Monday, October 28, 2013

Do The Hard Thing! Tear Down The Walls! Open Your Heart!


Oh, how Satan wants our hearts!

John 10:10 tells us that the enemy of our souls wants to steal and kill and destroy. He wants nothing more than to destroy us by separating us from God. If he can't keep us from loving God, from trusting God, then he will go after our relationships with others.


You might think, "Well, as long as my relationship with God is good, what difference does it make if I distance myself in my relationships with friends or with family?"
That wall around your heart that you've cherished, protected, and rebuilt after each offense doesn't hurt others as much as it hurts you. It separates you from God, even though you might reason that walling yourself off doesn't have anything to do with your view of God.~ Mary DeMuth
What do I mean by that? The ‘silo effect’ refers to individuals working alone, who are not communicating with others or sharing common goals for the greater good of the community. The silo refers to being surrounded by vertical walls, causing inward focus and vertical communication. But the problem with this is that it limits productivity, growth, and health within an organization. It causes damage to the very thing you are trying to protect. 

This translates into ‘Kingdom living’ as one who just isolates herself from others. She lives as if it only matters that she loves God, but there is no reason to neither cooperate nor perhaps even participate within the ‘body of Christ. The problem with this is that we were created in the image of God. There is perfect symbiotic relationship within the Godhead, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…perfection in community in the living illustration of God, Himself. He created us to have relationship with others…to live in community. We were created for community!
When I began reading Mary’s book, The Wall Around Your Heart, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on relationships and community living. You see I’m one of those rare individuals that God has given the gift of ‘easy forgivingness’. I couldn’t hold a grudge if my life depended on it. I am not easily offended, nor am I afraid of confrontation. It’s not because I let people walk on me, either. I enjoy a good healthy debate and I am not afraid of disagreeing with a friend. I’m okay if we both ‘agree to disagree’…most of the time. 
But the more I read about using the Lord’s prayer as a roadmap to healing and bringing down the walls we tend to put up…the walls of offense, the walls of defensiveness, or the walls to just protect our hearts from further hurt… the more I began to realize that I had put up some walls. Walls, not of lack of forgiveness, but walls of not wanting to be hurt, or even being vulnerable to hurt… once again.
As a church planting pastor’s wife, I have run into individuals who have made snap judgments of me. There is so much to do and so little help when the church plant opens its doors. So naturally, in the beginning, I was doing many tasks and working in many different areas of ministry just to keep things running. In my mind, it was just one of those ‘for such a time as this’ moments in time that God had called me to until He brought others to fill those roles. After which He would release me to pursue the areas of ministry for which He had given me a passion and equipping. 

Sometimes in my eagerness to get a ministry in place and running efficiently, I was a bit too focused, too intense. And in the process, some read that as being ‘mean’ or harsh. Learning of this crushed me to the core of my heart. My desire was to love these people. After hearing (second hand) that yet another ‘sister-in-Christ’ had misunderstood or misread my intentions, I began to draw away a bit. Oh, I still worked hard in the church and prayed hard for God to send someone to fill these positions that I know He had not called me to forever, but just for the time being. Yet, I began to lose my love for the town and the very people He had called me to minister to in love. I didn’t hold a grudge against the individual people who had hurt me. I knew why they were misreading my heart. I also knew some of them were dealing with hurts in their own past rendering them incapable of extending an open heart and giving them unrealistic expectations of their preacher’s wife. Never the less…it still hurt.
My hurt heart caused me to draw away from the very community that God had called me to. So if this was God’s calling, why was I hurting? Well because, as the saying goes, ‘hurt people, hurt people’. I knew that God had called me to this community of 'hurt people' to be an instrument of healing and reconciliation, breaking down the strongholds of the enemy, strongholds that had been deeply embedded in this community. Mary’s words began to resonate within my heart. I began to realize that I had participated in the breaking of community by backing away when wounded. I felt the need to call out to God for forgiveness for myself, to own my responsibility in the miscommunication, and to give me the ability to love these people…the very ones who had hurt me in their own misunderstanding.
God in His great mercy and love is drawing me back in…back into His fold. He is bringing alongside women in my lives that are encouragers…women who love and laugh. Women who trust my heart and motives…even when in my eagerness I mess up, yet again, and in doing so, He is healing my ‘cracked heart’ right in the midst of the very community in which it was wounded.
Life is hard but God is good! Relationship is hard, but relationship is good! Marriage is hard, but marriage is good! Living in community is hard, but community is good! Are you getting it? Building walls only make it harder to live and love and be loved. Yes…building walls isolates you from others but it doesn’t protect you from further hurt because the hurt just seeps down further into the depths of your heart and soul.

My challenge for you is…
Do the hard thing! Tear down the walls! Open your heart to receive all the good that God has for you!!
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Do the hard thing and open your heart.









The quote in this article is from Mary DeMuth's new book, The Wall Around Your Heart.
 If you would like to get your own copy just click on the book image. 

You can also watch The Wall Around Your Heart Book Trailer 
here:
Welcome to the openhearted revolution!


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blessings,
Gay