While talking to a friend about her situation and what she was going through, I found our discussion steer to this. After going through people “sucking away the life,” I told her the following.
We must learn to “protect ourselves” on some levels. Some may call it boundaries. I understand vulnerability and relationship but what I have seen is what a young mom in my church once said to me.
One day after church she asked to come to my home and talk to me. My wife and I agreed and sometime later she came by.
She said “What do I have to do wrong for you to spend time with me? Everyone else does dumb things and they get your time.” I thought to myself after she explained, that all too much of my time was spent with folks who had no boundaries, continued to do wrong and drained life and time out of me. She on the other hand received no child support, raised her daughter, had a great job, bought a home and put her daughter through school. My time was eaten up by people who “needed me.” It was soon after that that I adopted my 90/10 rule. Instead of devoting 90% of my time to those who stumbled and caused me and others trouble, I would devote the majority of my time to those who were my equal or above.
Romans 8: 5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. MSG
Too often we are dealing with the disenfranchised, the discouraged, the disappointed, and most of all the disillusioned. They got there because they had nothing in the tank so to speak.
What I mean by that is so many are trying to do something they have not necessarily been created for. Even Jesus recognized that he would divide up his body and make it five pieces– apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher for the perfecting of the saints. What if you were not created for this? No wonder you are empty! You never had it to give!
So who do we think we are when we say that we are going to do all these things? We use a scripture to justify our efforts but when it works we claim “no faith” and drop out. Philippians 4:13 NLT For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” Folks-Paul was in prison and he did not get out. What I believe he is saying was this. I can do life with Jesus! I can trust in Christ (and the benefits of his life, death and resurrection) even when I can’t achieve a personal goal. I can fail to achieve my goals and still trust my Savior’s love.” What? You may claim that heretical. Or giving people an out. I am giving them an out. An opportunity to cease from striving and enjoy the wonderfulness and rest of God.
If it is not in you or you have not been created to do something because you were created to do something else, can I just say YAY!
The other leading cause of discouragement I see comes from the emptiness one feels when there is simply nothing in the tank, because you ran out! There is no point in trying to squeeze the pot! Too often it occurs when we have allowed others to drain us. We have allowed others to remove our “life” and the end result is we have nothing in the tank. One of my spiritual dad’s often said “never minister out of the emptiness but only minister from the overflow.”
So as I look at what’s happening in the body of Christ, we are called to call in those that have been disenfranchised, disappointed and disillusioned and not give them something “to do” but to create for them the very “franchise” of goodness, grace and community and not of necessity but of belonging.
As Jackson Brown said in Running On Empty:
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on
Running on-running on empty
Running on-running blind
Running on-running into the sun
But I’m running behind
My friend Mark wrote this today. “The assignment of disillusionment is 2 disconnect your destiny from divine connections. U can’t see your destiny w/out divine connections”
Please Mr. Custer-I don’t want to die! (Verne Larry) Let’s not battle what is not our battle or as my friend Mark says, “Stay I your lane!”