Jonathan's Perspective  

Aug 17

GETTING PAST FIGHT OR FLIGHT

Getting Past Fight or Flight

      I like to think I am a pretty good guy.  In fact, we all think we are fairly decent.  It is easy for us to point to our good qualities and downplay our ‘rough edges’.  To be honest, we are masters of self-deception!  We are even like that with God.  We ask God for some help to take care of a few things that we don’t seem to be able to clean up or quite get right.  We think we are okay with the rest –that we can manage it ourselves. In Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis writes, “We start out getting rid of some of the more obvious and obnoxious sins.  We thank God for his help and say, ‘That’s enough.  After all, I don’t want to be a saint, just a good decent sort of guy or gal.’  We think this to be humility when in fact it is quite the opposite.  It is the pushing away of God; not allowing him to ‘work in you to will and to act according to his God purposes.’”

      Our egos are so fragile that we do all we can to protect them.  When we feel emotionally threatened we go to fight or flight mode.  All the blood in our brains which help us sort through complex issues flows to our large muscle groups to either fight back or run away and hide.  We see both of these in the story of Adam and Eve.  When they sinned and felt the sin of guilt and shame they went to flight.  God went looking for them.  When he gently confronted them asking what they had done, they went to fight – not physically but by trying to control the conversation, blame others and spin the meaning of their actions.  Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their sin, but God continued to care for them beyond the garden.  Things haven’t changed that much over the millennium.  We go to fight and flight modes very quickly when confronted with our sin.

Jesus challenges our fragile egos once again: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) Notice that Jesus offers an invitation and not a command.  He gently calls to us, drawing us slowly forward so that we can deal with our sin instead of fighting him or flee from him.  However, the prescription is always the same.  Deny yourself.  Lay down your ego.   You don’t need to protect yourself from the one who already knows all about you and is committed to your good.  Jesus invites you, ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30)

            As you read the bible and talk with God in prayer, what is it that God continues to call you to change?  Is there a destructive habit you have given up on trying to change?  Is there an attitude of superiority that you enjoy and want to hold onto?  Remember that God never asks you to do something that will not be rewarding when we obey.  Change in God’s kingdom is not a four letter word.  God always gives you something better than he calls you to lay down.  Don’t waste precious energy fighting God or running away.  Your arms are too short to box with God, and you can’t go anywhere that God is not there.  And that, my friends, is good news.

Blessings,

Jonathan

MIDWEEK resumes at Munholland on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24th. 

4:15 – 5:30 pm     STUDY HALL - A place for children to do their homework with adult supervision.  If interested, contact Jessika Horner at 504.729.7069 or jessikah@munhollandchurch.org.  

5:30 – 6:30 pm     MIDWEEK MEAL - $10/Adults    $6/Children (under 13)     No Charge (4 & under)

1st time visitors eat free – Join us for a wonderful full balanced (home cooked) meal and great fellowship.

Afterwards enroll in one of our Wednesday evening BIBLE STUDIES or practice with one of our CHOIRS 

“Toxic Charity” (6:30 pm), “Paul for Everyone Romans, Part 1” (6:30 pm) or “Ask: Faith Questions in a Skeptical Age” (6:30 pm)    

Some of the other Bible studies we offer - Wednesday mornings: “Passing It On” (9:30 am), Thursday mornings: “Entrusted” (9:30 am) and Lectionary Bible study (10:00 am).   Sunday afternoons: “When you Come Unglued” (4:30 pm) and “Half Truths” (4:30 pm)  

CHOIRS:

Littlest Angels & Altar (children) from 6:00 – 6:45 or Chancel (Adult) from 6:45 – 8:15 pm    

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:

Study Hall Director needed Monday through Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 pm.  The purpose of the Study Hall is to provide a safe Christian environment in which Haynes Middle Schoolers can do their homework and be tutored.  It will be focused on kids who need academic help.  The Director will be responsible for organizing the program, hiring employees, and recruiting volunteer tutors.  If interested, contact Jessika Horner at 504-729-7069 for more information and a job description.  Résumés must be submitted by Friday, August 31st to jbeck@munhollandchurch.org.

RESPONSE TO FLOODING IN SOUTH LOUISIANA

Munholland will be collecting items for flood victims.  Visit our website http://www.munhollandumc.org/flood-relief for a list of supplies needed. 

 

 

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