No forgiveness, not this time!

I just love what Judah says! “Joseph is family, so let’s not kill him – it will only make us feel bad. Instead, let’s do the decent thing and sell him.” Some families really know how to look after each other, eh? Caring just comes naturally! The best thing is that Joseph wouldn’t have been able to phone home, or go on Facebook to tell them that he was missing them, because that would have made them feel bad too, perhaps!

I’m sure that none of us has been sold into slavery, but I’m also sure that we have all had a dirty done to us. Some of us will have suffered at the hands of brothers, sisters or parents; some at the hands of husband, wife or partner, some by friends, some by strangers. We carry the scars and the pain. Often that pain is so great that it changes us, changes our lives, changes our whole direction. We often become slaves to the consequences, perhaps just in the way we behave, the way we relate to others. Sometimes we become slaves to drugs or drink, just to hide the pain, or to hide from it.

If it’s broke, don’t fix it?

Last week at Celebrate Recovery, one of the guys said something which was interesting, alarming and funny, all at the one time, but I think “alarming” is the right description.

For the sake of confidentiality, I shall call him Dave, but his real name is Steve. No it’s not, that was a joke – his real name is Charlie. No it’s not!

We are getting to the stage in the programme where we start making a moral inventory. We look at the things in our lives that have had a major impact on us: things that we have done, things that have been done to us. They are the stuff that have built our hurts, hang-ups and habits. As we deal with them one at a time, we reduce the influence they have or have had in our lives. As we reduce their influence, we reduce their impact on us and their control over us.

Well, well! Will, will!

How big is your faith?
In our Celebrate Recovery programme, we have been talking quite a bit about faith and, to help people get a grasp of what Jesus said about faith (Matthew 17:20), we gave everyone a mustard seed. If we have faith that big, we can move a mountain. It has quite an impact when you do this – but I strongly recommend that you sellotape the mustard seed to a piece of paper – the last thing you want to happen is that they lose the mustard seed, because that is just a powerful anti-message that faith can be easily lost!

Stormy whether

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matt 8:23-26, NLT)
I am very aware of the fact that the Bible is a living word that speaks into the situation that you find yourself in. So often I read a passage and it means something different or something more than it ever did before.
Sometimes, though, I think this is often the case because I don’t think deeply enough about it – I just scan read, just as I have always skimmed the passage in the past, and I miss something, or put something in that was never there. This passage in Matthew is one such story.