This quote comes from French author Andre Gide and serves as a reminder that getting angry and inciting an argument can often be the worst way to resolve a problem.
It’s often tempting to resort to anger, and we often feel like venting will make things better, but it won’t. Venting frustrations generally makes your anger worse, so bringing that anger into a conflict isn’t going to help matters at all. Even if you feel like your anger is deserved and you want to use it to make a point, it’s almost always better to calm down and approach the situation judiciously. If you think a conversation may lead to a quarrel, step aside and give yourself time to cool off. Few situations are better served by losing your level head.
Don’t be afraid to be real, to be raw. We’re all human. We don’t have it together, regardless how hard we try to give off the impression that we do. Dare to stare at doubt, fear, failure and risk and say - you have no power over me. Then have the faith to carry on. Here’s a great example:
I am the CEO of Svpply, Inc., a social shopping S-Corp operating out of New York City. My company has been the recipient of over half-a-million in investor dollars, for the stated purpose of building an unknown, 3,000-member web service into a cultural phenomenon, and I truly have very little…
The more you make less of you, the more He makes much of you
Since July 2010, God’s been showing me that if I want to truly represent Him, through a display of love, or joy, or any other characteristic, it has to first be something He has placed in me. You see, I tend to think I can do it on my own. Sure, I depend on God when I NEED Him, but do I behave as though everything I say and do comes from Him? Now that’s tough! But that’s also the beautiful thing about it.
If you are going to represent Him, then you need to be of Him, and the only way that’s happening is if He transforms you from what this world has made you, back into what He created you to be. I’ve struggled to put this into words, but last night, God gave me those words (in a particular form).
Although it is short, maybe one day I’ll revisit this and expand upon it. But for now, it’s exactly what I needed. I humbly pray He may use me to reach those way beyond my small reach, using whatever means He sees fit. My rhyme:
If there’s somethin you wanna display,
first turn to the Redeemer and His marvelous way.
Let Him teach you and reach you;
He’ll turn the wickedness of your heart upside down and breach you.
The more you make less of you,
the more He makes much of you.
It’s not about redundancy or an elaborate hoax of autocracy.
You won’t be a part of His light until He’s your only appetite.
He’s not a four course meal, and it ain’t a one night deal.
I want something this world can’t give me.
I see fleeting flashes of masterpieces, but none sustaining.
His future glory is temporarily replaced by my stumbling act of servitude,
something I pray isn’t alway misconstrued.
I so desperately want to be the man of God I know He has made me capable of, but every presented opportunity dashes away into the familiar face of failure.
Inconsistency has become a persistence, see, I take my eyes off the prize and begin to look around and idolize.
Torn, tattered, and bruised, I press on, feeling used.
Unloved, unliked, beaten down, I lay my self-made crown aside.
I’ve got nothing left to give, no fight from within, I no longer yearn for life.
This battle’s reeked havoc, leaving me with nothing but strife.
Motionless, I lay, as the darkness overcomes.
I tried to win it outright, but now, I leave the battle, having lost my sight.
So utterly destroyed, the anguish, I no longer try to avoid.
With my last waning breath, I cry out “Lord save your little boy.”
You see, we’re chasing the wrong glory, ‘cause that one’s empty of a redemption story.
For this very reason, Jesus took the wood, ‘cause only He could.
So next time you ask Him to save you, stop and realize what He already gave you.
Though nothing in this life is free, the price, His Son, said “I’ve already paid.”
And though you’ve already rehearsed,
we’ve got to stop acting like we’re the ones needin’ to be reimbursed.
We can’t take that purse to the hearse and in 3 days resurrect to reverse the curse.
I am in a season of loneliness, wanting to focus on myself - wallowing in self-pity. But when I am confronted with Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” my heart breaks.
Completely and utterly humbled, I ask God to reveal the purpose of this season He has me in. His response is two fold: He is developing me inwardly and He wants me to respond outwardly. From there, I am lead to 1 Corinthians 9:20-23, as Paul writes:
"To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings."
Wow. Talk about swag, Paul had All-Time Swag! Then it hit me hard - God equipped me with loneliness to minister to those that are lonely.
That very night, I met James – a young dude struggling. He just moved to Raleigh from Indy, working at Starbucks, trying to figure out life. James is clinging to Christ while sorting out his mess. He had been praying that he would find a church, but hadn’t found a good one. It just so happens that I’ve been going to an amazing church while here. Bingo, bango, bongo. Community is created around the gospel, and the gospel is carried out through us.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
God did not spare his own son from suffering death on the cross; He allowed it – so that it would be emptied of all its power. Christ was 100% man, 100% God. In light of the fact that HE TOOK YOUR PLACE, and overcame it all, as a human, there is nothing that you will go through that cannot be overcome. There is not a trial that you will encounter that Christ, himself, did not first overcome. There is no storm that he cannot calm, no pain that he did not first bear, no disaster that he did not first die for. Never forget that, as the result of the fall, we were destined for eternal damnation - there is no greater disaster than eternity without God. But he sent his son TO TAKE YOUR PLACE. If you want to be restored, confirmed, strengthened and established, YOU TOO MUST GO THROUGH WHAT HIS SON WENT THROUGH (Philippians 3:7-16)!
Scroll back up to 1 Peter 5: 6-11 and read it again, but this time, read it from the perspective of Christ’s life. What you will quickly notice is that he lived out every single word of those verses! Not only did God restore, confirm and strengthen him, he established him on his throne. And you know what? We are his heirs (Romans 8:9-17, Titus 3:3-7)!You know, I thought I had left all the comforts of home to be trained for work, but what I have come to learn is that I actually left in order to learn how to die: “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:10-12). Don’t read me wrong, I am so far from a completed work. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
We cannot rest once God reveals this to us. We must be very careful to never let our guard down! Satan, the king of this world, twists sin to make it appear great, the “apple of your eye”. Some even resemble blessings from God, in that they will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you for a very brief period. But what you will find, is that as soon as you eat of that apple, you realize how naked and empty and alone you are. It is only through the death and resurrection of Christ that restoration, confirmation, strength and, ultimately, establishment in him can be found.