LIVING: Relationships for Growth

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Solve the Right Problem
VS Solve the Problem Right

“I just need more self-discipline!” Jerry told the pastor. “I know I have all of this potential to reach my goals, but it seems as if I just can’t make myself get around to doing it all.”
“That’s great. So, where are you going to get this ‘self-discipline’?” the pastor asked.
“What do mean ‘where am I going to get this’?” asked Jerry.
“Well, you said you don’t have any self-discipline, so I agree with you. I just want to know where you are going to get it because you obviously don’t have it. And if you don’t have it to give to yourself, where are you going to get it?”
“By disciplining myself, of course.”
“You’re not getting what I mean. If you could discipline yourself, you wouldn’t need self-discipline. You would already have it. But you don’t. So, where are you going to get it?”
“That’s why I have to discipline myself to get it.”

Many of the modern kids, and even adults, have the concept in their heads that they can solve any problems if they put their minds to it due to its much publicity and spreading in the media. This concept in fact is actually quite true if it did not add in the individualistic attitude. If you didn’t catch what the above short anecdote was trying to convey, then that probably means you have that concept in your head.

The Problem We All Face

Have you ever seen people who had walked with God for many years, know more about God’s truth than you did, but were still hurting and for some reason and unable to walk through their valley? Have you ever taught your depressed friend about God’s love, but their depression would not go away? Have you ever tried to teach your friend about the crucified life but their addictions would still remain? What went wrong? Isn’t the Christian faith supposed to cure all of life’s problems? Isn’t the truth supposed to set you free?

Most of us expect God to offer immediate healing when we ask for it and why not? We have heard so many stories of miraculous healing and enlightenment that we think that’s how healing comes about – by supernatural “zapping”. That is where it went wrong. Often times, we ask God to remove the pain. However, God knows that that method will only set you up for a greater fall when you face your next pain. God prefers a much deeper solution – soul transformation, which can only come about through spiritual growth.
Growing through
Spiritual Growth in simple terms means to mend our relationship with God and man. In the book “How People Grow” by Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend, they focus on the words in Ephesians 4:15-16 which says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” In other words, we need each other to grow.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will agree that humans have a deep need to be connected. At the emotional level, connection is the sustaining factor for the psyche, the heart and the spirit. Almost every emotional and psychological problem is caused by alienation or emotional isolation. (Why you think people nowadays are acting out emotionally more than before?) We must have relationships to have spiritual growth. The body of Christ can only grow if all the parts support each other through Christ. Let us, in this modern age, not be carried away by technological needs and forget our most basic needs as humans – relationships.
Leonard Lu
Grace Methodist Church, Miri

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