Saturday, June 2, 2012

Behavior Problems


This month we have been reviewing our conduct in light of God’s Word. We continue to realize that God cares about how we act.

That’s right … Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, Sustainer of all life, Sovereign Lord of all was, is and is to come … as if He did not have enough to think about, continually fills His mind with every detail of our lives.

Luke 12:7  "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

God knows the very number of the individual hairs on our head … and for many of us, He is having to recalculate those numbers continually … some people it might take two maybe three angels just to keep those numbers straight. Perhaps that’s one reason why it is so difficult to replace hair loss – the angels on hair assignment are lobbying to keep their overtime to a minimum. The Word says that God also knows every time any bird falls from the sky … God cares enough to be super-involved in those things for which He is responsible, and therefore God cares how we act.

In fact, the whole Bible is a set of instructions on how to act along with testimonies of what happened to other people as a result of how they acted. Jesus said that it could all be summed up in two sentences: Basically,
1.   Treat God better than your do yourself
2.   Treat others as good as you do yourself

Often it is not man’s love of God that comes into question but rather man’s love for, and treatment of, others that causes problems. To get a closer look at this subject, let’s turn to:

1 Thessalonians 4  ESV
9 ¶  Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
10  for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,
11  and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,
12  so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

I love the simple picture verse 11 presents in its attempt to teach us how we ought to love and treat others:

·        Live quietly
o   Orderly and decent living
o   Subordinate to the laws of man
o   Avoiding chaos, tumult, restless dissatisfaction and disorder
o   A Christian should never join with a mob or run to riot or excess (1 Peter 4:4; Titus 1:6; 2 Peter 2:13)

Note: According to Barnes Commentary of the Bible the word rendered “aspire” properly means “consider it a point of honor and a sacred duty” to live quietly and to:

·        Mind your own affairs
o   Don’t be a busybody
o   NKJV – “Mind your own business”
o   So many things in life are just none of our business
·        Work with your hands
o   Do our part
o   Do not be idle
o   If we are blessed to have no need – meet the needs of others

If you are currently living a disorderly life, consumed by things that are none of your business or idling along in life – you can change today.

How can you do this? I love the science of behavior and all the great counseling models … but I also have a deep and abiding respect for the simple truth approach to change. It is in this respect that I am going to take a little risk now and show you a brief clip from an old sitcom in efforts to introduce a novel idea which can help us all to better manage our lives. Although I realize this approach will not fix every problem … it will help many!

What a novel idea – When you find yourself doing or thinking something that is self destructive or destructive to others … Just Stop It!

Perhaps one of the most destructive behaviors known to mankind is that which leads to and results from anger. Anger often begins small but left to breed, or to find or fabricate support for its cause, anger will grow into an unstoppable force. Perhaps this is why Solomon gave us his counsel concerning what we should do when we first recognize the initial beginnings of strife.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water …

This statement is aimed at painting a picture of the first drops of water to be revealed from the tiniest crack in an earthen dam. The verse continues with remedy …

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

Just stop it! If we don’t stop it when it first starts, the crack will grow deeper and wider and soon it will be a force that can’t be contained and left to itself … it will completely erode all resistance and become destructive to everything in its path.

Stop fussing - stop fighting … stop even thinking about or listening to all the justifications for why you should treat someone else some other way than how you want to be treated. Our Godly behavior is a sacred duty and it is an honor to please God in all we do, without regard as to what others have done. Don’t be foolish – unbridled anger or inappropriate behavior always makes things worse.

Proverbs 20:3 It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel.

God cares about how we act … and sometimes we just need to Stop It!