Divorce. Job loss. Estrangement from family members. Broken relationships.
The difficult circumstances you are dealing with today are likely being fed by one of four emotional forces that compels you to act in undesirable ways, sometimes even against your will.
This series explores the destructive forces of guilt, anger, greed and jealousy and how they can infiltrate your life and damage your relationships. Left unchallenged these four emotions have the power to destroy your home, your career, and your friendships.
This series, and the book by Andy Stanley with the same title, will offer you practical, biblical direction to help you fight back, take charge of these feelings that can mysteriously control you, and help you restore broken relationships.
(1) GUILT: I OWE YOU - Sunday September 2nd
Guilt says “I owe you. I owe you an apology. I owe you something, becauseI took something from you, and you don’t know about it, or maybe you do, but I’m too proud to admit it." Guilt leads to walls of inauthenticity and dishonesty. Guilt leads to secret keeping. It creates distance. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing.” It seeps into our words, and makes its way into our relationships.
What do we do with our guilt? What is the guardrail to prevent us from going into the danger zone where we hurt ourselves or others? We confess. And not to God. The confession that heals and the confession that deals with guilt is to confess to someone in your life, and ultimately to confess to the person you hurt, the person you stole something from.
(2) ANGER: YOU OWE ME - Sunday September 9th
Anger says, “You owe me, because you hurt me, you took something from me.You either pay me back or I pay you back.” And the problem with anger, and we all know this, is that anger leaks. Anger is not stationary, it is mobile. Anger leaks into our relationships and it is never isolated to the relationship of origin.You were hurt as a kid, by that last break up, in that last job, and you’re carrying anger. Somebody owes you. They have a debt to pay you. You are angry.
The guardrail for anger is to forgive. Real forgiveness is identifying specifically what was taken from you, and making a decision that whoever took it, they don’t owe you that anymore. It’s forgiveness that actually cancels their debt.
(3) GREED: I OWE ME - Sunday September 16th
Greed says “I owe me.” Greed is the assumption that it is all for my consumption. It says, “I owe me and I know you’re in need, I know these people are in need,I know the church is in need, and my heart goes out, but my money does not. Greed can become a filter for all our decisions - nobody competes with your stuff.
What is the guardrail for greed? You give. You give again. You write some checks that are big-to-you. You decide that greed will not control you anymore and you give. You identify something precious to you and you sell it. And then you give the money away. You no longer trust in riches, but in Him who richly provides.
(4) JEALOUSY: GOD OWES ME - Sunday September 23rd
Jealousy says, “Life owes me.” Ultimately it says, “God owes me.” Somebody got what you deserve. They got the things that you lack - the looks, the height, the hair, the intellect, the opportunities, the inheritance, the skills, etc. And here is what jealousy causes us to do - it causes us to celebrate someone else’s failure or loss.The only thing the “haves" can do to make us "have nots” feel better is to lose what they have. Jealousy is what you think God owes you that He didn’t give you.
The guardrail for jealousy is to celebrate. To celebrate with thanksgiving what God has given you and to celebrate out loud what God has given to others. To guard your heart against jealousy, you’ve got to celebrate the success, size, and stuff of those you envy. You need to go out of your way to verbally express your congratulations over their accomplishments. To praise their success.