We are “experts” at sizing up everything that happens to us by interpreting it according to our past experiences and "inerrant" lens. But the meaning that we give to each situation that happens to us can either neutralize drama or light a fire to it. Some of those “interpretations” of life simply aren't true:
• “I’ll never remarry.”
• “God loves me but I’ll probably go to hell.”
• “No one can love me.”
• “There is something wrong with me.”
• “I must be unlovable.”
• “I will never be good enough for another spouse.”
• “I’ll never be in ministry because of the divorce.”
• “I can’t show my face in a church again.”
One of the primary things that Jesus was trying to teach his disciples was about only embracing God’s perspective of a situation into their hearts. So he would say to them, “I and my Father are one.” Or “I only do the things I see my Father doing. I only say the things I hear my Father saying.” In other words Jesus, though he was the Son of God, NEVER invested meaning into a situation without the Father’s perspective.
When we go back to the Garden of Eden the temptation was, “If you eat of this tree, you will become like God.” What was the problem with that? They were already like God and eating of the tree brought them into performance based religion… do the good and avoid the evil and you will become like God.
But there was another aspect to this. Eating of the tree also brought them into a state of being in which they were judging good and evil separately from the Father.
Think about how often Jesus spent time with the disciples trying to infuse a different meaning into their view of things…
They go to the Samaritans and after they are rejected, the disciples say, “Jesus, you want us to call down fire from heaven on these guys?” They THINK they are being biblical. They THINK they are interpreting the Bible accurately. They are harking back to the prophet Elijah who called fire down from heaven on his enemies. But the only one who has seen the Father at any time, the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth said, “Guys, you don’t know what spirit you are of.” The disciples were interpreting their situation through the lens of the Old Covenant rather than the lens of Jesus! They wanted to kill their enemies, but Jesus had to infuse NEW meaning into their lives. I wonder how many ministries that are blaming God for destruction might need to re-read this story.
One day they are in a boat and the storm is raging. Fear is welling up inside them. The boat is taking on more and more water and the disciples wake up Jesus who is in the back of the boat. What do they say, “Do you not care that we are sinking? Help us!” Then they probably hand him a bucket to start bailing out water with them. Why do I think that? He commanded the wind and the waves to stop and suddenly, whoosh, they did. The disciples were astounded because that wasn’t what they were expecting. They were going to hand him a bucket!
Do you know what he says, “Do you have no faith?” Not… “isn’t your faith big enough.” He is saying “don’t you see… there is truth.. the boat is sinking.. but there is a higher Truth.. I am with you, God is on our side, I am still on a mission. I can’t die until it’s my time.” He was saying, “guys, you MEAN to think we were going to die… that is the wrong way to see things!” He was constantly interrupting their words so he could instruct them not to live independently from the Father’s perspective. Don’t give meaning to situations without consulting the Father!
We still do that today don’t we?
Our daughter isn’t answering her phone and she was supposed to be home an hour earlier. We start meditating on everything that could have happened. “She had a flat tire, an accident, she’s in a ditch, she’s dead, someone killed her, how am I going to tell the rest of her family, it’s a terrible time for a funeral… AHHH!” BUT then she comes home and after you hug her and make sure she’s ok… then YOU kill her!! We created our own internal drama!
Or you are late for work and you start to assign meaning to it: “I am going to get fired, and that means I will lose my house… then it means I will lose my wife because I lost my job… then it means I will be homeless and then I will die frozen to death in a back alley!”
Or we get offended with someone. Why? Because we assign meaning to what they said or did separate from God and separate from a relationship with that person. Then we get angry, then because of unforgiveness and judging we become bitter. The Bible says that a root of bitterness, springing up defiles many. Let me give you some God-given wisdom. Never embrace the perspective of a bitter person, ever. Don’t give their story the same meaning that they do or you will adopt their offense.
We eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil all the time!
The disciples didn’t even consider that they were doing it. It was as natural to them as breathing.
It was part of their religious culture and they thought it was godly. Giving situations meaning outside of relationship with Christ is called judging. Judging is rooted in Law and it's the secret to flipping your drama switch!
Do WE even know when we are doing it? I’m fascinated sometimes at how many times I forget that I’m not a slave to my thoughts. Just because we think something doesn’t make it true! You have Jesus with you everywhere that you go so that he can step in and give you the mind of Christ. You CAN break the cycle of depression, the cycle of addiction, the cycle of drama and offense in your life!
How do we know if our view of the situation is reality? James 3:
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
If the meaning you are assigning to any situation in your life isn’t producing peace, gentleness, and mercy in you, then it is not the wisdom perspective of God. Even if God tells you that you are going to die in the next three days, he will also tell you the comforting words that you would be instantly escorted into the presence of God. In fact, the most negative book in the Bible, the book of Lamentations, is filled with phrases like, “His mercy is new every morning. Great is your faithfulness oh God.”
I want to let you in on a secret! The entire fabric of the universe is made out of love, so any interpretation of meaning to a situation that doesn’t resonate with love and peace and joy, MEANS you aren’t seeing clearly.
I don’t mean that we don’t grieve sometimes. I don’t mean that we don’t hurt for a moment. But the Bible says pain may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
I’m also not saying that God is obligated to explain all the details of a particular tragedy that happens. “Why did my 3 year old baby have to die?” is not the kind of meaning I’m talking about. But it’s in those situations, we buy into meanings such as, “God could have prevented this therefore he isn’t good or he isn’t powerful.” Or “I’ll never make it!” We are giving meaning to the situation that will wreak havoc in our hearts.
What if he’s not giving you his perspective of this situation? Then refrain from giving it any at all!
You have that power to disconnect your heart from drama and pain by refusing to give it power. Instead of saying, “Oh no, it means I’m _____________”! Don’t allow your heart to embrace it. Don’t attach meaning to it unless it is God’s meaning! Create space in your heart for God to fill with faith, hope and love. And that means we might need to WAIT a moment, a day, a week, or even a month.
This is especially true when it comes to our identity! When something bad happens is not the moment to start operating separate from a God-given definition of who we are or who God is. NO! Whatever is true of Jesus is now true of you. Period. AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD!
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