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Don't Be Crabby

May 12, 2008

 

Last week we dealt with the excuses we make for our own inabilities.  This week we deal with the excuses that others make for us.

 

But what will my friends say?  But what will my family think?

 

Samson had some meddling parents

Judges 14 

1-2 Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl. He came back and told his father and mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife.”

3 His parents said to him, “Isn’t there a woman among the girls in the neighborhood of our people? Do you have to go get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the one I want— she’s the right one.”

4 (His father and mother had no idea that God was behind this, that God was arranging an opportunity against the Philistines.)

 

David got some ‘brotherly’ guidance from his older brother and then from Saul.

1 Samuel 17:28, 32-33

 

False friends / fair-weather friends

Psalm 35:11-16

Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.

They repay me evil for good
 and leave my soul forlorn.

Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,

I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.

But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
attackers gathered against me when I was unaware.
They slandered me without ceasing.

Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;
they gnashed their teeth at me.

 

Job had issues with his “friends” Job 16

 

Our friends and family can be pretty subtle with their guidance for us.

“Well, good luck on that.  You’re gonna need it.”

“But, no one in our family ever did anything like that before.”

“I heard about someone who tried that … once.  But, they don’t work here anymore.”

Two ways to kick these “but heads”

1 – Realize that God is our father and He loves us.  Jesus is our brother and friend, and he loved us all the way to the cross.  He loved us before we existed.  He knows when we blow it, and still loves us. They are our perfect examples for how to be a father, and how to be a brother.

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs
 I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
 I have made you and I will carry you;
 I will sustain you and I will rescue you. 

David  1 Samuel 17:37

Job 16:19-21

Proverbs 17:17 Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

 

2 – Avoid Crabbiness

Our desire for acceptance…to belong to the group is learned early and doesn’t end when we graduate high school.  Good or bad, our group influences us in a million little ways every day.  They let us know what is acceptable to the group and the power of the group forms us in their image. 

We need to be careful with our influences. 

Proverbs 22: 24-25  Do not make friends with a  hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

1 Samuel 15:24  Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned.  I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions.  I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.”

The average group becomes just that .. average .. the group becomes the average of all its members.  Theory is that we as individuals become the average of the five people we communicate with most. 

Think about your Fave 5.  Are you comfortable becoming the average of those five people?  Would Jesus make it into your top 5?  Do we pray and talk to God as much as we talk to any of those in our Fave 5? 

 

Crabs: A single crab can escape from a bushel basket with little difficulty, but if you put a bunch of crabs in the basket, none will escape.  Any that try will be pulled back down by the others in the group.  The typical group follows this same pattern.  The typical group doesn’t tolerate members rising above the rest and making them look bad.  If you want to test this with your group, start talking about doing something BIG, really BIG.  We need to watch our influences.

I want us to be a community that encourages and celebrates the success of our members.  I want us to be a safe place for people to try new ideas and pursue God’s will without negative influences.  Let’s not be crabby.  Let’s boost each other up, reach down and pull each other up. 

 

Jesus  as friend John 15:12-16

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

 

He chose us, He appointed us.  Let’s kick some ‘buts’ and do something big together. 

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