Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 6 ~

July 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Where the Heart Is?

~ Part 6 ~

Ephesians 4:25-27 (Emphasis mine)

Therefore, stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as parts of a body. Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary.

We will be doing an “exercise” of how to “go to where the heart is” using the above scripture. This scripture has been used in various ways and been both misinterpreted and not. I love the CJB rendition or translation because it gives the clearest or best Hebraic translation. Which is the language our Savior spoke (Yeshua – Jesus) and Paul the writer of Ephesians. Though they spoke Greek and Hebrew – they thought like a Hebrew. Most translations stop at “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” and jumps immediately to why (the Adversary). Look closely at the wording after “Be angry, but don’t sin.” I pray the wording leaps off at you in a keen understanding in your heart. Lets first define sin. What is a sin?

  • A wrong action of one measured against the correct action.
  • missing a target or mark aimed for
  • a twisted action – not straight
  • something said, thought, or done that trespasses; is faulty; full of guilt; that strays from the truth or love (deceptive); rebellious or revolting; spiteful, jealous, envious, unkind, hateful.

Wow! That can cover a broad range of things and it could be a whole lot of work to not sin – especially when angry or hurt. Most anger is hurt as a boundary. In other words: “You have hurt me and can come no further in doing so.” – most anger if it had a “voice” this is what it would “say”. (Putting it nicely 🙂 )

As a child I was taught by Sunday school lessons and my elders that the “sin” of being angry in this scripture was to let the sun go down without resolving a fight with someone. To the point of even saying “sorry” even if you didn’t mean it, and this action would keep “the devil” from “getting in” on the fight. Needless to say there were so many holes in this perception of this verse you could use it as a colander to strain noodles with!

First of all God does not honor a falsehood. If you say (with your mouth) “sorry” but don’t mean it (in your heart) – it’s a lie. The Adversary then runs in to fill the heart with resentment to add to the deception and clarity then gets a bit “cloudy”. So that can not be “it”. Lets re-read the words exactly.

“Don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger.”

This is a clear indication of a –  “Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way.” Psalms 139:23-24 – moment. An invitation to invite God into a hurt or pain that comes bubbling up as anger. This is how we deal with the cause of our anger.

I’m angry often because of me and my “unmissed target” or unfulfilled expectation. What I perceived as an injury done by another was really my expectation for someone else to do something that can not be expected of anyone but God or myself. Such as:

  • Expecting someone to “read” me or just know how I feel.
  • Expecting someone or something to make me feel good.
  • Expecting someone to think like I think and therefore behave accordingly.
  • Expecting someone to make me more important than is proper.
  • Expecting someone to react or behave in a way that I feel is “right”.

Expectations often allow no room for uniqueness and differences. This is NOT the way God make us or anything on this planet, He made us and everything vastly unique and full of variety! Sometimes my anger is really at myself and my own lacks but I project them onto; circumstances, God, or others. Its the cause of our anger that we are to say “O God – show me the truth here.” before that sun goes down (or daily). It is also that we own our anger, no one can make you or give you anger. Resolution is sometimes not realistic after many sunsets at times – at least not in terms of two individuals “making peace”.

This is not to say that trying to resolve a fight isn’t a good thing to do. If you can do this from a full heart of humility, kindness, and love – then do so! The verse, though, is speaking about the heart (within) where anger can become a sin. It’s not a sin to have differences and conflicts with others. When someone speaks lies, it is not a sin to speak the truth, which stands in opposition to a lie. This often is a source of conflict, and it’s not a sin to stand within it, rather its a sin NOT to. Yet there is a difference between standing against a person and standing against what they do, say, or believe! The truth always invites relationship, but it takes two to have one.

Proverbs 27:17

Just as iron sharpens iron,  a person sharpens the character of his friend.

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, don’t despise Adonai’s (the Lord’s) discipline or resent his reproof; for Adonai corrects those he loves like a father who delights in his son.

Proverbs is full of all sorts of verses that make no sense if confrontation and differences are a sin! They are not! They CAN be – if done out of any of the things mentioned earlier, as sin. This points only to our need to diligently “check our heart at God’s door” in all things. Only God can tell us what is sin within the framework of our anger. Anger itself is NOT a sin – God is and has and will get angry – but He never sins! Follow Him! To follow we often have to remember He must be the Leader – Guide – One in FRONT! If we invite God into our anger – then we have walked this scripture out from within (the heart). With the attitude of Psalm 139:23-24 – the Adversary will NEVER “get in”! Keep in mind its the attitude of the heart that counts NOT the “routine” – this is the difference between relationship and religion!

Colossians 3:12-16 (Emphasis mine – Note: ties into this and all previous parts to the series)

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.

Above all these, clothe yourselves in love, which binds everything together perfectly; and let the shalom (peace) which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decisionmaker, for this is why you were called to be part of a single Body. And be thankful – let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you, as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts.

Its always important to keep scripture in context. The preceding and proceeding verses usually point to or connect to the ones in the middle so to speak. Notice the 1st verse in our selection for this piece.

“Therefore, stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as a part of a body.”

How does this connect to the ‘”more famous” or quoted verses we’ve just covered? Here is where to begin…where the heart is:

What is falsehood? Who’s my neighbor? What does it mean when it says intimately related? Intimate is a very deep word – not casual – why? Now…you ask your Shepherd to lead you into understanding – this is walking with Yeshua (Jesus) – this is where the heart is. 🙂 Where one finds treasure of unrustable, unstealable worth! They lay themselves down upon your heart – like jewels soldered upon the precious metals of the heart and become part of the tapestry of Heaven!

 

Where the Heart Is?  ~ Part 7 ~ coming soon! 🙂

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Hallmarks of a True Friend

July 1, 2011 at 1:42 am (Mile Stones) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Hallmarks of a true friend:

 

  • When you reach out to them – they embrace you and stand beside you and tip your head up to your Maker.
  • There are no such things as impassable distances. Their hearts breach the impossible and touch you no matter where or how they are.
  • They listen to the true voice within you. Encouragement in the voice of sorrow and doubt. Embracing the voice of uniqueness and beauty. Not so much concerned with compatibilities in personality and experience – as unity in the pasture we are all placed in and the joy found in hearing the Voice of Our Shepherd.
  • They don’t care about your resume, achievements and worldly successes as the hallmark to worthiness. They care about WHO you are without all “the garments” praise-worthy to humans.
  • You can trust them most importantly behind your back as to your face. Without the one the other can not be real.
  • They commit their talk to only the things that encourage others to believe the best of you.
  • They remind you of all that’s truly important in this life. That every soul is empty till Jesus flows through it. That every soul gets lost and He finds them. That getting lost and empty are the hallmarks of being fulfilled and found. That everything means something, not in fate but in purpose. That everything is purposed by His hands and those Hands are infinitely trustworthy.
  • A true friend speaks the truth no matter how uncomfortable, with a loving heart always – but knowing that comfort is often found in a “squeezing” or pushing through. They offer to squeeze with you – not for you – to lend their weight to the push not clobber with the truth and then wait till you “get it”. A true friend sticks – not stones.
  • A true friend knows the key to having a true friend is BEING a true friend. Even to those who are not true to them.
  • A true friend grieves as though the grief is their own. Leaps with joy in their joy. It is not jealous or envious but inspired by the differences they see in people.
  • A true friend…they cross your path maybe once or twice in a lifetime. They rarely “look” like you’d expect. They are almost always very different than you at first – until you see they are kindred spirits in different vessels only. They are few – not the norm – and a special gift from God.
  • The world says friendship takes two. The Bible says it takes one. The world looks on the outside (common interest, hobby’s, similar circumstances, status, education, wealth, popularity, good looks). The Bible says look to the inside where there is only one requirement – the Love of God – His ways, His word, His perspectives, His interest, His education, His status, and His desires. Jesus came to point the way to true friendship – to His Father. True friends are always “lookin up for each other” not lookin out for each other. True friends know that a Shepherd is “lookin out for us all”, sees all there is to see, and can “look out” for us better than we ever could. True friends just keep lookin up, holding on, and remind us to do the same by example, word, and deed.
  • True friendship is a verb – not a noun. It s always in action whether close by or far away – whether its a quiet sitting beside or words of comfort, laughter, or song. It’s always present because as with all things true – it comes from Above, never ends, always hopes, always loves, always trust.
  • True friendship starts from within a person first and last…so it never goes without.
  • True friendship requires a Shepherd…like all things called treasures that last eternity. Like the Michael W. Smith song…”And friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them…and a friend cannot say never because the welcome will not end…”
  • We are not meant to experience true friendship with everybody, but we are called to be a true friend to everybody. True friendship isn’t about getting, it’s all about giving. It never counts the cost, tally’s the gifts its given or how often, or compares one thing to another. Its valued for the gift that it is and kept as the rare and special difference it is to all other things.
  • I thank You Jesus that You called me a friend, that I have a lifetime and more to learn what that means. To all my true friends…you know who you are…I am honored to call you such…and even more honored to be a true friend to you. I love you all with all my heart.

 

2011  ~  Lisa VanValkenburgh

 

Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love.  ~ Charles Peguy

For there is no friend like a sister. In calm or stormy weather; to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.  ~ Christina Rossetti

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