Episode 066 | Walking Away From Crazy

May 23rd, 2017

Is it possible to be truly happy in an imperfect world? Is plastic surgery ok for Christians and when/how do you walk away from crazy? Pastor Matt and the crew answer these questions and more while unpacking a sermon all about holding onto happiness.

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Summary

Pastor Matt begins this week's episode by clarifying how we as Christians can experience joy in the midst of trials as we look forward to experiencing eternal happiness in the presence of Jesus. This topic leads to a discussion about navigating the illusory expectations most of us have about life and our obligation to boldly declare the Gospel in the face of persecution and injustice. As the episode continues, Pastor Matt addresses the reasons people switch churches and how you can know if God is calling you somewhere else. Then a question about plastic surgery leads to a conversation about openhanded issues—makeup, tattoos, vehicles—and the importance of stewarding our resources in a way that builds God's kingdom first. As the episode shifts to debriefing Pastor Matt's message about holding on to happiness, he indicates that God promises that he will be present with us in the midst of our pain, giving us the grace to heal and change. He then speaks about God's power to harmonize a disparate marriage, and how to walk away from crazy in familial relationships and regarding street corner preachers.

Resources

See Pastor Matt’s Sermon on Holding Onto Happiness

Verses Referenced:

Psalm 16.11

This Week's Topics

Is there a way for us to actually be happy on earth while we wait for eternal happiness?

Yes, there is joy on earth. In the beatitudes within Matthew 5 and 6 Jesus speaks on the joy we can have in living out the lives we have been called to live. Jesus lived them out in his own life as an example of how we are to live. One of the keys to happiness is lowering our expectations and rejoicing and focusing on what the Lord has for us each day and in the future.

Is it ever ok to leave a good, Bible-believing church?

Yes absolutely, if we are leaving a church for the right reasons then it is okay to leave. If we decide to leave a church we should do it carefully and prayerfully. We should expect a feeling of tearing when we leave a church because we were a part of that community. Many people leave churches saying they “weren’t getting fed anymore.” As Christians the primary person responsible for our own feeding of the word is ourselves. Church is a part of honoring our father in heaven and proclaiming his truth while serving and giving to others.

I am getting a boob job soon and feel self-conscious about it because I do not know what to tell others. Is plastic surgery complete vanity?

Plastic surgery falls into the issue of vanity just in the same way that hair and makeup do. The most important issue is the expense that coincides with vanity. As Christians we need to be good stewards of the resources that God provides us with. We need to make sure that the cost of the surgery doesn’t come at the sacrifice of our financial responsibilities such as caring for our families and giving back to God. We need should look at our intent behind having a cosmetic surgery. If the surgery will help us with an insecurity because a change in our bodies or if it will help in the intimacy within marriage then it is more justifiable than for other less important reasons. Anyone considering plastic surgery should also know that cosmetic surgery comes with risks and can be dangerous.

How does God feel about tattoos? I was told growing up that it is a sin to get a tattoo, is that the case?

The idea that getting a tattoo is sinful comes out of Leviticus 19. In Leviticus the issue was that tattoos in the ancient world were an identification with a foreign cult and this disqualified Jews from being Jewish. As Christians our identities should be found in Christ. Before paying for a tattoo we should make sure our finances allow for it and we should make sure that we aren’t getting them just to look better. If you are young person thinking about getting a tattoo you should wait until you are older, because most people who have gotten multiple tattoos will often regret at least one of them.

How can I help someone who is unwilling to let themselves be happy again?

You can’t help a person who doesn’t want help. You cannot change someone, they have to want to change themselves. There is suffering all around the world. God has not promised a life without pain, he has promised us that he will be with us through the pain. As Christians we should love our friends who are in a situation where they don’t want to get better from a distance, because they will often try and drag us down with them. We should be praying for them that they would come out of that mindset. Some people never want to change or get better, they have to take responsibility for their lives.

My husband doesn't seem to share my enthusiasm for getting more involved at church and I feel like I am pulling closer to God and further from him. Any advice or suggestions?

Go slowly. God doesn’t want to split up your marriage. When we start to serve and give to the church we do not want our faith to become a wedge in our marriage. If our faith becomes a wedge it isn’t worship. The Bible teaches that God can sanctify a non-believing spouse and our children. We should ensure that our spouse doesn’t feel alienated by our faith. We should always look to encourage our non-believing spouse by thanking them for allowing our service to God, we should serve our spouse and love them.

My sister can be a very toxic and manipulative. I work on forgiveness by putting things in the past but it's hard when things continue happen week to week. How should I handle a situation like this?

When we are in a situation when we are forced to live or be close to a toxic person we should bide our time and try to get out of the house or situation as soon as we can. We can create a healthier distance between us and that person by walking away from arguments and getting space when things become tense, because anger is contagious. We are born into families, we don’t get to pick them. We can’t correct crazy, and sometimes we have to just try to remain healthy.

So-called Christians have been coming to preach at students at my university using extremely hateful rhetoric to purposely antagonize and upset people. How should Christians respond when other Christians are severely damaging the perception of Christianity for non-believers?

When we see people spitting out hateful rhetoric in the name of Jesus we should just walk away. No one is listening anyways. They are not a real Christian just because they are quoting verses. Even Satan quoted scripture. We need to be careful in the way we confront sin, and remember that the Bible teaches to churches or specific Christians. We need to learn how to make outsiders become insiders. We don’t need to be a jerk for Jesus. Remind the non-Christians who are hearing these things that people can say right things and still be wrong. People can use the weapon of God (Scripture) and be a tool for evil. These people are tools of the enemy, so do not confront them. People who have to scream usually don’t have a point. We need to learn to say something and to speak up about our faith, and be a bigger, louder, and better voice.

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