Kinder Abend Gebet
Ich bin klein
Mein Herz macht rein.
Soll niemand drin wohnen
Als Jesus allein.
A Child’s Evening Prayer
I am little.
My heart is clean.
No one is allowed to live in my heart
Except Jesus alone.
“You have to get old. You do not have to grow up.” This quaint quip tells an all-too-common story. If children do not grow physically, we quickly seek medical attention to find out what is wrong. Many people, however, do not grow emotionally and their lack of progress is ignored.
Physical growth is easy to monitor. Adults grow physically and so we can compare the relative growth of a child to an adult and tell if growth is happening or not.
Emotional growth is more difficult to monitor. Many adults are not emotionally healthy. So, it is difficult to determine the emotional health of a young person by comparing them to an adult. In other words, there is no standard by which to measure emotional health since no such standard exists and since adults vary greatly in their levels of emotional health.
Behaviors are the common indication of emotional health. The outward behavior indicates the level of emotional health of the person. Peter Scazzero, in his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality explains several categories of emotional development. Following excerpts are derived from his lists.
- Want others to take care of them
- Have great difficulty entering into the world of other people
- Are driven by need for instant gratification
- Use others to meet their needs
- Content and happy as along as they get what they want
- Unravel quickly from stress, disappointments, trials
- Interpret disagreements as personal offenses
- Are easily hurt
- Complain, withdraw, manipulate, take revenge
- Become sarcastic when they do not get their way
- Do not discuss needs and wants in mature, loving ways
- Tend to be defensive
- Threatened and alarmed by criticism
- Keep score of what they give and ask for something in return
- Deal poorly with conflict, blame, go to a third party, pout, ignore issue
- Preoccupied with themselves
- Do not truly listen to other’s pain or needs
- Critical and judgmental
- Are clear, direct, honest in expression needs and wants
- Recognize, manage and take responsibility for their thoughts and feelings
- Can state their own beliefs and values without becoming adversarial
- Respect others without trying to change them
- Make room for others to make mistakes and not be perfect
- Appreciate people for who they are – not for what they give back
- Accurately assess their own limits, strengths and weaknesses
- Are in tune with their own emotional world
- Are able to enter into the feelings, needs, and concerns of other
- Are able to maintain their personal identity while helping others
- Can resolve conflict maturely and negotiate solutions useful to all
So, you have to get old and you will grow physically. You do not have to grow up emotionally. So very many “grown-up” people are emotional infants and children. They have never grown up emotionally. They are underdeveloped. Many times they had no good role models to follow.
Parents, teachers, church leaders, business people frequently have not developed into emotionally mature people. This means that they can not pass on emotional health to others. Their stilted development produces similar negative traits in those they lead.
This situation seems to have no obvious resolution. Wealthy and powerful people control the society. Never having grown up, they pass on their harmful traits and prevent healthy emotional development in others.
God has and is the only answer. We are called to be His servants. Servants meet the needs of others. Only emotionally healthy Christian adults can truly be servants. Servants think of the needs of others. Servants rejoice in bringing joy to other’s lives. Servants are expendable. Servants are unoffendable. They joy in being used to bless those around them. They are not offended that they are considered servants.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Are you an emotionally healthy person or, do you fit in one of the above unhealthy categories? Chose God today. You can grow up: emotionally and Spiritually. Read the Word of God. Believe it and obey it. Be a servant of God to others. Associate with emotionally and Spiritually mature believers. They are waiting for you. God is waiting for you too.
‘Twas a sheep not a lamb that went astray
In the parable Jesus told.
‘Twas a grown sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And out on the hilltop, and out in the cold,
‘Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought.
Back to the fold and back to the flock,
‘Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.
Now, why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for even to-day?
Because there is danger if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.
The lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Where’er they wander–where’er they go.
If the sheep goes wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.
So still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs to-day.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
The sheep will have to pay!
Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases!
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
And the tongue that speaks proud things,
Who have said,
“With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own;
Who is lord over us?”
“For the oppression of the poor,
For the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
The words of the LORD are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
You shall keep them, O LORD,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
Hurt people hurt people.
Healed people heal people.
It really is just that simple.
You either hurt people or you heal them. Which is it? Which will it be? It will depend on whether you are hurt or whether you are healed. It is just that simple.
Seek healing for your hurts so you can become healed. When you are healed you become a healer.
Some people will resist your attempts to bring healing to them. Sometimes you have to wait for them to become needy enough to want to be healed. Wait. The opportunity may come. When it does, you will be ready.
It is just that simple.
There are many addictions. Approval is one of the most common and most controlling. You are a servant of something or someone. Who or what is it? What is controlling you? Who is your master?
Apostle Paul asks the question this way:
For do I now persuade men, or God?
Or do I seek to please men?
For if I still pleased men,
I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Apparently Paul was once a man-pleaser. Now, however, he is a bond-slave of Christ. No more addiction to the accolades of people, he now seeks to please only God.
Freedom is the coveted feeling and experience of the human creature. Freedom from addiction is a most energizing experience. Freedom from the addiction of pleasing men is the most freeing of all.
Does it matter what people think of you? Really? Do what is right and let the chips fall where they will. When people discover that they cannot control you, they will be frustrated. Frustrated but respectful. They will respect you when they discover that you are not for sale. Your mind and heart are captive to God alone. You are His slave, no longer to slave for anyone else.
Curiously, when you please God you also please others – most of the time. When people discover that God is your master, they know that they can trust you. They know that nothing you do is to please them or other people. They know that your actions are focused on God and you are not controlled by pleasing people. Most people will be pleased with that.
Be careful with addictions. They creep up when you are not looking for them. Being addicted to pleasing people is a tough master. When you are addicted to pleasing people you cannot please God. And, interestingly enough, you cannot please yourself either.
Sing, work, and teach to the Audience-of-One. His approval is all you really need. Please Him and all will be pleased –eventually, at least. His approval is all that really matters. Some day you will stand before Him. On that day you will be pleased to know that you pleased Him and Him alone.
Romans 12 is directed toward the Church and how the Church should live.
Romans 13 is directed toward the Church about how the Church should relate to the civil government.
Romans 12 is replete with the pronoun: “you.”
Romans 13 switches to pronouns like: “he” and “it” and “they.”
Romans 13 deals with respecting and obeying civil authority – those who bear the sword and execute wrath on evil and levy taxes. We are to obey them unless their commands violate Scriptural principles. They are God’s ministers and they provide services for the community.
Acts 5:29 is counsel to believers about all authority. We are not to submit to authority that requires unbiblical behaviors. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Romans 13 goes on to show that God’s law is above the civil law. When we obey God’s law we live above and are an example to the civil system around us.
God has ordained civil authority outside of the perfection of Christ. Civil authority is God’s way of keeping order in an unregenerate society.
Romans 12 is about keeping order in a society of regenerated people.
Romans 13 is about keeping order in a society of unregenerated people.
Romans 12 is about people who are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
Romans 13 is about people who are controlled by the flesh.
When we do not live above the law, the law is there to correct and punish.
When we live the law and love of God, we live above the law of the land.
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore
Love is the fulfillment of the law.
And do this, knowing the time, that
Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for
Now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore
Let us cast off the works of darkness, and
Let us put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly, as in the day,
Not in revelry and drunkenness,
Not in lewdness and lust,
Not in strife and envy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and
Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
(I Peter 2:13-17 and Titus 3:1 are similar passages to Romans 13)