Gumption is a Sacred Family Value

Gumption is the character to commit and complete. It’s the essence of self-leadership in requiring something of yourself without excuse.

Everything worthwhile is an uphill battle. Luckily, God has given us the necessary gifts, talents, and abilities to win. We only need to exercise gumption to get the better life God has invited us to.

And when we succeed, we celebrate!

Striving to be Authentic

In our families, we’re never going to be perfect, but we can strive to be authentic.

Being authentic means to have consistency between what we say we value and what we practice.

For example, when we say, “God is our sovereign source of life, and the one on whom we depend,” we need to live it. We can do this by finding our significance and security from God and not in others. When we trust others to fill the void, they will eventually fail. We need to look to God and lean on Him for emotional wholeness.

Valuing Family Togetherness

God designed families to stick together.

In marriage, we die to our single life in order to look forward to being together. This means that time together becomes the default, rather than time apart.

When Kevin and Marcia got married, their single lives had to die. They made “together” a sacred value in their family. Every effort has been made to form their family to be together as a default habit.

Build Sacred

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Sacred: Since Jesus is at the center; we set our hearts and minds on things above. New things become Sacred (holy set apart). We “die” to old things we once valued and value new things we once dismissed.

What is sacred in your family?

  • Togetherness
  • God First
  • Authenticity
  • Gumption
  • Bless Others

Homework: Define what is sacred in your family (5 to 7 things).

  • Ideas: Use today’s teaching; use the 10 commandments (Exodus 20); or use the “Value Exercise Cards” to start the conversation
  • Note: Perhaps what becomes “sacred” is distinct at different stages of life; dating, married, with young kids, with teenagers; empty nesters.

Keep Battling What Beats You

Humble yourself, get past your pride.

There are places we are vulnerable to peer pressure and signature sins. It’s only when we let God transform those innermost places that we can be defeat what beats us.

A temporary “feel good” fix (like alcoholism, addiction, drugs, pornography, etc…) only starts to make us loathe who we are. Beyond getting over our pride, we have to keep battling what breaks and beats us. This is only done by letting God battle with us.

Get Past Your Pride

Learn to live good in secret.

We need the power of the Holy Spirit down deep in our secret places because The Holy Spirit by the power of Christ will make us good form the bottom up.

When we become good in the secret hidden places, instead of trying to act good on the outside, we become good on the inside at the core, and good blossoms up!

This is how pride is beaten at the innermost core of ourselves.

God Will Pull With You

Jesus says to “Take my Yoke upon you and learn from me…” – Matthew 11:29-30

What does “Yoke” even mean?

A yoke pulls together two oxen so that they can share the load plowing a field. Jesus is saying for us to “yoke up” with Him, so that we can partner with Him and be transformed, and made good (Holy) at the core of our being.

When we join up with Jesus, he’ll plow our lives for us. He’ll pull with us and for us.

God Applauds Doing Good for One Another

It matters that we do good to one another.

When someone blesses a child, it blesses their parents! That’s how God feels with us. When we do good to one another, He (God) feels good.

  • Love one another (John 13:35)
  • Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)
  • Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
  • Build each other up (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Pray for each other (James 5:16)
  • Spur one another on toward love & good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)

Drill Down for Good

Discovered: When you chase Feel Good; it progressively destroys good. When you chase do good; it grows feel good!

The Challenge: Drill Down for Good (Because God’s good goes deeper and lasts longer.)

  • Public
  • Private
  • Secret

The Secret to a Merry Christmas “good life”? (Join Jesus)

  1. Yoke up for His pardon.
  2. Learn to live good in secret

The Importance of Perspective

David knew that before He could really access joy, He had to return to a right view of God and himself.

Discontentment is not an issue of the value of the things in your life, but the perspective you have of your life. If you don’t get “discontent” settled in your soul, you’ll never be content.

The next, and the new, turns into the old and the mundane really fast if the issue is discontentment on the inside.

Thanksgiving renews the perspective of our lives and helps us see blessings again.

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy

We get the feeling of happiness confused as the presence of joy.

The Bible uses the word “joy”, but culture uses happiness. Happiness is emotional and fleeting, while joy is steady and sure.

But, Joy is NOT in the emotions first, it is first in the spirit. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is in identity. Joy is higher than happiness. It can exist whether you are happy or not.

And when we get the two of these confused, we will find ourselves trying to force the feeling of happiness into the place meant for joy, but happy can not replace joy.

The strength of your walk with God is that you can sustain a life of joy, and it is connected to your ability to be thankful.

Thanksgiving Is the Gatekeeper to Joy

There is something about giving thanks that helps us unlock joy in our lives. Joy cannot be gained by external additions, but happens as an internal transformation. The more we understand discontentment, the more we begin to see the freedom of thanksgiving.

Discontentment leads to joyless (robs joy).

Thanksgiving leads to joy (fuels joy).

 

Discontentment Robs Joy From Our Lives

Discontentment on any level undoes relationships, friendships, careers, marriages, and families.

As we feel joy slip away, we start clamoring through life, frantically searching for the next thing, or some change in relationship or circumstance, that will satisfy this discontentment.

But no amount of MORE (no money, promotion, stuff, change in circumstances), can give breath in life like thanksgiving can.

Growing thankfulness and thanksgiving in your life would be central to a breakthrough in discontentment.

Overcoming Discontentment

One Conviction: Grow thankfulness to break through discontentment.

Thanksgiving is the gatekeeper to joy.

Grow joy through thanksgiving by:

  1. Remembering
    • “I will practice gratitude to access joy.” – Brene Brown
    • “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you are usually aware of three or four of them.” – John Piper
  2. Returning
  3. Right-sizing

Trying to Control Grows Anxiety

Anxiety grows when we try to be in control. It pushes us to have neatly compartmentalized worlds. We want to control when we are anxious or afraid.

  • We cannot control our circumstances.
  • We cannot control the stock market.
  • We cannot control our children.
  • We cannot control our spouses.
  • We cannot control our bosses.
  • We cannot control our teachers/professors.
  • We cannot control our guilt from the past.

We have to REST in God. The last and deepest place of praise is giving ownership and control over to God. Not just recognizing Him, not just relying on Him, but giving over control.

The good news is praise and anxiety cannot share the same heart! When we live a life of praise, rest comes naturally.

Praise Recognizes God for Who He Is

The reality of who God is can shadow the reality of the problems around you. We have to filter the problems in our life with the reality that there is a good God who is our helper and our strength.

We tend to start with what we see in the natural world, and God invites us to start with Him in the supernatural world.

We are not big enough to carry the weight and pressure of life alone. We have to recognize that can’t do it alone, but with God, we can!  The first thing praise does is it invites our hearts into giving recognition where recognition is due. It brings our hearts to a higher level.

 

Why Does Anxiety Exist?

Anxiety exists when the problems around you overwhelm the peace within you.

Problems are normal for all of us. We all know the feeling of anxiety.

  • We can miss the best moments with our kids…because of anxiety.
  • We can miss the best moments in our marriage…because of anxiety.
  • We can miss the best moments in school/growing up…because of anxiety.
  • We can miss the best things in life…because of anxiety.

What if God actually didn’t intend for us to walk through life with anxiety? We have to stop saying “I’m okay. I’m fine.” and start asking God what we need to do with our anxiety?

The Value of Praise

Praise is not a passive response to anxiety, it’s an active response. It is our active pursuit of God in our lives and over our problems / anxiety.

The power of of praise is the ability to do that over and over again. We’re able to take something that doesn’t change – God’s character and nature – and personalize it for our own lives.

The Definition of Discernment

The beginning of discernment is separating out a truth from a lie.

Jesus gives us a good bit of truth to that, but not an answer for every situation. Jesus goes on saying God grants us wisdom and has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us everyday as a counselor.

Ultimately, we want to know what is truth in life, but there are circumstances where the truth isn’t clear, and that’s where wisdom and asking for guidance comes into play.