From the book “Lost In the Middle” by Paul David Tripp, (p195)
“All the things that are really worth living for, no one can take away from you. They are locked safely away in God’s celestial vault. No one can take God’s love away from you. No one can steal His forgiveness. No one can take His Holy Spirit from within you. No one can rob you of His strength or wisdom. No one can take away your justification or adoption. No one can pilfer your deliverance from the presence and power of sin. The real riches of life that you and I could never earn, which are only obtained as a gift, are never at risk.
“They can take your job. They can take your house. They can damage your health. They can reject, oppress, and abuse you. They can rob your possessions and empty your bank account. They can rob you of friends and family. But the most essential and wonderful things in all of life are unassailable. No one can touch them. They are guaranteed…
“No matter what you are going through now, it is vital to remember that God harnessed the forces of nature, controlled the events of human history and sent and sacrificed His one and only Son in order to give you a new birth. No matter how hard the difficulties of the present seem, you need to say to yourself, “This is not it for me, because I have a rich and eternal future that has been locked away and guaranteed. Whatever is at stake at this moment cannot rob me of the new life and eternal hope that God has given me, and those are the only things that are really worth living for.”
The moods of the unlovable person change with the wind. Because they are mostly feeling oriented and feeling driven they appear to be “manic-depressive” in their behavior. What this means in biblical terms is sinner. Specifically prideful and selfish. The world of the unlovable person revolves around what they perceive to be their needs and wants. If they “feel” like doing something they will, if they don’t “feel” like doing it, they won’t. When their perceived needs are not met you receive an angry silence or hostility from them.
One man said, “I cannot tell you how hard it is for me. There is a voice in my head that tells me to say to her, ‘you are disgusting, get out of here!’”
You have to set boundaries on what you will or won’t tolerate from them. Clear expectations on acceptable conduct are necessary. Sometimes the boundaries come in the form of consequences like the break-up of a relationship. Many times with such people we must evaluate - be vigilant as to when they impose on us an expectation or term that we somehow we must never fall short of satisfying their demands as if we are at fault if their happiness is not achieved.
“My son lost a perfectly wonderful young woman because she got fed up with his mood, selfishness, and disregard for her in how he treated her and talked to her.”
They are apparently unable to understand how hurtful they are!
Worse of all, we want to fix them. We mistakenly believe that if we are just nicer, more loving, and more patient; give them all they want that they will change. This is false. It is not about us it is about them and it will remain that way until they repent. There will never be enough for them, they won’t be satisfied. What meets those needs today, won’t tomorrow.
“My son once told me that if he could get the super charged turbo car of his dreams he would be happy. This car came with a 5 year payment! He honestly believed that this car would keep him happy for 5 years if he could have it.”
From Man in the Mirror: "he speaks about how the luster fades for such things within a couple of weeks. How long is it the biggest and the best? It is a temporal thing and its pleasures are fleeting."
The problem for those of us who love unlovable people is that we do love them! We love them deeply and completely. If we are spiritually minded we hurt for them because we can see the real need they have is repentance and change (Eph 4:22-30) and it is very painful for us as we watch them flounder and seek after all the wrong things.
What they need from us to do is to pray that God will bring then to the end of themselves. We want them to want what God wants for them, and to desire in their hearts to love and serve Him only. Calvin said the heart is an idol factory, their idols live on a carousel! It seems they can change from hour to hour and day to day. Once again they presuppose that they must get the brass ring of each idol as it comes and goes.These things feel so important in the moment, but fly away as quickly as they come.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me ” (Galatians 2:20).
I was talking with a friend the other day. Our conversations are very exciting to me because I can see where she is beginning to understand certain things about grace and truth. She has been a believer in Christ for some time, and through our talks about grace and mercy she is beginning to see things from a different perspective.
One of the results of understanding grace is that many of the things that used to mean so much and things we used to cling to suddenly don’t mean as much to us. We can let them pass us by without reaction and without response.
There is an inevitable void that develops in the flesh when we first start willingly setting our fleshly and worldly desires aside. And unless we are immersing ourselves in Him and His Word other fleshly desires come marching in to swiftly fill that void. Sometimes they are new things; a computer game, television program, or some other distraction. Sometimes they are old sinful “friends” that we thought we were rid of; habits and lusts that were once conquered or maybe just set aside in favor of a new distraction.
Often we use these things in attempt to make ourselves feel valued and worthwhile. These things don’t have to be necessarily bad they can be as benign as working or exercising or a sport or other activity you enjoy that makes you “feel good.” However, they are misplacing what really matters, our love and devotion to Christ.
He must be the centerpiece of all we do, the Master of our thoughts, the owner of our souls, and the love of our lives. Until He is in practice as well as proclamation all of these things, my friends, we will continue to struggle and hurt and kick and scream in failure. He demands to own all of who we are because He paid for all we are! He did not only purchase your hands and feet He purchased your mind, soul, and most importantly your heart.
Surrender dear ones, surrender to His loving yoke, and His loving ownership and give in to His possession of you- all of you.
Till next time loved ones