Joyce Meyer - Galatians, Part 2
So, love is seen in how we treat people. How we talk to people. How we talk about people. How we think about people. And what we do or don't do for people. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul continually brings people back to the importance of walking in love. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, the Bible says, "Love is patient, kind, good, humble, meek, never envious, always believes the best of every person". And so, I like to think of love like a diamond. You know, a diamond has different facets. In other words, you turn it different ways and you see different, you even see different colors, you know. You see a little blue and you see a little of this, and a little something else. And I think love is that way. It has, there's many different ways that it expresses itself.
So, love is patient with the mistakes of others. Love is long-suffering, L-O-N-G... Let's don't miss that word, S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G. You get that? That means if you're gonna be in relationship with anybody, because there's no perfect people out there for you to be in relationship with. I'm sorry, but whoever you're in a relationship with, if you're around them long enough, you're gonna start to see the stuff that you don't see in the beginning. That's why a lot of you get really surprised when you get married.
Dave and I had five dates and he asked me to marry him. And I did, and I just tell him if you wouldn't have tied the knot quick you would have never taken me 'cause you would have found out what you were getting, and it would have been more than you could handle. But he likes a challenge. He prayed that God would give him a wife and he said, "Make it somebody that needs help". So, he got his prayers answered. You gotta be careful what you pray. If I get a little snippy with with him now, he'll say, "There's that old fire. That's what I married you for". Love always requires some kind of sacrifice. Love is costly. That's why it's hard for us to do. It's going to cost us some time, some effort, some money, but there's always some kind of sacrifice involved in really truly loving people.
Come on. But I tell ya, if anybody would be able to walk out of here today, myself included, and spend the rest of your life majoring in loving other people, you would have such a great life that you couldn't even possibly believe it. We spend so much time trying to make ourselves happy. And if we would spend more time trying to make other people happy, then we'd be sowing good seed and God could bring a harvest back in our life of us being happy. God can do more for you in two seconds than you can do for yourself in a whole lifetime. And he's asking us to give ourselves away like Christ did, to sow our lives as a seed. Ask God every day, "What can I do for you today"? Stop giving him a list every morning of everything that you need that day just to be saved.
Come on. Some of you came to this conference, "We'll God if I don't get a breakthrough, I just don't know that I can go on". Well, yeah, you can. You can. And I'm equipping you. I'm giving you good equipment to go out of here with. All you gotta do is just stop trying to take care of yourself, and go take care of somebody else and God will take care of you. You know, it frustrates me sometimes when I've got a problem in my own life that I cannot solve and yet God will send me to one of these things and I can help thousands of people with their problems. And yet, and I can't do anything about my own little puny problem.
But see, that's exactly what God wants us doing. Instead of trying to take care of yourself, he wants you to turn yourself over to him. You spend your time taking care of other people, helping them, being a blessing to them, praying for them, helping to meet their needs, and I'll tell ya one way or the other, I don't care how, what he has to do, God will get to you what you want and what you need at just the right time and nobody can stop him. Amen. Avoid telling other people's secrets and revealing their sins. Yeah, uh-oh. A few verses of scripture here, Proverbs 11:13, "Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered". Treat other people the way you want to be treated. "When you make mistakes, do you want everybody goin' around telling everybody else, or would you like 'em just to keep it to themselves"? I didn't get an answer.
I love this one. Proverbs 18:6, "A fools lips walks into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating". How do ya like that? In other words, if we tell other people's secrets that usually causes trouble for us eventually. 'cause we always start with, "Now, I don't want you to tell anybody I told you this". Can I tell you something? That's the dumbest thing we ever do. Because they are gonna tell somebody. Just like, whoever told you said, "Don't tell anybody I told you this". And now, you're telling somebody and saying, "Don't tell anybody I told you this". They're gonna go tell somebody and say, "Don't tell anybody I told you this".
Proverbs 25:9, "Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secrets".
Matthew 18:15, a lot in that chapter is talking about forgiving people. And it says, "If you have anything against your brother, or there's anything between you and your brother, then go to him privately. If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. And if he listens to you, you've gained back your brother". And then it says, "If he won't listen, take two or three others," still, keep it just as few as possible. But the whole point is trying to restore him, trying to bring him back to a place where he realizes that what he's done is wrong.
A couple more examples, 1 Peter 4:8, "Love covers a multitude of sins". Now, that doesn't mean that we don't deal with people's wrongdoing. But, it does mean that we don't have to go around and gossip and tell everybody. How many of you need to come up a little bit higher in not telling other people's secrets? Well, we got some honest folks here this afternoon.
Genesis 9:18-27, a very good example. "The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan). These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed. Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard". Now, this was after the flood and after that was over and now they're startin' life again. "And he drank the wine and become drunk and he lay uncovered," which means naked, "In his tent. And Ham the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father and went and told his two brothers outside". "Man, you oughta see dad in here. I mean, he looks ridiculous. He's drunk and has no clothes on". Well, he wasn't too smart. "Then Shem and Japheth," who apparently were wiser, "Took a garment, laid it on their shoulders and walked backward into the tent and covered their father's nakedness so they couldn't see it".
They honored him. And the other one did not. "Their faces were turn backward, and they did not see their father's nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done, he said, 'cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers'. And he said, 'blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem: and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, but let Canaan be his servant'". So, I mean, Old Testament, yes, but the boy that told the father's mistake, ended up living under a curse. And the two boys that covered the father's mistake ended up being blessed. And whether, it's Old Testament or new, I'm pretty sure the same thing happens in our lives. If you want to really be blessed in your life, and if I want to be blessed, than this is something that's very important to do.
How many of you know how hard it is to find somebody today that actually, will keep your secrets? I mean, there's not very many people that can say they have one or two friends that they completely, totally trust. And if you've got one, it is a precious gift. And you need to appreciate it. Remember now, we reap what we sow. So, if you want friends like that, then you have to be a friend like that. Amen? All right. Now, when we hear about other people's problems, we really want to avoid pride. Because, it's very easy to think, "Well, I would never do that". When we hear someone's faults or mistakes, it's hard not to think of how terrible their behavior is, and be firmly convinced that we would never do what they have done.
Do you ever surprise yourself and do something you didn't think you'd ever do? You know, don't give me those, I don't want this half, come on, if I say do you want a miracle? You can get it up there. We have to avoid feelings of superiority. Amen? We see somebody do something really stupid, don't ever say, "I would never do that". You say, "God, I pray that you would give me grace and mercy and that I would not do that. And I pray that you would use me to help restore them". All right. I'm glad we got somebody that's agreeing. Avoid the pride of having a self-righteous attitude. I think that God dislikes a self-righteous attitude probably more than anything else. We have been made right with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. "He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him".
But, the apostle Paul said one in Philippians 3, a beautiful chapter, he said look if anybody has a right to be proud, it's me. I'm educated in the law, I'm a pharisee of pharisees and on, and on, and on and all these things. He said, "But it's all a pile of dung compared to the priceless privilege of knowing him and the power of his resurrection". Paul said, I don't want to find any worth and value in anything that I've ever done, or know, or how spiritual I was. I only want my worth and value to be in who I am in Christ. And I can tell you, not one of us are worth anything, except who we are in Jesus Christ.
Ginger: All right, Joyce. I just have to be honest today: this candid conversation is really just for me.
Joyce: Oh, really.
Ginger: So, I want to talk to you about this. There are things in all of our lives that just really annoy us. Certain things that just really grate on us, but there are better ways to handle them than I often do. So, you know, when I learned a few things, I find out that I can handle this and then I slide back into that pit of being so annoyed again. So, I would love to hear what are some of the things that really annoy you, what are some of the annoyances that you deal with, and how do you respond in a more positive way?
Joyce: Oh, Ginger, there's nothing that annoys me. I've overcome all...
Ginger: And see, I'm instantly annoyed, now.
Joyce: Right. See, now you're annoyed that I'm not annoyed. Okay, well, we'll just have some fun with this. Probably the thing that annoys me the most is people who don't do what they say they're gonna do and who don't communicate that they're not gonna do it. I can't tell you how often, like at our house, we'll have a repair man that's supposed to be coming at a certain time to do something, and they don't show up, and they don't call. And here, you stayed home. I mean, it's just...
Ginger: Right, you've rearranged your life.
Joyce: And today, that just happens way, way, way too often. And everybody's excuse is always, "Oh, I'm sorry. I got busy". Well, then you shouldn't be taking more business than what you can handle, and handle it with integrity.
Ginger: Right, integrity, that's the big word, right? And like you said, just communicate it, "Just give us a call and let us know".
Joyce: "Give me a call, let me know". You know, today, I think greed really causes most people to take on more than what they can handle properly. And you know, we love our doctors, but even, I mean, thankfully, I'm not dealing with anybody like that now, but in the past, there have been times, there was one doctor that I used to go to a long time ago, and it would be anywhere from two hours, forty-five minutes was like a small wait. You know, why not leave a few minutes in between appointments, so if you go over a little bit, you know, it's like do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Ginger: So, let me ask you then. You're sitting in that waiting room and you are so annoyed because you've been there over two hours, and it is gonna happen, it is gonna happen. So, how do you handle that annoyance in a better way and get through it?
Joyce: Well, I usually have to repent after I've not handled it good. And really, the answer, I think, comes down to I'm just gonna have to get a different provider. You know, I'm not gonna keep dealing with this. And I've kind of come to that point with businesspeople. It's like, "If that's the way you do business, then I don't", I don't wanna do that because I'm just inviting the devil to aggravate me all the time. Now, obviously, if somebody can't help it, you know, then we need to be gracious, and we need to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit. And we always need to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit, but you know, walking in the Fruit of the Spirit doesn't mean that you let people take advantage of you, all the time. And of course, I am a communicator. And so, usually, if we're strong and an area, it really frustrates us if somebody else is weak in that area. So, I have to keep that in mind. I'm a bottom-line person. So, it's like, if I ask you a question, please give me the answer, the shortest way you can. You know, I only wanna know the bottom line. "Did you get it fixed"? Not, you know, how you fixed it, and where you had to go to fix it, and you know. And so, I have a tendency to get annoyed with people that are extremely detailed. And that's one that I have to work on and take responsibility for, because they can't help being detailed any more than I can help, like my husband is real detailed. And so, if he'll start to tell me about a movie, "Oh, I watched this movie last night," and I just feel like it takes forever for him to tell me, what was the movie about.
Ginger: You've seen the whole movie by the time the conversation is over.
Joyce: Yeah, so you know, God puts us with people that are not like us, for the purpose, of giving us practice on this Fruit of the Spirit. Another thing that annoys me are little, nitpicky, continuous noises. And so, I was recently somewhere writing for a couple of weeks, and a part went out on the refrigerator. And they couldn't get the part for a while. And so, about every two minutes, the refrigerator would go, click, click, click. Two more minutes: click, click, click. And I was...
Ginger: It just grates on ya.
Joyce: And it wasn't that far away from where I was writing and so, I got to go, "Ok, Lord, somehow or another you're gonna have to help me just ignore this and not pay attention to it". So, what about you? What annoys you?
Ginger: So, one of the things that I find really difficult and it's similar to some of the things that you've been talking about. But I like to make excuses for this annoyance, but I'm such a justice person, right? I want people to do what's right, and to do what's fair. And so, when I believe something isn't right and fair, then my instant reaction is to fight back, and I'm very annoyed at the circumstance.
Joyce: "Gonna make you do what's right".
Ginger: Exactly. And so, the bad thing of all of that is then, I often respond in a way that is, you know, not helping the situation. It's more of an argument than a de-scalation or whatever. So, that's one of those things like, for instance, if something says that it should be on sale, it should be on sale. And if I go up...
Joyce: And they should have it.
Ginger: Exactly. If I go up and it's not really on sale, the sign was in the wrong place, or whatever then I don't do well with that. Now, I have learned a lot and I've come a long way over the years. 'cuz I do understand that people move signs and mistakes happen. So, like you said, I just have to pray, and breathe first, and take a beat.
Joyce: Remember who we represent. We're out representing Jesus.
Ginger: Exactly, exactly. And this is something that my daughters will still talk about because I embarrassed them so many times when they were little. So, I really am over that, I'm so much better with that. But there are still those things when something's not right, when someone doesn't treat someone else the way that they should, when someone doesn't follow certain things that should be done.
Joyce: I have a daughter that's one of those justice people. And you know, she's like, she wants everything to be fair. And it's just not.
Ginger: It just isn't.
Joyce: I mean, it just isn't, that's all there is to it.
Ginger: You have to let that go.
Joyce: And God is a God of justice, and so, he wants us to turn those things over to him. And then he makes wrong things, right. Something that annoys me is mean people.
Ginger: Oh, yes, me too.
Joyce: It annoys me so bad that there are certain tv shows that I like the plot and I would enjoy the show, but if one of the characters plays like this mean, sarcastic person, I just eventually, I just can't watch the show. And I know that's because my dad was like that, and I just can't handle it. It's like, just don't be mean, the world is mean enough without people being mean.
Ginger: I agree. Now, what you just said though, we've talked a little bit before that recognizing where it stems from, recognizing those triggers, that's probably really helpful in handling some of those situations, to be able to say, "Now, I know why I'm reacting this way".
Joyce: All bad fruit has a root. And if you can find the root it can help you deal with the problem. But some of these things that we're talking about, it's like, it's not right. It's not right for people to not show up for appointments. It's not right for them not to communicate. And so, since we can't make them change, the only thing we can do is ask God to help us behave the right way. I'm sure Jesus ran, I mean, he ran into injustice all the time.
Ginger: All the time. And I'm sure those disciples were so annoying to him at times.
Joyce: Well, yeah, you know, I mean, he's trying to tell them he's getting ready to go to Jerusalem, and all the suffering he's gonna go through, and they're arguing about which one of them is the greatest. And so, when you see, you know, the patience that he had with them. So, we do have to understand. And then, you know, there's the factor too... If you're a Christian and you know, like you and i, we've been Christians for a long time. We've been in the word for a long time. And so, you know, we may be able to handle ourselves differently than maybe somebody who's only been saved for a week. And so, we have to have understanding of where people are coming from, and, you know, where they're at.
Ginger: Show a little mercy and grace.
Joyce: And I guess the bottom line, we have to admit it's no matter what somebody does, it doesn't give us a right to do the wrong thing. Two wrongs never make a right. So, God always expects us to... What does he say? "Love your enemies, pray for those who mistreat you, and treat you unjustly". And so, but we all do have things that annoy us. And so, there you have it. You have my...
Ginger: I appreciate it.
Joyce: Open conversation about what annoys me.
Ginger: I love it. And I'll actually take all the help I can get, because you're right. It can be as big as someone mistreating someone else, or a small as a reoccurring noise that we cannot get away from. But how we react to it is up to us.
Joyce: But I will say this. There's not nearly as many things that annoy me as there used to be. So, thank God...
Ginger: That's very promising.
Joyce: I'm not where I need to be but I'm not where I used to be. I'm making progress.
Ginger: Thank you, Joyce. I appreciate it.