I’m excited to get back to the “Plank Hunt” series because it’s so important to realize the power we have to impact our marriage for the better by taking responsibility for our “planks” (see Mt. 7:3-5). I’m sharing today about one of mine that I found in doing the “Character Flaw Inventory.” If you didn’t see or use the inventory in my last post on “Plank Hunting” then you can snag it here.
Ironically, for me, my number one plank is an “Unforgiving and Critical Spirit.” It’s ironic because as a life-coach one of my niches or specialties is helping others to find “forgiveness.” 😉
It really isn’t a surprise to me that I have this “Achilles heel” in my life. I have this doggone tendency to
analyze over-analyze everything and everyone. So when someone has hurt me or failed me, I have a tendency to take that hurt too personally—ultimately because my faith in God is too small.
Now, you might want to write me off as irrelevant and/or a hypocrite when it comes to forgiving others because I struggle with this issue. But I would like to make the case that …
[Tweet “My weakness with forgiving makes me the best person to help others with bitterness!”]
That’s because I know what it is like to carry a grudge. I know the slippery slope that leads to hardening my heart. And I’ve come to know many of the lies that a person swallows when he/she lets their heart grow harder and more calloused.
I also think I’m qualified to talk about this because of what God has taught me in my struggles, as well as, what He’s redeemed through my surrender. Yay, God!
One of my triggers goes back to my childhood—being left out. That’s because when I was young, I was left out in several critical relationships, which created great insecurities that Satan has capitalized on throughout the years. So whenever I feel as if I am being “left out,” I have a greater tendency to allow bitterness to bubble up from my wounded past.
Btw, I am not saying that having a “trigger” absolves me (or you) of the responsibility to deal with my (your) sin, nor that this is the only trigger that plays into my sin. I just want to point out that there are triggers that we must recognize and acknowledge as we “Plank Hunt.”
1st Step – Surrender
I must keep James 4:7-8 in mind and surrender that temptation to the Lord every time I feel the urge to ruminate on the injustice in the heat of the moment—submitting over and over, if it reemerges.
Whenever I do that I am resisting the devil, who then leaves me to go find someone else who will listen to his lies (See 1 Peter 5:8). So watch out, you might be his next victim!
But the best part is …
[Tweet “God draws near as I submit my struggle and sin to Him! #submittoGod”]
That’s when the real healing takes place and Christ strengthens me in my weaknesses (see 2 Cor. 12:9).
2nd Step – Rest in God’s Embrace
[Tweet “As God draws near, that’s my cue to rest in His powerful arms. #Godsgotthis”]
Resting in this case is not passive but active because I am engaging my faith by trusting that God’s got this!
3rd Step – Renewing My Mind
There are many ways that I’ve allowed God to renew my mind over the years. I’d like to unpack that a bit more next week, because I don’t want to condense it down into a brief word or two here. Besides, this one action step has positive implications for all types of planks!
So next week, I’ll be sharing the specific ways I renew my mind and then I’ll continue to unpack other “planks” in the “Plank Hunt” series in the weeks that follow.
What’s a “trigger” that contributes to a character flaw or sinful tendency in your life?
What’s a lie that you’ve embraced, making you weaker and more vulnerable to a particular sin?
If you have a particular “plank” you’d like me to address, please feel free to let me know. I probably won’t be addressing each one, so your request may be what I’ll use to determine the next “plank” in the series.
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