-Maker and will make a way for us.

Trusting Him and holding on with a mustard seed of faith,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

Sermon related to anger:    http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details/?id=244823