Archive for April 22nd, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

some people are sacrificing their own happiness to try to keep everyone around them happy;  they’ve gotta stop by a friend’s house to say hello, if not they may get upset, they’ve gotta work late every night, if not, the boss may be unhappy.  if they don’t meet all these demands, rescue this person, keep this person fixed, solve this person’s problem, then they’ll fall out of somebody’s good grace, somebody won’t understand.  but God did not call you to keep everyone happy;  it’s good to be loving, kind, generous, but you are not responsible for other people’s happiness, you are responsible to keep yourself happy.  “if I don’t loan them the $, bail them out again for the 12th time, they may get upset with me.”  maybe it’s time for them to be unhappy instead of you to be unhappy.  if they get upset, they’re not friends, they’re manipulators.  your time is too valuable to go through life letting people control you, make you feel guilty if you don’t come running every time they call.  the easy thing is to just give in, bail them out, don’t make any waves, but as long as you rescue them, and you’re there to keep them fixed, cheered up, you’re not really helping them, you’re becoming a crutch, enabling their dysfunction.

the only way they’re really going to get free is for you to not meet all their needs, not come running every time they have an “emergency”;  you’ve gotta put your foot down and say, “I love you, but I’m not going to let you control me, jump every time you call, feel guilty if I don’t meet all of your demands.”  if somebody is controlling you, it’s not their fault, it’s your fault;  you have to set some boundaries.  quit allowing them to call you all hours of the day and night and dump their problems on you;  that’s why we have voice mail.  quit catering to them every time they throw a fit;  ignore it.  quit loaning them $ every time they make poor choices.  don’t take on that false sense of responsibility;  you are not the savior of the world, we already have a savior.  you’re not supposed to keep everyone happy, fixed;  if you take on that job, the one person who will not be happy is you.  a lot of times, we do things out of guilt;  “I should help them, I feel like if I don’t I’m gonna feel bad about it,” but if that person is not taking responsibility, you’re not really helping them, you’re hurting them.  they’re not having to deal with the real issues.

some people are always having a crisis, always in need;  it’s good to help them once, twice, a dozen times, certainly be kind, show mercy, but 5 years later, they’re still having those regular emergencies, counting on you to come running.  if you keep giving in, it’s just like they have you as a puppet;  they know if they pull this string you’ll feel guilty, pull this string, you’ll come bail them out.  cut the strings;  no more puppets, letting them make you feel guilty, come running.  “if I do that they may not be my friend anymore”;  there’s your answer, God may have just closed that door for you.  if they get upset because you don’t meet every demand, they give you the cold shoulder because you don’t call on cue, they’re not really a friend, they’re a controller.  the sooner you break free, the better off you’re going to be.  it’s like with a toddler;  if every time they throw a fit you come running, give them what they want, they’ll continue to do that.  they know what they have to do to get their way.  but if you let them throw that fit a dozen times, and even though they’re hollering and screaming you ignore it and go about your day, enjoy your life, before long they’ll realize throwing a fit doesn’t do any good and they’ll have to change.  it’s the same principle in adults;  as long as somebody can pressure you into doing what they want, they will continue to do it.

but when you don’t respond to their fits, you don’t let their guilt cause you to give in, you don’t come running every time they have a need, that will force them to look inside and deal with the real issues.  don’t take on that false sense of responsibility;  God did not call you to be unhappy in order to keep somebody else happy.  there may be seasons where we make sacrifices, we have to put up with some things to help a friend get well, a loved one overcome, but you cannot let a season turn into a lifetime where you are sacrificing your happiness, not pursuing your dreams, putting your life on hold, to try to keep somebody else happy.  life is too short to go through it letting people control you who will not make good decisions for themselves.  there’s a fine line here, but you are not responsible for your spouse’s, children’s, friends’ happiness.  you can’t make people do what’s right;  no matter how hard you pray, try, you can’t make a family member serve God, a friend stay out of trouble.  when we love people, it’s very easy to take on that responsibility, spend all our time and energy thinking we gotta get them fixed.  the problem is, some people don’t wanna be fixed;  you gotta turn those people over to the Lord.

quit being frustrated because they won’t do what’s right;  that’s what it means to become co-dependent.  somebody has a problem, they won’t make good choices, and you make the mistake of letting their problem become yours.  if you’re putting off your happiness until they change, you may be unhappy for a long time.  why don’t you let that person off of your potter’s wheel?  you are not the potter, God is.  God knows how to get people to change;  your job is to love them, pray for them, help them when you can, but don’t take responsiblity for their poor choices.  sometimes, the best thing is to not rescue them, don’t keep enabling that dysfunction.  the prodigal son took his inheritance, wasted all the $ with wild living, making poor choices; he ended up in the hog pen, no $, so desperate that he was eating hog food to survive.  the father didn’t go rescue him, bail him out, he just left him there;  the father went about his business, pursuing his goals.  eventually:

Luke 15:17 (KJV)

17 And when he came to himself

the young man came to himself, came to his senses, and realized, “I’m making poor choices, I gotta get back on the right track.”  he went home and got his life straightened out. I’m all for helping people, saving them whenever we can from heartache and pain, but some people you can help them 100 times, and when they leave every time they’ll go right back to the mess they were in.  the only way they’re really going to get free is to come to a place where nobody’s bailing them out, paying their bills, acting as a crutch. then, at some point they’re gonna come to themselves, realize, “I’ve gotta take responsiblity for my life, rise up and become who God’s created me to be.”  some of you are doing too much for other people, and not enough for yourselves.  you’re so good-hearted, kind, you’re sacrificing your happiness to keep everyone around you happy.  your first priority is to keep yourself happy.  you need to evaluate your relationships;  if you’re dong all the giving, and very little receiving, something is out of balance. if you have to keep that person cheered up 24 hours a day, something is wrong.  you should be able to tell your friend, “no, I’m not going to be able to go,” and them not try to make you feel guilty.

if they do, they try to give you the cold shoulder, get upset, they’re not a friend, they’re a  controller.  don’t go the next 20 years trying to meet all their demands;  the best thing you can do is cut the puppet strings.  they’re not really interested in you, they’re interested in what you can do for them. you don’t have time to play games, get distracted, entangled, trying to keep everybody around you happy;  you have a destiny to fulfill. be bold, and take control of your own life.  if you allow it, people will run your life, tell you what to do, where to go, how to dress, spend your $.  it’s good to get free from addictions, debt, but one of the greatest freedoms is to get free from people.  quit letting people pressure you into becoming something that you’re not.  quit living on eggshells thinking you’re gonna fall out of their favor;  if you don’t perform perfectly, call them on cue, come running every time they ask, they may get upset;  let them be upset.  if you spend your life trying to please everyone, letting people control you, you may make them happy, but you will miss your destiny.  I’d rather please God and have a few people upset with me then to please people and have God upset with me.

you need to be especially be careful of high-maintenance people.  you can never do enough for them.  no matter how much you do, they expect more.  you’ve gotta be available 24/7, run their errands, compliment them, keep them cheered up;  if not, they get their feelings hurt, they try to make you feel guilty.  don’t go year after year playing up to people like that.  they are impossible to keep happy.  if you do that, all that’s going to do is end up frustrating you.  there will be people who lift you, brighten your day, make you feel better about yourself, when you leave you got a spring in your step;  they’re lifters.  there are people who will thrust you, motivate you, inspire you, challenge you to move forward and accomplish your dreams;  they are thrusters.  then there are people who are a weight;  they pull you down, when you leave you feel heavier, discouraged, negative, worse than you were before.  there are people who are a drag;  they’ve always got a sad story, flat tire, dishwasher broke, they’re always in the pits, and they expect you to cheer them up, solve their problems, carry their heavy load.  we all encounter people from these 4 groups;  make sure you’re spending the majority of your time with lifters and thrusters.  if you’re only hanging out with weights, drags, they will keep you from becoming all God’s created you to be.

some people have a perpetual problem, always got a sad story, and if you allow it, they will use you as a trash can to dump all their garbage.  you spend an hour with them, feel like you just ran a marathon.  they’re energy suckers;  you leave drained and worn out.  you cannot continue to put that in day after day and expect to reach your highest potential. you will not liftoff, be thrust into the amazing future God has in store, if you’re weighted down, letting people dump their problems on you, make you discouraged, taking all your energy, thinking that you have to spend your time keeping them fixed, encouraged.  it’s hard enough to keep yourself encouraged;  don’t take responsibility for their happiness.  there are times that we need to sow a seed, be a listening ear, help love somebody back into wholeness, but that should be for a season, not an ongoing drama, to where every day somebody calls you and tells how bad her husband’s treatin’ her, how the neighbor didn’t do her right, they’re in the pits, now they’re expecting you to work your magic.  you got enough drama in your own life without listening to everybody else’s drama.  you cannot put that negativity in and expect to soar like God wants you to.

some of you, if you don’t make an adjustment in this area and not spend so much time with the weights and drags, it’ll keep you from God’s best. what if they get their feelings hurt?  what if you miss your destiny?  what if they get upset?  what if you don’t accomplish your God-given dreams?  pay attention to who you’re spending time with;  are they lifters, thrusters, do they motivate, inspire, challenge you, leave you better than you were before, or is it just the opposite, they drag you down?  you may have to make a change:  in where you do business, where you work out, in whose phone calls you take. don’t let that negativity go into you day after day, you need to be around other thrusters, lifters, people that motivate, inspire.  that’s why so many people are drawn to our ministry;  there are enough weights, drags, I’m gonna push you forward if you get around me.  some of you work around people who are a weight, or go to school with people that are a drag;  you don’t have a choice, you have to be there.  before you go to work, school, you gotta get prayed up, praised up, encouraged, set your mind that it’s gonna be a great day.

you cannot go into that negative environment in neutral, you gotta get already filled up, encouraged.  don’t let your guard down, stressed out because of the traffic, worried about your deadline, listening to the news;  if you’re not on the offensive, the weights and drags will pull you down.  on the way to work, put on some praise music, get your spirit person built up, have a grateful attitude, start thanking God for what He’s done.  or put on a good teaching cd, something that inspires, motivates you.  then, start talking to yourself the right way;  “this is gonna be a great day, I have the favor of God, I am strong in the Lord, something good is gonna happen to me today.”  that’s how you stay strong, and not let the weights and drags pull you down;  you gotta build up that resistance.  what happens if you live with the weight, are married to a drag?  you’ve gotta do the same thing, take extra doses of praise, encouragement, inspiration, stay filled up.  while God is in the process of changing that person, don’t let them steal your joy.  some people don’t wanna be happy, they like living in the pits.  you’ve gotta have the attitude, “if you don’t wanna be happy, that’s fine, but you’re not gonna keep me from being happy.  if you wanna live in the pits, that’s your choice, but I’m not getting in the pits with you.”

take responsibility for your own happiness, don’t let those issues sour your own life,  pray for them, be respectful, but don’t become co-dependent, where you let their problem become your problem and you miss your destiny.  it’s time to break free.  is there something keeping you from being happy?  are you allowing somebody to control you, make you feel guilty ’cause you don’t meet all their demands? why don’t you cut the puppet strings, set some boundaries?  don’t miss your destiny trying to keep everyone happy, fixed. God did not call you to be unhappy to keep somebody else happy.  make sure you have plenty of thrusters and lifters in your life. if you’ll learn this principle of taking control of your own happiness, this is going to be a new day, bondages that have held you back for years are being broken right now, you’re gonna step into a new sense of freedom, joy, greater happiness.  you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

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