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Radical Kinship Part 3

Envy is the enemy to all good relationships. Love has a better way.


hi guys hi online glad you're here I am haven't been I haven't spoken in a while I took a leave of absence to write in July and then Casey stole my weekend in August that happened so it's okay I'm not bitter it's fine and so a lot has happened since I last saw you hey I had a birthday last week I had a birthday a thank you I know I'm amazed every time I still have one too I turned 53 and I thought I'm doing good with it like I'm not I'm okay I don't it's I like getting older it's good but then two things happened actually three things happened somebody just sent me a video of a senior citizens hip-hop group and I thought look at those cute little older women than me and then the reporter explained that they were all women over 50 so that was neat and then I you know when you're a little your grandma gives you like a dollar for every year you are born you know over here you've been alive at this year for some reason I got like a bunch of $30 gifts I got $30 gift cards and thirty dollars in cash and so I'm like getting sixty cents on the dollar now that's how old I am it's bad and then I had a dream last night that I went to get my hair done and there was a super cool guy doing hair and so I thought he's gonna do a great job on my hair and then he kept wanting to convince me to shave one side of my head and I was like no I'm not gonna shave my head and he just was so insistent and finally he's just like you're 53 get out so it's been rough I mean just these things have happened that made me feel like I'm pretty I'm pretty old Evan said we're all like a family here we hope you feel at home apparently I am the grandmother of the feeling at home part none of that has anything to do with my message we're looking at first Corinthians 13 which is perhaps one of the most iconic passages in all of literature not even just in all of the Bible it you know it you hear it at every wedding and a big deal I don't know if when Paul was writing it if he knew he was writing what was gonna be one of the most iconic things of all time I do kind of wonder if when he got to the bottom he was like it's pretty good Paul did it you did good buddy but it's beautiful Paul is writing it to the church in Corinth and Corinth was a really busy bustling huge city back in that day and they were very cultured very progressive and they were a sect centered culture somebody in the first the nine o'clock service said I was really pretty checked out until you said sex and then I was with you so that's good but that's really all we're gonna talk about it so that's a spoiler but so it's a it's a culture where you know the temple is filled with prostitutes it's they worship the goddess Diana it is a very sex for sale society it's a commodity it's traded it's like one of the goods and so Paul writes into that to the church and he's telling them this that's not love you don't don't think that that's love what you see going on around you and culture is a poor excuse for what Jesus came to model and live out in front of us and so then he says to them this is what it's like and this is what it's not like first Corinthians 13 is really interesting in the way Paul teaches because he uses both a thesis and an antithesis he tells us what love looks like and he tells us what it doesn't look like and so we're gonna look at one of the dozens today but first let's read this passage it's so beautiful I chose it from the message this morning I think Eugene Peterson's translation is beautiful it says love never gives up love cares more for others than for self love doesn't want what it doesn't want what it doesn't have love doesn't strut love doesn't have a swelled head doesn't force itself on others isn't always me first doesn't fly off the handle doesn't keep score of the sins of others doesn't revel when others grovel takes pleasure in the flowering of truth puts up with anything trust God always always looks through the best never looks back but keeps going to the end and then he ends this chapter with love never fails everything else will fail social justice will fail prophecy will fail spiritual gifts will fail programs will fail political parties will fail everything else has a shelf life but love never fails it's inerrant so if Paul didn't say it to himself I feel like I need to say it well done Paul it's a really good passage pastor Steve looked at the first two things in that passage last week and today we're looking at one of the don'ts one of the things love doesn't and it says love doesn't want what it doesn't have Paul's talking about Envy here and this is interesting because as I was studying for this message I was like I I didn't it wasn't very fun to study for I just I couldn't think of very many illustrations and I really felt like you know I don't struggle that much with envy I really like my life and I'm pretty grateful and I think God knew I would have to be and then I started thinking why does Steve get all the good messages and why can't I have the good ones and why and that was like literally the definition of irony that you're studying a message on MV and you're envying Pastor Steve's topics so it's good because then I realize oh this is for you sister that's good love doesn't want what it doesn't have we had a robust discussion about this in our teaching team meeting because of the way Eugene Peterson translated it we said really love doesn't want what it doesn't have I mean because I think love does I think a lot of times love that's why we get married probably because there's something within the commitment of marriage that we don't have without it the the reason most people intentionally have a baby is because they want what they don't have that and that's love and I think there are lots of things we push toward because we want something and I don't think one teens something is inherently bad and like the guys in the group said you know I like to basketball but I like to win is that bad does that mean my love is bad if I'm like a I'm gonna win the basketball game but Paul himself said everyone runs the race only one wins run like the one who's gonna win I mean he said I pressed toward the prize he does not say it's bad - what what you don't have he says it's bad - Envy Envy is the greek word zell ooh and it's autumn on a poetic in that it it sounds like what it means and what it means is for a pot to boil it's like the hissing of water in a teakettle when something boils up inside of us and it's just unsettled unsettled until it blows it stop that's MV in the Greek and for me I think MV is such an interesting and emotion because probably we feel it way more than we realize it's probably at the root of a lot of other feelings we feel and can identify but Envy does not ask our permission before landing it just this is involuntary all of a sudden we realized there it is in my heart I my husband and I went on a road trip in an RV with our two youngest kids a few years ago and we it was four of us in a little RV and it was great we had a great time but then we went to Yellowstone and we were camping in West Yellowstone which is the most beautiful place in the world except it was the year of the great mosquito infestation unlike anything I have ever seen or imagined it was terrible it was the plague they were in black clouds all over the campground every time we opened our camper door a thousand of them would fly in and then we'd just be Swati and Swati and swatting and then we'd be like don't open the door don't work from the window don't open anything it's the middle of July but we don't care we are suffering in a metal box with mosquitoes flying and it was awful and Steve went to the manager and said these mosquitoes are so bad we're gonna leave we need a refund for our five days and the guy said sorry no refunds and we're like okay we're gonna tough it out and by 5:00 a.m. we're like out of here got to get out of here was awful and I think that's a little like how MV comes in it's like the swarming of mosquitoes inside of us and if you don't shut the door it's in before you know it and it's just in making us unhappy making us feel unsettled and Paul says don't do it is the bad idea it's bad for relationship psychologists say that there is kind of a good side of envy and a bad side of envy the good side is called benign envy and the bad side is called malicious Envy benign envy is like and Steve and I when we were young married we were super sarcastic with each other I mean we were hilarious but we were sarcastic and we often were sarcastic with each other in front of other people and one night we went to some friend's house for dinner and they were so nice to each other they were just like really nice and we were going home and I was like hey maybe we should try that maybe nice isn't isn't a bad place to start in our relationship and so and then when we're going to have dinners with somebody else a few nights later we were like okay remember we're being nice so what in that moment I saw our relationship that I envied I saw that relationship has something my relationship doesn't and I didn't Envy I didn't want the person's husband I wanted a relationship like that so that spurred Steve and I on to say let's make our relationship into something better and it worked actually lasted for all of our lives that kind of thing of we just don't take cheap shots at each other and I'm thankful for that relationship in the modeling so I think benign and malicious is like the difference between inspiration and MV there are things we look and somebody gets in shape and they start a new fitness plan and then seven people in their core groups start the same fitness plan because they want to look that way too but envy would say I don't want to get fit I just want you to get that I just want I want something bad to happen to you I I'm not gonna work to get that new car but I really hope you wreck your 's you know Emmys not cool it's like the boiling of a pot and the buzzing of mosquitos pulling someone down in trying or trying to sabotage them they knew especially in the ancient Roman society it would hurt the entire community striving to succeed using the target of envy as a motivation was seen as actually a great virtue like we're trying together we're trying to become more like Jesus so social psychologists are always examining the distinctions between envy and how it plays out an envy and jealousy and all of those things but bottom line the Bible says MB rots your bones it gets inside of you and it eats away at your happiness and your joy and your contentment and it is never good for relationships and we see it from the very beginning with Cain and Abel and then we see it all through the Word of God and all through history many of the great Wars of history have started with mV many things are built on that one small platform acts 7-9 says the patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt but God was with him acts 17 talks about Paul and Silas going into Jerusalem and doing a great work there and winning a lot of people to Jesus and then the leaders of Jerusalem are envious of them and so they try to kill them that's the really extreme side of it that's when your Envy takes you into a place where you're going to sell someone into slavery but what happens inside of us and is not we don't usually act out on it that much to that degree but what happens inside of us is very forceful and powerful it's that boiling pot proverbs 14 30 says a heart at peace gives life to the pot body but envy rots the bones the love chapter is about relationships it's not about finances it's not about work it's not about sports it's about relationships and it's only about those things as they apply to our relationships so when we look at is it wrong to want what you don't have inside of relationships yeah it's wrong to want somebody else's relationship it's wrong to want what you don't have it unless it's something inspired by Jesus Charley Reece said it is never wise to seek her wish for another's Mis fortune if malice or envy were tangible and had a shape it would be the shape of a boomerang a couple of things I think we need to know about how MV plays out in our lives and why it's there the first one is that we need to understand that we were made to crave we we were built with a hunger for God we were built with a hunger for a purpose we were built to crave him in his presence we were built for that and within his purpose there are other things we want relationship we want community we want purpose we want those things and that's good but first we're made to crave God and when our craving gets sideways when it's when we start to think something else will fill that we become a bottomless pit of dissatisfaction psalm 42:1 says as the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you my god my soul thirsts for God for the Living God when can I go and meet with God someone 1881 says my soul faints with longing for your salvation but I have put my hope in your word and James for what is the source of wars and fights among you don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you you desire and do not have you murder and covet and cannot obtain you fight and war you do not have because you do not ask you ask and don't receive because you ask with wrong motives so that you may spend it on your evil desires this is James understanding we are made to crave and then our cravings are at war with one another we want what we don't have the fight is going on inside of us your fight is never with someone else it's always with the dueling desires inside of you our issues are always honestly they come down to sits between us and God most of the time and then know that Envy keeps you from loving people well it just does envy gets in the way of good relationships just like if I were trying to speak to you this morning and there were swarms of mosquitoes buzzing all over your heads it would be impossible and so envy when it gets in your life and it starts to turn around in there it impacts relationships and keeps you from loving well I had a friend and we were both young poor newlyweds and we commiserated over being young poor newlyweds we literally would get together and clip coupons together which she would use and I would lose that was how we did that but it was that was just we just would talk on the phone for hours about saving money and what we would do if we had money and that kind of thing and one day she called me and I realized something is wrong she is gonna tell me bad news because she does not sound like herself I don't know what's going on and I'm waiting for it and then she says okay I need to tell you something and I was like oh great somebody's dying what's going on and she proceeded to tell me that her husband had a relative die and leave him a bunch of money and I was like oh great there goes my friend now we can't be friends this is gonna I have to hate you now shoot I didn't want to but I have to um no I pretended to be really happy for her and I was like if this awesome I just saw my ears are answered I prayed that God would bless you abundantly and then I went to my room and I'm like why why can't that happen for me and I was mad at her and it was like I don't want to talk to her I can't be friends with her I'm gonna just now watch the parade of Mercedes drive up to her home and I can't do this and then I just was like no there's no way there's no way I can lose a friend because they got blessed that's just not okay and so then I was truly happy for her and then I was positioned to watch her life and see it really didn't change that much with money and now that I'm older I realized that really wasn't that much money anyway it just sounded like a whole lot of money then but agent her life was about the same and our lives were the same and it was good for me but I could have really cut that relationship off because Envy impacts our ability to love if we don't stop it if we don't SWAT that bug we end up becoming people who secretly do not want the best for the people around us and then know that envy keeps you from loving God wholeheartedly it is a really big deal really our issues all come back to this one place I told you that I have made my friend getting money but it was nothing like when my husband got sick and I came to Christmas Eve service here at Westside for the first time alone and I watched all the happy families come in together and stand around the tree and take their picture and I just could see my whole future had gone what I thought my life would be was gone and I envied all of those happy families so much even though probably lots of them weren't but in my mind everyone had it better than me and I went home and I cried cried so hard and just said I this isn't fair you have because you you can be mad at somebody who gets more money than you but who do I be mad at that my husband's dying that there's just only only God that's the only place I could go and I'm just like I just have to bring this to you and say I don't know what to do with it and I felt like David when he said why do the wicked prosper here I'm trying to do the right thing and you're just not coming through for me and I'm stuck in a cave and I'm running from the bad guys and all these other people are getting famous and rich houses are happening and often times I've had to just go back to God with my sense of discouragement and discontentment and say I know you love me and inside your love there is enough for me there is enough in your economy this is not a zero-sum game someone else's fortune doesn't take for mine there is enough for me inside of you even if my life doesn't look like I thought but it's been hard and it's especially hard because going through this weight of sorrow at losing my husband and trying to get my family through that it was impossible to also carry the weight of envy it was too much it would have sunk my battleship and so dealing with those emotions and and I have a lot of women in my life who have lost spouses either to death or divorce and oftentimes they get caught in the thing of carrying both their sorrow and this sense that the whole world has it better than them and it impacts their ability to love God and trust him and so we have to trust God and know that Envy will keep us from being able to do that well so if it's so bad for us how do we handle it and this is I have five steps and it feels funny to me this message does because I'm like okay number one number two now it's such a pervasive thing that to have steps seems like that's never going to work except Paul said don't do it Paul's answer for envy was don't and so I'm at least gonna give you five steps I think that's worth something I think five ways we can deal with Emmy in our life number one remember you were made for this you were made to crave and it's okay to crave but shift your craving to Jesus and his word and his ways has some scriptures ready for when you feel your heart start to clench up with discontentment have some word bullets handy to shoot into negative Envy remember also that the world in which you live right here on this timeline 2018 also knows that you were made for to crave and they're gonna hit you hit you hit you every way they can to get you to crave what they're selling we are immersed in it I was watching ESPN once with Josiah and I realized all the commercials are for beer and the beer is being held by pretty women they know that men are made to crave like it's gonna just hit you hit you hit you you are living in that place just because you're surrounded by a culture that tells you you don't have enough your spouse isn't pretty enough your bank account isn't fat enough your car isn't cool enough don't buy it you have what you need believe it when you don't believe it you let everything into your life that rots your bones and I promise the more you get the more it is to maintain and guard and guard against and people are always going to have more you were made for this and society knows it don't by their trick you are made to cry endless love from God and he was made to give it and so you have exactly what you need number to harness it for good let envy those feelings of envy guide you to the source of your dissatisfaction so you can ask God to fill it why do I keep wanting this thing if you're single why do I keep feeling like I must have a spouse why do I keep feeling like I'm not gonna be happy until I do why do I keep feeling like I must have this dream vacation or I must or I must I must whatever the thing is that you need you need you need or you want you what you want what is that pointing to as a lack in my life what do I need to fill what do I want right now why am i unhappy these are good questions and we're not very good at being self-aware the other day two weeks ago in fact I took my grandson's Grand Fenn to the pumpkin patch out here and they were very like that day they were very hot hot and cold like it was either the best day of their life or the worst day ever and we went to McDonald's after the pumpkin patch for breakfast because I have big spender and Phinney he's three had such a meltdown on the way to the car just such a meltdown in it I couldn't I could reach raced my steps I can't figure out what was happening like I don't remember anything terrible happening to him but he was very upset and flailing and mad and didn't want to get in the car and I'm trying to wrestle him into the car and I'm just like how am I gonna get him into the car what's going on and finally I stopped and I say Finn what is it you're wanting right now and he stopped and he looked at me and he said nothing and put his arms in the bank that idea of like I am always flailing like I'm flailing I finally knew Jesus like but what do you want right now that you don't have oh well I guess really I'm okay so to ask myself the hard questions so harness your craving for good let it let it lead you to the source of your discontentment and then ask God how do we fill this together and then number three is develop a bias toward gratitude a bias really is just anything you're kind of prejudiced toward like maybe if you're a teacher you're kind of you kind of favor the girls and you like the girls are not probably gonna be naughty the boys are naughty you know that kind of thing or vice versa but there's a bias in our life toward a lot of things develop a bias toward gratitude develop a lean in your step that always defaults to but I'm grateful but I have a lot I've been given a lot I don't have that cool Tesla but I have this cool Mazda I don't have that but I do have this I don't have a spouse but I do have kids who love me I'm not as healthy as I'd like to be but I can eat and talk and breathe and do some things it I think it's so important to just learn to lean into gratitude and I read a saying that said if you don't if you can't be thankful for what you do have you can always be thankful for what you don't have and just watch CNN you know watch the news and write down 17 things you see on the news that you say I'm so glad I don't live there I'm glad I don't didn't do that I'm glad I'm not that I'm not you know there are lots of things that we don't endure and we don't ever think about what we're not experiencing we just think about what we are experiencing this is the worst my life is the worst but learn to develop a lean toward gratitude and for if necessary change your lens by changing your company some people are just not good for your gratitude they're just not maybe it's a group that you're hang with but some people are just not gonna be good for gratitude I think it's important to be surrounded by people who help you be content rather than stir the pot make you discontent how are you watching TV shows that make you feel happy with your life or discontent with your life I have to be careful with the HGTV you know just be careful where I can watch it sometimes and be fine and sometimes my car in fact in 2004 Steve and I took our oldest daughter and her friend Ashley to Africa and it was wonderful it was the best trip we had a great time but we were really excited to get home we were really ready I'm a creature of comfort that way and I was really excited to get home and when I got home I discovered that while we were gone my husband had put new hardwood floors in my house to surprise me and it was so fun and literally every day I would wake up and be so thinking I'd be like that this is the best house anyone has ever had I mean there's never been a better house than my house it was just m's may we get home and then in july of that year we go to tour of homes and I'm like I know I know and I'm like Steve how do we live this way what is this rathole we call a home the polishes go to our church can we cold it what are we doing with our lives and it's a lens it's just a lens my home next to Africa was pretty sharp it was awesome my home next took tour of homes not so cool but it's my home and I still live there to this day and I love it still have the same floors but identify your envy triggers what is it that gets is someone more successful than you someone with a prettier wife than yours someone who's more fit somebody what are the envy triggers and then figure out a way to stay out of those places you control who opens the door to your RV you control it and eventually we had to move our RV out of the mosquito infestation you know what I'm saying and then number five build a life of wild generosity whenever something gets a hold on you man treat it like a hot potato give that thing away you can't give humans away but you can give them to Jesus a life of generosity has been the most exciting thing that I've gotten to develop since I became a widow a couple of years ago and it's been so so good for me the first thing that happened my husband died I was not prepared I was 49 I was not prepared financially I did not know how I was gonna make it it turned out he had some insurance policies we hadn't known about I didn't know about them even then when he died and so I was just like this is all I have to live on and I'm gonna be the little widow Beau and how am I gonna make it and then my car my transmission went out which is awesome and so my brother-in-law convinced me you need a seven-year warranty you need to spend your money on a new car because if anyone is not gonna be able to put up with car problems it is you I don't know anything about them so the night before I was so scared to spend my money on a new car I was just so scared and like I'm what am i doing what am i doing and I felt clear as day the Holy Spirit said give the van away well we had a handicap van that we had gotten for Steven it was nice enough but I had factored that money the sale of that man into the buying of the new car and I was like I can't give it away how could I give it away and but I just knew he was saying do it do it do it I got up in the morning I called the ALS Association because I knew I changed my mind once I saw the price of new cars then so before I went I said I want to give this van away and I the day that people came to pick it up I remember they were driving this little Honda and they would had the husband's wheelchair tied on the back and they just cried when they saw the van and I went in my house and I honestly I fell on my floor and just cried and just said I love this life I love giving things away especially if it requires me to live in my own insecurity for a minute that's so good and God provided for every need abundantly beyond what I could have asked her thought but that was a cool moment of being able to say I want to live in the adventure of generosity but then I was talking to some ladies at a retreat this weekend and I was saying you know one of the hardest things for me to give away when I don't think someone deserves it is a Facebook like a Facebook like like I don't want to click like on somebody's status if I think they've already gotten plenty of likes and I told the ladies I know okay I know I told them that is literally the least you can give to someone like the very least you can give and I still am like no it hurts my soul to give someone my approval so generously out of my heart just click like for goodness sake let's be generous with our words and our approval and our love I've talked about how the last two years have been this process of me learning to ignore the cheap seats the people that yell into your life but they have no spot in your life to tell you you know you just can't listen to them just ignore the cheap seats but that has also made me aware that I am the cheap seats in most people's lives and I want to yell to I want to yell loud and I want to yell approval I'm not I'm not in a position to fix you or tell you you need to park your car better that's just me I guess yeah I'm not in a position for that so I'm gonna be the one that says I believe in you you can do it you're strong enough you're smart enough you're pretty enough you can do this and even if you're making a mistake that's great news because we serve the God who can use that mistake for his glory and you are good I am gonna cheer you on I am gonna give you approval lavishly generously abundantly because I get to because we live in a world where approval is hard to come by we all feel like we're clamoring for it and we feel like there's not enough to go around and so let's be people who are just fountains of approval I love the way you handle that roundabout man I love it don't love it I don't but I'm gonna be better about how I talk about that every every time you give the gift of approval it is an offering to Jesus every time you dig deep and you say I don't feel it I don't feel like giving forgiveness I don't feel like giving money I don't feel like giving this thing I want to hold on to it I want to build my own kingdom I want to keep myself safe I don't want that person to think they're doing well if I don't think they're doing well every time you say I'm gonna give some rule here you give an offering to Jesus that really doesn't cost you financially but it is wildly generous because we live in a survival of the fittest gotta stay scrappy got a pet your own back and make your own way society and it's time we live different it just is so Jesus we love you we love your heart toward us and for us the heart that generously brought you right here to our world and right here to our cross so God today we ask that you would show us the way to want you to crave you to fill our lives with the satisfaction that comes from knowing you and serving you and being your friend it is our greatest joy it is our greatest gift we worship who you are and what you do because it's beautiful and your name we pray amen hey guys there is the prayer friends are here they've got blue lights and they're glad to pray with you they're fantastic for whatever it is that you need or going through right now please check in with them that'd be great and then I a lot of times at the end I have something to remind you of but there's nothing to remind you of today there's nothing to go see or do or whatever so football just reminding you it's happening so have a great week and we'll see you next weekend

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