Friday, April 18, 2014

Mind Buddies

“I wish you would rethink about what you write each week, because we have to live it.” ... my husband said as he leaned over the kitchen sink while I was washing dishes. 

He’s right, at least when it comes to the weekly challenges on Daily Favor. 
I don’t know how your week went, but did you find the spirit of offense was more visible than usual?
There’s something else that became a constant companion to offense this week, can you guess what it was?

Welcome new friends this week from:

Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Serbia, Montenegro, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil, Pakistan, China, Botswana; USA: Delaware, West Virginia, Tennessee, Hawaii, New Jersey (22 cities with Vineland at 45 this week).  Glad to see you all here.
Keep our friends in South Korea in prayer this week as you pray for all the followers of Daily Favor.

If I’ve missed anyone forgive me. Please share this challenge and invite more friends to join us.  

"But he's over the line!"
I have been blessed to have met in person and online some really terrific people over the past seven days. 
They have shared some things they’re experiencing on their Inner Journey, and of course one of those encounters was when I was in the middle of a challenging situation with my husband over a parking space at Walmart. 
My spouse realized we were about to say something that would open a door to offense, so what did we do? We went somewhere else.

From the time we left that store and went to another, some lady took over my voice box, because surely I wouldn't say a thing like this.

Dropping me off at a flower shop, as I stepped out of the car words came out of  my mouth I’ve never spoken in my life … “I’m going to spend your money so you can say what all husbands say about their wives!”  I closed the door and he drove off to a hardware store.  Do you think I was upset?

Fifteen minutes later he was outside the flower shop door waiting for me.  After I got in the car he looked at me and said something like this, “Who were those people?  Sounds like they have offense issues.”  We kissed then laughed and that was the end of the incident.
Do you know what really happened?  My husband expressed his opinion in the parking lot and raised his voice to me in public because he was frustrated.  I was embarrassed and didn’t let it go, even though he apologized to me before he got in the car.  Something else emerged that day besides being offended.

We were on guard the whole weekend until Monday.  A new ingredient was added to the mix and my husband was the one who pointed it out to me.

My Dog’s Better
View the commercial here.
Do you remember the old commercial for Ken-L Ration Dog food where the kids debate over who has the better pet?  It’s a cute advertisement, but the main issue is overlooked.  Pride.

It’s easy for pride to creep into our thinking and actions without us realizing it. 
Actually, I wasn’t sure how it would go over, but I wanted to plant a seed in your minds that would be a good lead to this teaching.  Did it work?  Could you sense an underlying bit of offense in the response?  My writing was under attack, so pride stepped in attempting to counteract the comment.

So many things popped into my head that could have offended me, but thankfully the Holy Spirit kept reminding me not to give into those insecure feelings (which are prideful).

Proverbs 16:18 gives us a clear description of what happens when we give into pride.  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  In other words, something is going down and it is a result of our prideful actions.  
God hates the spirit of pride that exalts itself over Him.  The Amplified Bible says it like this in Proverbs 16:17, giving a definition to what sinful pride is:
 “the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others.” (like satan thinks)

The reference isn’t referring to the pride we feel with family or being honored for an accomplishment. 
This brings me to an example that I asked my husband if I could share with you, which happened to him this week. Remember, he’s taking this journey with all of us as well.  Here’s what he “confessed” to me when he got home from work. 

Freeze Proof?  I don’t think so.
He was hardly in the door when my husband sat on the edge of the couch and made this statement.

“I’ve got a confession to make.  I knew what was happening and did it anyway." 

You can imagine how my thoughts went wild about then as I eagerly listened to what he was about to admit. Giant warning signals and stop lights came into my head not being sure I wanted to hear what he was about to unburden. This is what happened.
The outside freeze proof water hydrant did not live up to its name.  It had been leaking for at least six years despite several people trying to fix it.  If you positioned the handle a certain way, the leak would stop, but only for a short time.  

One man in particular (who is considered the “Mr. Fix-it-all” by some) had worked on it and it still leaked.
My hubby was told that “If Mr. Fix-it-all couldn’t repair the hydrant, I doubt it can be done, but you can give it a try.”  Well, that didn’t go over well with him. 

The challenge had been issued and his pride took over; he had to stop the leak. In less than an hour he repaired the hydrant.  It was just about the same amount of time that he realized how prideful he had been.
What man wants to be made to look small in front of another man?  He told me that his mindset was, “I’ll show them I can fix this.”

That was only part of the problem.  Recognizing pride was on the scene was one thing, but he told me that he knew it and still wanted to prove the other man wrong.  His actions were intentional, because his feelings were hurt.  Once offense is present, it doesn’t take long for pride to join in on the situation.
At the Foot of the Cross … Where forgiveness begins.

Now don’t judge my husband, his actions are no different than some of our own.  Yes, the leak was fixed and I was relieved it wasn’t something else. However, the good thing is that he took this situation to the Lord before sharing it with me, getting back on track in his journey.
Today is Good Friday and a perfect time for us to remember why Jesus died on the cross for us.  He loved us while we were still sinners and is always willing to forgive. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)  It’s where we lay everything at His feet of mercy.

Although we have to meet Christ at the foot of the cross to of repent our sins, we don’t need to stay there.  Jesus rose from the dead and conquered everything we will ever encounter in life including our pride. 
Being able to overcome our sinful nature through Christ is part of the “forget not all His benefits” in Psalm 103 that Jesus provided for those who will faithfully seek and love Him. 

Being forgiven of sin is another way the Lord gives grace, mercy and favor to those who follow after Him (like on this Inner Journey).

This Week’s Challenge:  
De-friend sinful mind buddies.
We’re going to do a reality inspection to see who our mind has been making friends with lately.

Check to see if you are boasting about anything other than the cross (Galatians 6:14 NIV), and if a critical spirit of pride has entered your journey.  (See example list below.)
Make sure your actions are not validating prideful behavior.  Have you said or done something to trigger a prideful response in your words or deeds? 

Don’t let offense get comfortable with pride in your thinking.  You not only want to keep these mind buddies apart, you want them totally gone from your life.

Recognize you’re on a journey of favor in God’s heart as you lay down every burden of pride at the foot of the Cross.

Until next time, remember pride cancels favor.

Recognizing Pride:  De-friend these feelings
- Are you judgmental or critical of others?
- Look down on less educated people?
- Do you judge people by their lifestyle?
- Don't admit when you are wrong?
- Talk too much about yourself?   
- Argue or comment on everything?
- Think you are more spiritual than others?
- Spend too much time on your appearance?
- Seek approval from others and not God?
- Think you are above following rules and regulations?
- Have a hard time giving a compliment to others?
- Poor listener  because you think others are boring?
- Find it difficult to give your testimony or pray in public?

What's New this Week:  Songs of Resurrection & Life

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Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Kitchen sink  Car parked  Ken-L ration Galatians 6:14 NIV