Stepping out of the Box - Purity 698
Purity 698 04/06/2022 Purity 698 Podcast
Today’s photo of an “original” piece of art, which features a full moon over a mountain range with it’s light reflected on a lake below, and it’s artist comes to us from yours truly as I boldly crossed apparent gender norms and joined my wife and other female members of my wife’s family this past weekend in a family “paint n’ sip” gathering.
Well it’s Wednesday, and I figured that the full moon smack dab in between the pair of mountains on my painting was as good a representation for making it to the midpoint of the work week as any, and I thought that this photo could also be used as an example of deciding to step out of the box and to try new things and to overcome things that hold us back from experiencing our freedom in Christ.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this one I could really say so much but am limited by time and want to try to hit as many points as possible without going too deep but at the same time I don’t want to miss anything.
First things first: “Isn’t a “paint n’ sip” just a reason for a bunch of women to get together and get drunk?
I would have to admit that it certainly could be. I know when I used to drink, any and every activity, or day of the week, was as good a reason as any for having a few drinks or getting totally snockered.
So ladies, or guys, if you are looking forward to the next activity so you can “unwind” or enjoy some “wine time”, you may have a problem. I really don’t care how much or how often you drink, if you use alcohol to reduce stress or enjoy getting drunk from time to time, I want you to know that you don’t need it.
The Lord may not completely prohibit the use of alcohol but all the “drunken” verses in the Bible tells us that seeking peace in alcohol is not the plan God has for your life. If we are seeking to find peace through anything rather than from the Lord, we may be “making idols” out of things we shouldn’t and we may be in bondage to “our little helpers” when we could receive life and life more abundantly by walking in the Spirit.
Number 2: Aren’t those “paint n’ sip” things just for girls?
Apparently, in my in-laws family they are! Shots fired. Just kidding, there seems to be some gender confusion in my wife’s family or not… we are all free to choose to do what we want.
All the other men in attendance chose not to participate. I guess they all decided they aren’t “artistic” or perhaps they thought of it as not a “manly” activity. I don’t know their personal histories include and I don’t know the reasons why they didn’t choose to paint.
I respect their decision not to paint but, for me, I like to try new things. Also I know that the spectrum of art is really genderless, anyone can paint. It is not an activity that is just for any one gender.
Most hobbies do not have a gender identity. I can sew, cook, craft, paint, draw, or crochet just as any lady can decided to hunt, fish, or do any other traditionally “male” activities.
While I don’t agree that we get to choose what gender we are, in terms of hobbies, unless perversion is a part of the activity, I believe that we have the freedom to do whatever we enjoy as long as that activity doesn’t take the place of a robust relationship with God.
I have seen tombstones with deer and fish on them to highlight the departed’s interest in the great outdoors but when I see that I shudder because it indicates that person might have loved the Lord’s creation more than the Lord Himself. That “great outdoors man” might be burning in hell because he found his peace in the wilderness and never found peace with His Heavenly Father.
So anyway, most activities with rare exceptions are genderless and we should exercise our freedom from time to time to stretch ourselves and our limited concepts of life by doing somethings “outside of the box”.
Third, Activities can bring us together. We should try new things or create things. God has given us free will. We should try new things. We also can give ourselves and possibly other people joy from the things we create. Creating works of art or building things can bring joy to ourselves and bring us closer to others as we share what we have done or as we join with others in the activity of building things or making works of art. We should enjoy our lives and seek to show our love for others by including them in our activities or by sharing with them the things we do.
And finally, don’t be afraid to show people who you are. I started the audio podcast because I thought I had a “face for radio”. Many of us have low self esteem and low opinion of our looks. By sharing a photo that features my appearance today, I am stepping out of the box of my comfort zone a little by exposing my mug to the world.
God has made us and in His eyes we are all beautiful. He loves us. He sent Jesus to die for us. We are very valuable and precious to Him. There is no condemnation for those in Christ.
So if you have a negative opinion of how you look, I want you to know that God doesn’t look on the outward appearance.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT2)
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
This world will judge you by your looks, or by your performance, but God doesn’t do that. He cares about your character. He looks at your heart.
So don’t worry about the what the world thinks about the hobbies you do, the way you perform them, or by how you look. Instead draw close the Lord by walking and talking with God every day. He sent Christ to die for you and if you put your faith in Jesus, He welcomes you into His kingdom forever.
We don’t have to do everything right. We don’t have to do what the world expects us to do and we don’t have to measure up to the world’s standards.
In Christ, we are accepted, secure, and significant and God loves us just as we are, but He does invites us to try something new.
He invites us to learn from His word and walk in His ways to experience the peace, love, and joy that come from being in a harmonious relationship with Him, where we can escape the chains of convention, and condemnation, and the break the bonds of bitterness that the world system ensnares us in.
The Lord wants us to step out of the box of the world system and to experience life and life more abundantly by finding our peace and purpose in Him.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
Colossians 3:13 (NLT2)
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the implicit obligation Christians have to forgive.
I have said that the term “unforgiving Christian” is an oxymoron and should never be spoken or experienced.
In Christ we are forgiven of all our sins so we should rightfully “pay it forward” by forgiving others for the things they have done against us.
Forgiving is not forgetting, and forgiving doesn’t mean we stay in relationship with abusers. Forgiving doesn’t mean we don’t establish boundaries in our lives to keep others from stealing our peace.
Forgiveness is the way of peace. Bitterness is the result of unforgiveness. So not only is forgiving the right thing to do, but it is also the means by which we can experience our freedom in Christ and mature in our faith.
Except for Jesus, no body is perfect. We are not perfect. So we should make allowances for the fallibility of other non-perfect people by forgiving them.
If our interactions with others are less than pleasant, we need to make efforts to communicate our stance to try to make peace and establish a relationship that will be beneficial to both parties.
If we are unable to do that, we should establish boundaries to limit our interactions or we could decide to end the relationship.
We forgive but we value ourselves the way God values us. He wants us to live in peace and even Jesus instructed His disciples to walk away from those who rejected the gospel.
So we should forgive everyone for everything, but we shouldn’t necessarily be continual suffering servants to those who would abuse us. Their abuse is wrong, and they have no right to harm us.
We should seek to make peace with others as long as it depends on us, but when others don’t learn to repent of their abusive ways, we should forgive them, leave them, and pray that the Lord will come into their lives to change them.
We cannot change people. We must forgive them, but We are not God. So let go and let God. By following the Lord’s ways for our lives, we can know the peace that comes from forgiveness and letting the Lord deal with the things that we can not change.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
H. How to Tailor Multiple Treatment Strategies for Binge Eating
No one approach to overcoming well-established patterns of binge eating can effectively address all the issues involved in this complex disorder. The soul (mind, will, emotions), body, and spirit all work together to create and support eating patterns. Therefore all these elements need to be engaged and working together toward the same goal of healthy eating if treatment is to be successful. Seek wise counsel as you consider all of your options.…
“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.… Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:12–13, 16)
4 Objectives for Restoring Health
• To progress toward emotional, physical, and spiritual healing and wholeness
• To adopt healthy attitudes toward body and self-image
• To initiate sound eating habits that limit the possibility for binge eating
• To reach and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle
4 Aids on Your Path toward Health
As you take steps toward better health, different options are available to help you on your path to wholeness. Here are several options that you can consider.
• Professional Counseling—Working with a therapist to reveal hidden issues that may have contributed to binge eating or other destructive behavior patterns may help you to make important life changes.
• Medical Intervention—You may need to speak with a doctor and nutritionist about options for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, including diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and medication.
• Individualized Strategy—Evaluate the benefits and weaknesses of beginning a weight loss program, attending a support group, or visiting a health club to determine whether this would help you reach your goals.
• Spiritual Dependence—Whatever options you choose to help you reach your goal of a healthy body, you need to cultivate your relationship with Jesus Christ and depend on His strength to help you in your weakness.
“… ‘My [Jesus’] grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
Listen and Learn
Question: “What is involved in listening to your body?”
Answer: Listening to your body is somewhat like listening to a friend—you listen for what is meant and what is felt, what is needed and what is wanted. Your body is in constant communication with you regarding its needs and desires, its pains and its pleasures. Your body knows when it needs to be fed and when food needs to be withheld. It knows when it needs fuel and when it is full. Listening means knowing when the desire for food means you need nutrition and when it means you need nurturing.
Three helpful hints to listening to your body include …
• Eat because you are hungry, not because you are bored, stressed, or lonely.
— Eat if your stomach is growling.
— Eat if you have a headache.
— Eat if several hours have passed since you last ate.
• Eat what you want, not what you dislike.
— Eat in moderation.
— Eat colorful, enjoyable foods.
— Eat what your body both needs and desires.
• Eat until you are content, not until you are full or stuffed.
— Eat while sitting down.
— Eat slowly and methodically.
— Eat purposefully, focusing on the tastes, smells, and textures of your foods.
If you listen to your body and love it by responding to what it truly needs, you will find that overeating will become a pattern of the past and healthy eating will become your present pattern.
Remember the words the Lord spoke to the prophet Isaiah as you begin treating your body in a new way.…
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 36–38.