LET IT GO!

The world teaches to let insult and injury go – to just not think about it. The Christians say the same thing! This shocks me. This is not what scripture teaches.

“Friendship with the world is enmity with God.”

God’s way is the way of substitution. He made us, he created us and he knows that we are a vessel and if we choose to not THINK about a thing (this is like an ostrich putting its head in the ground) does not mean it is not there. The thing is still there. God will not say to you “let it go” he will say to you “give it away!”

Or to put it in maybe a more understandable way he says “clean it up!” When they injure you or insult you they have just vomited on you. If you apply the “just let it go” it would be to then walk around with vomit on your shirt. Just let it go sounds good but practically it is advice to ignore it. Would you ignore vomit on your shirt? Or would you clean it up?

I have seen people over and over THINK that they had let it go only to discover something in them when a crisis would come.

God gives us two ways to give it away and or to clean it up. We can give the shirt to him to clean and deal with or we can give the shirt to the offender to deal with. He prefers that whenever possible we give the shirt to the person so that they learn to clean up messes and thus are motivated to learn to stop making messes (in this way we are being his body [hands and feet]). When this is not possible he will take the shirt from us and deal with. His way is the way of substitution we are vessels and need to be filled.

Giving it to God could be a rude driver or a stranger, we simply tell God that we don’t know what is motivating this man please deal with it and or tell us how to deal with it.

To others we need to not return evil for evil, to not return reviling for reviling (insult). If someone says you’re a pathetic idiot, you can simply say “that is not a friendly thing to say” and thus you have given it back to them (away).

Jesus told us to turn the other cheek and most think that means to endure insult and injury. Its best to see someone DO what they were saying to help us understand what was meant. Jesus was hit in the cheek and he did not hit the man back and he did not ignore the injury and he did not offer the other side of his face. NO! He exhorted the man. “If I did something wrong talk to me about it, but hitting me is never right for you to do?” He took the “vomit” and handed it back to the man to deal with!

It is often the little paper cuts that gets to us:

In situations of marriage, roommates, and friends they do little things that bother us. Like not doing their part of an agreement. Lets say leaving food out and it rots. We may think we are being mature and following the advice of letting it go and so we put the food away. We may even never explode over this. But this is probably because we are not willing to lose them as a friend, roommate or spouse. Not because we ARE mature but because we have a fear that overrules this irritation. But to those who try to just let it go one day they just can’t take it anymore and they end up telling the person in a horrible way. Had they given it away right away it would not come out in a bad way.

(they thought it wrong to say something but oddly never thought it wrong to explode over it)

It’s simple.

Friend could you do me a favor? Could you put the food away sooner?

Oddly you may find resistance for such a minor reasonable request. Not such a little thing any more when they begin to resist. It may seem to become a fight and then we start to think “oh no I should have just let it go – look at what I have caused” but this judgment of ours is wrong. If you cannot agree you cannot live together. Seems harsh? But it’s reality.

“two cannot walk together if they do not agree”

Why settle for a false peace when you can have a true peace.

I had this with my wife. She would leave the food out as her habit. I would put it away and at times when it felt heavy because it was often I would reason that I am helping her out its no big deal for me to help out (my fear of losing her was overruling). God spoke to me one day that I am not helping her or myself I am enabling. So I asked him what to do. He said to ask her to put the things away and I did. She resisted. Telling me I can help out more why can’t I put them away? Well I am not always home and when you leave the mayonnaise and meat out for hours it rots and we are risking our health. She got very angry and began to accuse me, making it all my fault – making me begin to regret trying to help her, making me regret having obeyed God and even questioning “did I hear God? If so then why is it now a fight? Why would God cause a fight?”

This will be hard for some to hear but it was a fight because this was a selfish habit my wife did not want to give up. She had all kinds of excuses and accusations so that she did not have to put the things away.

So I asked God now what? He told me that I have told her twice to not tell her anymore, that since she does not agree that maybe she is correct and my request is unreasonable to offer to discuss it with her with one of our friends to help me understand my unreasonableness

She refused saying “wont you be embarrassed when they hear what you are doing?” I couldn’t believe this cunning , conning’, manipulation. Me? The truth was she knew she was wrong and did not want to lose or be exposed.

So God now what? He said to separate. How? Love but no fellowship Don’t leave but live in the corner of the roof.

My wife wanted this over with she kept trying to argue with me and God told me that I will lose my calm if I engage. She would not leave me alone pestering and pestering me.

God what do I do? He said leave. Go for a walk, tell her either she agrees to your terms or she agrees to have a friend involved so that you can understand your terms are unreasonable. If she insists on talking each time go for a walk. So I told her and as I went to walk out the door she said “this is extortion!” I was shocked. I am leaving so that I don’t get angry so that I don’t sin in anger, I am doing this as a sacrifice to love her and I am now told by her that it is evil – a great evil!

So I left and before I closed the door she said “ok I will not bring it up” and so I walked back in . A bit latter I said “didn’t you want to go shopping?” So we went and as we drove I discussed the shopping list and I could see perplexion on her face that I do not hold a grudge (a grudge justifies/excuses them) and so she broke down and admitted that she had been mean and unreasonable and realizes that I was helping her.

A habit is just like giving up a drug. There is withdrawal. An ideal that needs to be given up too is just like dealing with a drug addiction. Especially someone who is not use to giving up their own selfish way (taking up their cross).

Father then told me “confess your sins one to anther so that you may be healed” so I told my wife that I accept her confession but I need an action to prove her words. I need her to call that friend and tell them what you put me through and to ask them to pray for you. I could see terror and horror in her face. I told her this seems hard to do but you will be so glad you did and the friend will be overjoyed that you did as well, that until you do we are still separated. She did and she can tell you what a joy it was to have done so. And since this one time we have never in the last four years ever had such a fight.

Give it away and clean it up mean to deal with it. Help them deal with it. And yes even over such a seemingly petty thing you need to be willing to lose them for this lays a foundation for later important crisis matters.

Due to this we are closer and more open and honest with each other we help each other crucify our flesh daily.

Are you a disciple of Jesus? Do you think this is petty? Your teacher said “If you are unfaithful in the few (petty) you WILL BE unfaithful in the many.” Let us lean not on our own understand but on HIS. This will lay a foundation for you to deal with the big issues. Dealing with the few in people will prevent the many in those people. A fireman knows he needs to have the same zeal for a spark that he needs for the forest fire.

Never let it go. Give it away – clean it up!

The worlds advice is innocent, but it lacks wisdom and knowledge.

“better to live on the corner of a roof than in the house with a contentious woman”

Punishment vs mercy

What is wrong with punishment? It teaches people to cover up (conceal) their mistakes.

What is right about punishment? Unrestrained they will do it again.

When to punish and when not too? Punishment is for those who refuse to do the right thing. Punishment should be used to teach them to own up to their mistakes and in this way it is no longer punishment but simply consequence.

Application:

If a child makes a mistake and we simply punish the kid, we have more than likely taught them that they need to try harder to not get caught.

But if caught we confront them, we tell them that we do not wish to punish them and if they come clean and make amends then we will not punish them. This is mercy and teaches them to come to us with their mistakes BEFORE they are discovered.

Consequences cannot be avoided and can be mistaken for punishment.

For instance making amends can seem like punishment because it may be humiliating to them but it actually will teach them humility!

If my son steals and I did not know I say “son did you steal that? If you tell me the truth I will not punish you but you will need to go and confess to the victim and offer to pay them back” In this way he may want to avoid being exposed and confession be he TOO wants to avoid punishment. But if I punish him and force him to make amends he has no desire to ever come clean.

If he does not do the right thing what would I do?

I would tell him he is grounded until he does the right thing. Of course I need to be sure that he did do it! So he can be in his room one minute or for weeks (unlimited) until he does the right thing. Maybe not the next time, but eventually he will come clean sooner knowing that it is in his best interest and that his father has nothing but mercy to offer. And then eventually he will NEVER steal again!!!

If he does steal, one time he will come to confess it to me and ask me to help him fix it, because he knows that nothing but mercy is given by his father.

So in this way sending him to his room is not a punishment but a consequence for not choosing to do the right thing. And coming clean too is not a punishment, but a consequence that teaches him an opposite action in order to create and opposite character/habit.

In this way – the way of mercy – we NEVER punish, but this does not mean we are enablers. We do provide accountability and this way is TRUE reform!

Hitting people to teach them not to hit – is just a silly contradiction.

Lets say a man in our church community committed murder. His coming clean will cause him to receive punishment from the state – will it not? In fact we cannot send him to his room but we are not to eat with him. So too it is our civic duty (so that we are not complicit) to tell him that if he does not come clean to the state we will need to inform the state. This is the moment where loving your brother as yourself is the moment you might give your life for your brother for now he as the option that if he kills you he wont be found out. And of this type of love there is NO greater!!!

I know of a case where a man came clean to a judge – he had assaulted (accidentally) a police officer. This judge thought it strange that he would not plead innocent because the way the “game” is played if you plead guilty you get the greatest sentence but if you plead innocent you can plead out to lesser punishment in order to avoid costly court fees and time. In this way the state is evil, it encourages you to deny and lie. A man in the community stood up and asked to speak with the judge. After hearing the community man tell how this man has changed his life, the judge ruled him forgiven!

If we give ourselves to the mercy of God and don’t play their game, God intervenes and if we serve time for something we didn’t do this too God allowed!!!

We were bought with a price and our lives are no longer our own!

Give mercy but don’t throw accountability out the window. As my mother use to say “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Unfortunately for her – these words did not have meaning for her actions did not back them up.

Perhaps you still don’t see a difference between consequence and punishment. Did you know that a traffic ticket is NOT a punishment. Think about it if you get in an accident and you are injured is that a punishment or a consequence? It is a consequence and the state as a parent is giving you an alternative consequence to injury in an attempt to avoid the pain of an injurious consequence that could be even as bad as death.

Brian

MEDIATION

A qualification of an elder is that he rules his house well.

When kids have disputes it is the parents role to teach them good character and conflict resolution.

When asked for help it is best to at first be a witness. That is to discover the point of view from both sides. I have seen parents make this mistake: two siblings would accuse another one and this particular father would then punish his son not EVER having heard his side. I tried to speak up at the moment – and he scolded me telling me it is between him and his son – He had wrongly punished him because the siblings did not give their witness but their judgment. I saw as the older son’s countenance fell into depression because he knows that he lives in an unfair home, as his father refused to allow him to explain himself.

The father had falsely accused me saying it was none of my business, I did not say anything in front of his son. He is an elder and needs to rule his house well, I was attempting to love him and he was attempting to shut me up. Not only this, but my kids would visit his children and if he is not fair with his children then it is safe to assume he will not be fair with mine.

Later this man did the same thing to me. He condemned me without hearing from me. (Therefore if he does it to his kids he will do it to you! Another reason to have tried to help him with maturity) I pointed out that he had not asked my view and he replied that he did not need too, quoting scripture that he had two witnesses. I suggested he consider John 7:51 and Proverbs 18:3, he then got angry, so I suggested Proverbs 12:1. Clearly he is an unteachable, arrogant – close minded man. We are not supposed to be like this in the body of Christ. We are to have contrite hearts, hearts that are use to daily being circumcised.

Witnesses can be wrong. They may have not seen all angles. Once a high school teacher tried to help a prostitute – she had been a prior student of his. A current student saw him motion the prostitute over to his car. This current student did not witness to what she saw but witnessed to what she JUDGED! “I saw Mr. X with a prostitute! He is such a hypocrite” No! 99% of the time her assumption probably would be correct. But just like the student we fail to give ourselves the gift of being 1% wrong – open minded (we are not omniscient). Before telling others we would do well to go and ask the person – to investigate before we judge. The truth was the teacher was trying to help the prostitute get out of her life style trap. And this observing student made things worse and more difficult with her rash judgment. Judging superficially is our mistake! (The teacher could have sued in order to clear his name [suing is not always for monetary reason one can simply ask for a judgment and no monetary compensation]).

Kids have the wonderful thing of having parents to mediate between them. As I watch sitcoms I see conflict resolution in almost every episode. These situations we watch in sitcoms are handled properly, but in real life they are not done. I tell my wife “if they didn’t write this into the story there would be no characters left for a NEXT episode”.

So I cried out to God “Why is it kids have a solution and adults do not?” And he answered.

Please bear with me as it is difficult to explain.

Good parenting teaches kids that it is in their best interest to have good character, by making repentance the path of least resistance. To accomplish this goal I do not punish my kids, because punishment is an eye for an eye. If I were to hit my kid for having hit someone else I would be confusing him by telling him that it is wrong to hit WHILE hitting him! (You could read my note on punishment vs mercy http://on.fb.me/1HrxY2Q ). Instead I encourage them to come clean and so there is only consequence to deal with. When I was a kid I got spanked and or both spanked and grounded, whether I came clean or not – what incentive did I have to come clean? Rather it taught me to conceal things and not get caught.

I NEVER spank.

So what do I do? Well like the idiom: “You can lead a horse to water but you CANNOT MAKE HIM DRINK!!! But my grandfather would say “no but you can give him a powerful thirst!” I give them a thirst to do the right thing.

If my kid comes clean I have him make a commitment to try and not do it again. I ask him to apologize so that he is practicing the new commitment. If he stole I have him pay it back so that he is practicing good character which catapults him faster to the new habits and character. He may see it as punishment but it isn’t – it is what he would want if someone stole from him! He is practicing the good character of doing to others what you want others to do to you.

If he does not come clean and it is PROVEN to be true I put him in quarantine. It looks like being grounded but the length is up to him. I even tell them “you have the key – there is no need for you to be even one second here”. I feed him, love him, care for him, help him with his homework, etc. but he is in isolation UNTIL he comes clean and makes amends. (usually in his room or if out in public I have them stand in a corner, or tell them that when we get home they are to sit on their bed until they change their mind)

This way is much more work initially, but this early greater work pays off in dividends in that it eliminates almost all work later. (My 12 and 14 year old not only do we almost never need to intervene they teach and guide the younger two, having reduced out work load greatly)

Although getting spanked did keep me from doing more things, it did not change my character, it merely taught that the one with the most strength gets his own way. It was to put evil on a leash rather then to put evil to death.

In like manor God has given his disciples a mother. Only most of them are bad mothers and don’t know that they ARE mothers. This mother is given to train them, to put them in isolation if need be.

If a mother does not train her child we call her a bad mother. We say she is spoiling the child. It says in scripture “spare the rod (accountability) spoil the child.” We might even say such a person is raising brats! If a kid is a brat the reality is it IS not their fault but their parents!!!

So what is Gods provision for a mother?

If your brother has done an offense – go speak with him. Your goal is to help him have good character and you should go with the idea that there is at the least a 1% chance you got it wrong. If he stole, cheated, or was rude to you – you are not seeking vengeance or punishment, if you are feeling hurt then you need to get your heart right before you go. This is what it means to have your eye clean. In the same way I teach my kids to first inform their sibling that what they are doing is wrong. If they will not listen to them then they are to ask Mom and Dad for help, If Mom and Dad is not available to separate from them until they are (if ever. Better to separate than to escalate). In the same way God asks us to get one or two witnesses.

This is what Christians miss – namely that when two or three are gathered they are NOW a mother! (The body of Christ, the bride of Christ). Now in this case when you ask for two witnesses to come with you to confront someone of what they are doing wrong you may still be the one having perceived it wrong – but after this meeting if it is indeed that your brother or sister is an offender then the matter becomes established.

Suppose your brother did you wrong and you started telling others. What if you got it wrong? What if you got it right but could not prove it? You are slandering and open to a law suit. But if you had one or two witnesses it is established and if he were to retaliate you would be protected. (I have seen even pastors do this – retaliate with a law suit) Since you have witnesses you can prove it and so you are protected.

But what is the authority of the church as a mother? The same as how I deal with my kids. Scripture says don’t eat with, keep company with, and even avoid them until they come clean. You have proven them to be unrepentant, a false spiritual brother.

If you came to visit and wished to see my son and I informed you that he was in time out you would respect that we are loving him with training. Though if you are close to him and I trusted you I might allow you to visit him in his time out asking you to beg him to come clean, to say to him “but I wish to visit with you. Don’t come clean for you – do it for me!”

In like manner we can visit them, pay their bills, etc. But we cannot accept their gifts. Jesus said if you are at the altar to give a gift and there remember you did your brother wrong FIRST go to your brother and be reconciled. So we as the temple of the Holy Spirit individually and his body corporately being priests administering to the altars within us and among us CANNOT in good conscience allow him to give a gift at the alter – lest we share in his sin! Just as God rejected Cain’s offering we must reject theirs. And as I have experienced adverse reactions it shows that they were using these gifts to numb their conscience* – to their conscience it was a bribe, a way to justify their delusion. (much like a pedophile who feels guilty and so deals with his guilt by showering the kid with gifts. This accomplishes two evil things: 1 They would think “look I am not so bad, they like me” (having accepted the gifts) 2. The kid may not speak up because they LIKE the gifts and do not want them to stop.

I have seen adults who were quarantined repent in a few hours. More often though it took a whole day, a few weeks, and even years – yes years later they came and made amends to me personally! I have read about communities in history that even after 30 years they came back and reconciled.

The body of Christ is confused. They have somehow associated mercy to mean NO accountability. My own biological mother told me I was wrong. But then my brother sold her tablet to buy drugs and she called the cops. I asked her “so you can give accountability without mercy, but I cannot give accountability with mercy? You see Jeanne, I would have given him a chance to retrieve the stolen items, I would have brought one other and if he refused this then at the Lords leading called the cops. I think you did this in anger out of vengeance. I think you are a hypocrite trying to put a burden on me that you yourself cannot bear!” She exclaimed it is not the same thing! (denial with no rational reasoning just plain pure rejection – THE FLESH!) I said “you are blind, naked, and miserable”.

It is not just confusion. As we all know kids can throw tantrums when they don’t get their own way. An adult tantrum is dangerous because they could kill you! They cannot bear this, and then there is fear: What if it is unloving? Don’t speak against the pastor! I would be dishonoring my mother and father! Its not my job! Judge not! It’s between him and God! Etc. are the lies the enemy uses to paralyze us. It’s as if a child was too afraid to ever try and walk. Trying and failing ARE part of the process and unless you try not only will you NEVER walk you will NEVER UNDERSTAND walking!!!

He is calling forth his messengers to begin the harvest, he first wants to throw the chaff in the fire and then to gather his wheat!

“Come out of her my people lest you share in her sins” is to be read this way “She is an unfit mother, abandon this home lest you perpetuate the cycle”. For judgment begins in the houses of God!”

Brian Willess

* we are to heap burning coals upon their head. Accepting their gifts is pouring cool water upon their heads. To the mature he knows that not accepting the gift IS the act of kindness. If you disagree then do you realize that you are saying God is unkind when he rejected Cain’s gift? If you say it makes them worse then you are saying it was Gods fault that Cain killed Able because had he accepted his gift Able would not have been killed? Be careful in your own wisdom – are you blaspheming God?