You’re So Annoying

“You’re so annoying!”

That’s exactly what my wife said to me recently after a friendly discussion about the garbage disposal. I don’t know why she said it. I wasn’t trying to be cute or snide or sarcastic. I thought the disposal was just fine. It works. Sure, it’s old and smells bad. But it works.

Another reminder to us men that women truly are from VENUS!

Seriously, I think all of us, married or single, would admit that we annoy one another at times. And if no one has ever annoyed you before, you are either a true saint in whom there is no blemish, or you have always lived alone in a cave!

Sure, we conflict with those we love the most at times. That’s part of the relationship process – known as “iron sharpening iron”. Only problem is, this reality is often a grating and conflicting experience, resulting in frustration and sometimes, exasperation.

“Does this mean that relationship is bad for me and I need to get out of it?”

No. Relax. You’re relationship is just fine.

Now if there is abuse of any kind occurring then read no further because what I have to share today is for those healthy relationships in our lives that sometimes include conflict.

If you grew up in a large household with many siblings, at least more than yourself, you already know conflict just happens automatically when you include any other human being into the equation.

But guess what? This is a great opportunity for The Life to have a new growth spurt in your spiritual life. Those little pet peeves and creature comforts that we secretly cultivate and make room for suddenly get jostled and jilted when you live with others.

Eventually you have to let those go to an extent, or find ways to compromise so that all parties involved can each benefit. And when we are the ones being affected in some way by someone else, it requires management of our emotions, irritations and even anger.

If I can look to The Life inside me, I find there is grace and patience that I personally do not possess, and I find myself having the power to deal. And sometimes, accept, and occasionally, enjoy.

You know what? That person may be “so annoying”, but then again, without them, The Life will never get chances to grow and stretch and develop inside you.

And that may be annoying in an eternal sort of way.

Until next time!

Jeff

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Don’t get offended.

“I mean this in love and in no way intend this to come across as negative or critical, but…”

Ever have someone start out a conversation this way? Not the easiest statement to hear someone else say to us. Well, don’t feel too bad, it’s only natural to put up an emotional wall, or get verbally defensive when someone we know well confronts us with an issue.

Whether they say it in love or not, or whether it is even well-intended or meant to hurt us, I think we can learn to glean value from any kind of confrontation, rebuke, even attack.

Granted, some verbal attacks are purely worthless and should be discarded immediately. In fact, I sometimes think the reason many of us get defensive when spoken to this way is actually because of a lack of GOOD DEFENSE.

Now hear me, I am not saying that it is good to “get defensive”… not at all. What I propose to you is this: If we have built healthy boundaries (read any book from the amazing series BOUNDARIES by Henry Cloud and John Townsend) in our Circle of Relationships (ask ME for a copy of this helpful tool ), we won’t have to “get defensive” when bombarded, attacked, or lovingly addressed in a proper way.

You see, if you have built healthy DEFENSES ahead of time, you don’t need to GET DEFENSIVE at the spur of the moment!

You can listen to that person, chew any meat they may have given, and spit out the bones. And if someone gives you ALL BONES, well then you can spit the entire mess out and get a good breath mint later!

Jesus didn’t need to get defensive when verbally attacked by his critics, because he already had healthy defenses built before hand.

Some of these defenses relate more to a healthy view of ourselves and a confidence of who God is in us and the fact that if He is for us, we have nothing to fear.

In fact, if you find yourself getting defensive often, that indicates you probably have not built good DEFENSES up in your inner man. And in fact, you may find inside your soul many conflicting sources pulling and pushing you to really fly off the handle emotionally, psychologically, physically.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Now I would be a hypocrite to make it sound like I am such a well-adjusted human being that I have never, ever become defensive. The exact opposite scenario is closer to the truth. You see, I found so many unhealthy emotional triggers inside of me when I first started my spiritual journey – I was one of the most defensive people on the planet. I discovered part of the reason had to do with being a very caring person – I was sensitive. But sensitivity without a healthy defense system on the inside will produce a lot of pain. I had to “toughen up” as others say.

But truthfully, it had nothing to do with getting tougher, but with getting fortified with a good set of boundaries and inner foundational truths. It took years and still I am growing in that area even to this day.

I wish I could go into greater detail with this, but if I did, this would not be a blog entry, but a book. And for more detail, you are going to have to wait for THE BOOK – “The Life” ha ha.

So all I can tell you is this – you and I need our source to be God inside of us in order to build healthy defenses on the outside. Then and only then, when the time comes for someone to “share a personal word” with us, we won’t get defensive anymore, but instead, with peace and calmness we can gently listen to the person(s) and filter the information properly with a smile, and even say, “Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I will take it into consideration. Have a great day!”

Sounds easy, of course it is not. But with His Life inside of us, it is more than POSSIBLE!

Until next time,

Jeff Saxton

Rest

“Hey, you look like you could use some rest!”

How many times have I heard someone say that to me this past year? Too many to count.

Yes, 2012 was very busy for me. A lot going on for a creative person like me who always has too many good ideas. But you know, I would rather be busy than bored.

We’ve all been reminded this year I’m sure, how precious our time on earth is. We never know how long we have to live. And if we suddenly run into health issues, well then life would become quite a different experience.

Having said that, I do believe in resting. After all, God did make an entire day out of the week to remind us how important resting is.

There is a way to get rest and still be about the things God has called us to. I certainly do not have it mastered. I tried to rest over the Christmas holidays.

Have you ever had the thought that Christmas vacation is busier than any other time of the year? We all look forward to this time of “rest and relaxation” even if it is more hectic than usual.

Somehow, God wants us to expereince HIS REST by walking and living in the Spirit. Somehow there is a way to engage in Christmas activities and yet still find time for God to refresh us.

I pray that 2013 is more restful for you than u ever dreamed; even if it is your busiest ever!

Perfect!

Yep, that’s me! Mr. perfect!

Ha – not at all. If you know me, you know… KNOW that I am not perfect.

However, sometimes people accuse me of being a perfectionist. I find there is a slight difference between doing an excellent job and being a perfectionist. I’m truly just trying to do an excellent job. But maybe I’m fooling myself. Okay, so sometimes I do step over the line!

Watching the Olympics, of course many of the gymnastic contests involve trying to get that perfect 10. Others simply have to beat out everyone else, or score one more goal than the other teams. But for some Olympians, they must shoot for the Gold by being PERFECT!

Wow. What a feat to shoot for!

Well it may be possible in some sports, but when it comes to our walk with God, other issues rear their ugly heads. Oh, we can try to live that perfect life of righteousness.

But sooner or later your own abilities and strengths have their obvious limitations. No matter which way you look at it, we all end up being inadequate.

Funny, God really never asks us to be perfectionists. (He does want us to give our best for Him.)

But he DID say we must BE perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Oh, that’s comforting!

Being perfect is of course impossible in ourselves. In fact, obeying the Law – even the Ten Commandments, is actually impossible to fulfill in all of it’s implications. Truly, it is supposed to be that way.

Christ in us obeys the law. We don’t fully. We cannot completely. So Jesus needs to come inside and obey for us. In reality, their is only one capable of being perfect. Our job is to allow that ONE to live in us so that he can be perfect in us. (Colossians 1:27)

Sounds easy. The hard work is in giving up, handing over and submitting to.

Are you trying to be perfect? Give up. Give in. Submit to God. And let God fulfill the law in you!

Have a great day, fellow imperfect ones!