Comfortable Sin

I'd like to post a question to everyone, but first let me tell everyone about my conviction.

Not to long ago I was listening to a speaker talk about the fruits of the spirit and God totally convicted me about something. I sin more against the people who I am closest to than I do against people I don't really care about. Here is what I am talking about. A couple of weeks ago, Daniel spilled some water on the floor and I got really angry at him. I mean, it was water and he spilled it on my vinyl floor. I don't remember the details but I think I raised my voice in disappointment and sent him to his room. I mean, I had just told him 2 minutes earlier to be careful and plus he just turned 4 and should be able to take a drink without dumping it all over the ground. Rightfully so, I got upset...right? Of course not, he's a little boy, he's only 4, and he spilled some WATER on a VINYL floor (right next to a roll of paper towels) in which it may have taken me 26.3 seconds to clean it up. I was totally out of line to loose my patience and God looks at my action as sin.

Now here is my question. Why are we so quick to sin against people who we are most comfortable with than when we are around people who we don't even know? I'll even go as far as asking this...Why do we feel like it is OK to sin against people who we are most comfortable with than when we are around people who we don't even know?

This is true inst it? If my pastor was over and his kid did the same thing as Daniel, I know for a fact that my actions would have been totally different. I would have laughed it off and been liek "Oh, its ok, he's just a kid" How about in our relationships with our spouse. If Beth points out a fault in me that has some truth to it, my first reaction is to get proud and defensive, but if someone like my neighbor pointed out the same thing, I would probably act different. Have you ever been having a fight with your spouse and your phone rings and you answer it all chipper and happy, only to hang up and start fighting again? Its crazy how two faced I can be sometimes.

God convicted me on this. We should have more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with the people who we love and care about the most, rather than treating people who we don't even know very well like this because we want them to view us in a certain way. The truth is that we are not this way with the people we are closest with because that is not who we really are yet. And I think I would also say that I am hypocritical and proud if I choose to act this way; we all would be.

Lets begin to be intentional about treating all people and especially the people who we are closest with, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Next time you are in a conflict or uncomportable situtation, PAUSE for a second and think to yourself, how would you act if this was someone I didnt know very well. Actually, next time you get in a conflict, say to yourself, If I was in a conflict with Jesus right now, how would I act?

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Good to Great Marriage

Well it has been along time since I have written something on here. God has been doing some great work in the life of me personally and our Family. Beth and I have decided to take a giant intentional step in our marriage and refocus our attention on Jesus. We have been married for almost 5 years and to be honest, haven't kept him first. Compared to the world most would agree that Beth and I already have a very good marriage. But this is the key....."Good is the enemy of Great." Why settle for a good marriage when God intends for us to have a great marriage?

It amazes me that as married people, we just expect to have a great godly marriage. We really just expect this to somehow happen. We not only expect it, but we expect it will happen even if we never work at it, study on it, or ask God to help us. Actually, here is an interesting takes more work and study to get a drivers license than it does to get a marriage license. And we wonder why over 50% of marriages in and out of the church end in divorce.

Here are some things that have helped Beth and I over the last month, as we started to pursue the "Chewning's Great Marriage Model"
1. Two 10 second kisses everyday.....soooooo important
2. Pray together...both people pray. Everyday.
3. Have an agreement to be honest with each other without hurting each other’s feelings.
4. Attack problems and not each other. (Learn how to argue)
5. Study Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3; 1 Corinthians 7
6. Understand and learn what it really means to Men: Lay down your life for your wife, love her unconditionally, and lead your wife. Women: Follow your husband, obey and submit to your husband, and respect your husband.
7. Commit to work on it.
Here is something that God also has revealed to me. Until I feel like I have a good understanding of how to have a Great Christian marriage and how to fulfill my role as a husband, he will not release me to fulltime ministry. God's view on marriage and infinitely more important than we think. If as Christians we cannot get this down, we do not deserve to lead his church. 1 Timothy 3.