Shine Like Stars In This Dark World
It has been a while since I posted anything to our blog, but something hit me today that I wanted to share.
Most people, including me, tend to live by emotions and opinions. We tend to hold to those as truth in our lives. That’s why we sometimes hear, “That’s ok for you, but it doesn’t work for me.” I’m not talking about the latest diet craze, or anything like that. I am talking about how emotions, and especially opinions drive how we look at the world, how we look at relationships, how we even look at our marriages. My friends, emotions and opinions will fail us especially when we hold onto them as fact. My online dictionary defined opinion as “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” Webster’s definition of opinion is “belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge.” In essence, our opinions are based in strong emotions about something we are passionate about.
Here is the problem with allowing emotions or opinion to take over our thoughts. When our opinions are not the same as someone else’s we can be quick to allow frustration to grow in us towards that person. That frustration leads to anger. That anger leads to bitterness. That bitterness corrupts relationships. It doesn’t matter if that relationship is a co-worker, friend, family, or spouse. When we see that person, we feel that anger rise again.
This is becoming a real problem in this dark world in which we live. When our comfort zones are threatened. When the world seems like it’s going all wrong, we can be quick to allow our emotions and opinions grow even stronger. Pretty soon, it’s likely our bitterness towards government or work conditions will bleed over into every area of our lives. We can easily find ourselves living with a consistent feeling of anger, unrest, or injustice. It grows and grows until everything that is not how we think it should be is wrong, including our spouse. If you have ever been to one of our Unified Couples Getaways, you learned that our spouse is different from us. Oh no! This is a recipe for disaster.
We can make a different choice. Do we live by our emotions and opinions, or do we live by the Word of God? If reading or listening to the Bible is not part of daily life, we are opening ourselves up to being so disappointed, frustrated, and bitter with life that it will begin to affect every relationship. Not to worry, though, God has made a way for us to live differently. This way is found all through the Bible, but this morning I found myself in Philippians 2:12-18. This is one of my favorite passages, for sure!
This is taken from my NIV Application Study Bible, and it says,
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the world of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
This passage comes right after Paul explains, in detail, how Jesus suffered that we might be saved. Paul was no stranger to suffering either, yet he encourages us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling because God is working in us for something so much better than we can imagine. Because of this, we should do everything without complaining or arguing…not so we can have our way or so our opinion is heard, but so that we could shine like stars in the universe.
My friends, choose to set aside the tendency to hold to your emotions and opinions, so you can take up the life God wants for you and the kind of relationships God wants for you, so that in them you can shine like stars in the universe and point to our Lord. Let’s get the attention off us and point it where the attention needs to be. This is so true in our marriages. How much better, fuller, more fulfilling would your marriage be if your opinions were set aside so that you could concentrate on growing in the Lord (working out your salvation) and shining the Lord to your spouse. I guarantee it would make a colossal difference in your marriage. I know because I was confronted with this very thing several years ago. Mind you, I must choose every day to walk His path instead of mine so that I can point others to Christ, but it is worth it!
Much love to you all,