Trouble Seekers

Do people treat you badly all the time? Do you find you are always fighting with people, or they with you? Do they lie, cheat, steal and take advantage of you? You might be a trouble seeker.

Paul warned the church in Ephesus against living this way and gave some valuable insights on how to be different. Drama seekers attract trouble. They don’t come right out and say they want negativity in their lives, yet it is there and it is constant.

It’s possible that down deep, you like being lied to. You don’t want to trust people, or be vulnerable. So, when they lie, it justifies your distance. Or, maybe you enjoy people being made at you. Then, you don’t have to open up to love. You look for it, open the box and hold on to anger because it feels good.

There are people who enjoy drama. I am not one of those people. Are you tired of being a trouble seeker? Here are some pointers we can get from Paul’s words:

Stop lying. Eph 4:25 says “Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighborfor we are members of one another.”  Picture a lie as a toy that’s been grabbed out of the box. If you know someone that keeps bring that toy to play, grab it out of their hands and put it away. If you’re the culprit, stop it. Put it away. Don’t tolerate lying, nor liars. If you enjoy lying, or tolerate liars, you might be a trouble seeker.

Stop inappropriate anger. v26-27. Be angryand do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

Some people think Christians should get angry. It’s ok to be angry as long as your anger is directed at the right things or people. Anger without sin means unselfish anger. It’s the kind of anger that turned the money changers’ tables over and that called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” (Mt.23:33).

Appropriate anger is directed toward the right people at the right time and then it’s put away.

Is anger another toy you like to hold onto? Paul tells us to not let the day end in anger.

Letting anger build and grow gives power to the devil. If you’re always angry, or people are always angry at you, you might be a trouble seeker.

Are you ready to be different?  Eph.5:1-2 tells us how to stop being a trouble seeker, “… be imitators of God as dear children and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

God’s not a trouble seeker. We shouldn’t be either.

Imitate God. To imitate someone well, you have to spend a lot of time with them. The only way to imitate God well is to spend time with Him in prayer and His Word.

Walk in love. As you move through this day, decide to be different. Take action to bring peace in your life. Don’t allow trouble in, nor cause it.

Make a decision today that you are not going to be a trouble seeker any more.

Thank you faithful readers, followers and “likers.” I appreciate you all.  May God bless you all as you sing your songs for Him.

Don Terry

Photo Credit, By F.S. Church, Creative Commons

Where Do You Look For Help?

Sometimes the troubles of life are so hard that we just want to bury our heads in the sand.

When our day does not go well, what do we do to make it better?  

What if our troubles extend more than one day?  What do we do?  How do we handle it?

Some find relief in alcohol.  Others numb their minds with drugs.  There are any number of ways one might find to seek escape from the trials and troubles of life.

For the Christian, the appropriate, most powerful and lasting answer is both wonderful and challenging.

True deliverance comes first by looking to the One, who can neither be touched, heard, seen nor felt.  This requires faith, surrendersubmission and trust.  Guys are particularly bad at giving control to someone else.  At least I know I am.

Psalm 123 says, “Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us.3 Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.4 Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease, With the contempt of the proud.” (NKJV)

The psalmist gives us the best recipe for relief.

First, lift your eyes up to the One with the power to change the situation instead of focusing on circumstances.

Second, be “like servants, alert to their master’s commands” (The Message.)  That is to say, the answer we’re looking for will come by praying for and waiting on God’s direction.  But, we have to pay attention.  We have to spend time in prayer and in God’s Word so we recognize His will and direction.

Third, ask God for help and mercy.  He longs for us to call out to Him.

Finally, we have to wait for God’s mercy and deliverance.  I think waiting is the most difficult part of it.

Many of us have had plenty of terrible circumstances.  We live in a world destroyed by sin, where evil runs rampant.

I’ve been abused, accused, injured, inundated, put down, pushed around, laid off, left out, forgotten, forlorn, divorced and depressed.

My head has been in the sands of self-medication and self-pity so many times that you can hear the ocean in my ears.

My experience has taught me that there is nowhere to look for true deliverance but up.

Spend time with the master and pay attention so we know the best direction to take.

There is nothing to do but to wait for the direction to come from God.

Instead of taking matters into your own hands, wait on God for mercy and deliverance.

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