HELPING EACH OTHER FIGHT – SLANDER

HELPING EACH OTHER FIGHT – SLANDER

“When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks. 

So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like: “Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him. Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation? Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away ‘all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander’ (Ephesians 4:31)? How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure (Proverbs 22:1)?” In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:30). 

“The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims” (Proverbs 26:28). Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander. In an age of social media, that lacks the functional information-spreading restraints of past eras, let us be all the more slow to post (‘slow to speak’ – James 1:19) analysis, speculation, and commentary on information about another person or group, even if it has become public in our slander-saturated culture, that might eventually prove slanderous. 

“All the serious biblical warnings about slander still apply, which should make us all, especially those of us with ‘platforms,’ tremble.” – Jon Bloom. 

CATTLE PROD

I used to have this cycle where events would tell me that I didn’t belong. I would work it out sometimes rather fast, but it took my time and energy. Cycles can be exhausting and wear you out. I began to see this as unfruitful and pressed in further with the Lord. While it was great I could work it out in my heart, I wasn’t so sure God wanted me to be on auto-repeat with the same situation.

As I asked the Lord, I heard the word ‘cattle prod.’ Growing up around Minnesota farms, I knew what a cattle prod was but felt an invitation from the Lord to study them further. WOW! A cattle prod’s purpose is never to kill or destroy the animal; it is to CONTROL them with the purpose of getting them to MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. I asked God to show me who gave the enemy the legal right to use this tool on me, and I saw my mom. My childhood was full of pain and heart splinters, causing me to move out for good when I was in the 8th grade. But the picture He showed me was when I still lived with my family. Surprised by the time frame, God showed me that my mom would often make comments about me not belonging, or she would say, “Maybe you need to live elsewhere.” This taught me, long before I was removed from the home for good, that I didn’t belong in the circle. So fast forward to adulthood when circumstances gave me the message I didn’t belong; it was like a cattle prod in my side. It would get my attention, and I would stop doing what I was doing and spend time unpacking the hurt and lies. I always found the truth and peace again, but once I realized the root of where this was coming from, I forgave my mom for teaching me I didn’t belong and declared that tool no longer effective. I saw Jesus come to a herd of cows (and had the sense I was one of them). When He scooped me up, I morphed into a little lamb snuggled in His arms. He carried me away from the dirt and manure and brought me to the grassy field. But when He set me down, I immediately tried to run back to the herd. Why in the world would I do that if He just reduced me? He said, “Because it is familiar. You believe you are a heifer, but you are My sheep. The cattle prod is used on those who do not know who they are (identity). It is My job to keep you in the pasture, but I do not use a cattle prod to control you; I use My staff to lead you.”

The irony of the cattle prod is that it always seemed to happen right before something big in my life, and it caused me to not only stop but move in the opposite direction. Hmmm.

HeartWork – Do you have an area of your life where you feel like you get cattle prodded out of the blue, and it takes you days or weeks to find your footing again? Ask Jesus to show you what He wants you to see. Maybe this isn’t so much about you but about the enemy using past experiences to shock you into old cycles. Ask Holy Spirit to bring healing to the area you keep getting poked in and for Him to break the power of the cattle prod. You are not a heifer. You are His sheep!

BACKWARDS

I will be so bold to say that we have it a bit backward. We teach our children about the written Word first, yet when they are in scary situations, they aren’t flipping through their memory bank to find Scripture to apply to their situation. I believe that the focus for raising spiritually strong children needs to be on leading them into encounters with His presence and hearing God speaking to them. We, as parents, should test it against our knowledge of the Scriptures and lead accordingly. When kids experience God (His voice, His love, His peace), this focuses on the relationship first, not merely memorizing Scriptures or reciting the ‘rules.’ What would this generation look like if they were equipped with tools to stand firmly when the enemy comes? What if, at the age of six (and younger), they were TAUGHT and TRAINED by YOU to use tools needed to ward off the hurts that often become adult-sized wounds? You are investing in THE most priceless gift for your child. Do not be quick to give up or give in on your privilege to teach, equip and train your child in this area.

FREE INDEED

Do not call a weakness what is really a wound that needs healing. We can be free and free indeed. Our HEART SPLINTERS book is for children of all ages (the adult kind, too) to help resolve the hurts, lies, and offenses that fester in our hearts and influence our lives.

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

HURTING HEARTS

Testimony from our JOURNEY class: ”I am so thrilled about the class and already see breakthroughs in our family, even though I am just learning. Today I heard both our girls, ages 4 & 5, crying and being upset at the same time. After hearing that one said ‘Eww’ to a song the other was singing, she ruined the floor puzzle they had been building. I explained that they both hurt each other’s hearts, and they told each other how they felt. Then I had them apologize and ask for forgiveness. One apologized, but the other refused. Not sure what to do, I asked her to draw a picture of how she felt. 2 minutes later, she returned with a picture of an upside-down heart and a regular heart. She said her heart felt upside down when she didn’t say sorry and that it felt right when she did. So, she went right away and apologized. All was well once again! I was pretty amazed that is how she felt when not apologizing! Anyways, thank you, Lisa, for sharing your experiences and journey and what you’ve learned with Holy Spirit. I can’t wait for more breakthroughs with Him.”

ANGRY OUTBURSTS – SAD, SCARED, LONELY

Has your child had increased outbursts of anger? This can be a very challenging thing to parent because of the mess anger can make emotionally and with connection. However, I encourage you to ask Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see what is UNDER the anger. Typically, under anger are the emotions of being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to show you, you will be able to minister to their real heart instead of just managing their behavior. 

P.S. This isn’t just for kids!

PRAY FOR GOD ENCOUNTERS

Years ago, I attended a church with a gal. She loved Jesus, but boy, was she messy. She had a lot of emotional issues that made it nearly impossible to have a connection with her. Years later, her name popped up on Facebook, and I immediately judged her as ‘that messy girl.’ The Lord stepped in and said, “Lisa, if you still hold her to that view, it is a judgment against Me and your lack of belief that I am capable of moving in someone’s life.” WHOA. Sure enough, I friended her, and God has done a brilliant work in her. She is a fabulous mother in a healthy marriage. I learned a lot that day about trusting God’s redemptive work in the messy places of others. Since then, when I encounter a messy person, I begin to pray for those God encounters and revelations knowing God is big enough to carry them into wholeness. I want to position myself on the life-giving side of the Cross in their life!

MEAN GIRL

My daughter was so excited to meet a sweet girl on the first day of school. It made her transition moving out to CA so much easier knowing she had made a friend, but as the days rolled on, another girl seemed to have a real problem with her and was making life difficult. She would come home and talk about what the ‘mean girl’ was doing to her. Finally, I asked Lauren if she was willing to forgive the girl for not being loving. After she let go of the offense, Jesus showed her the girl was scared my daughter would take away her friend and that she would be left alone. Then I had her ask Jesus what HE wanted her to do about it. Instantly, she heard she was to ‘kill her with kindness’ (which is a verse in the Bible that she has never read). The next day, Lauren pulled her aside, apologized for any way she may have made her mad or upset, and then blessed her with a sweet treat. It broke that girl’s wall down, and she immediately began accepting her. The following day, she presented my daughter with a handmade thank-you note for being so kind to her. THAT is how we teach our children to be the head and not the tail, how to flip situations for God’s glory and how to release heaven in worldly situations on earth.

HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR CHILD TODAY?

My mom used to drive around in an old Chevy Monte Carlo with a bumper sticker that read, “Have you hugged your kid today?” I used to think it was awesome that she had a reminder each time she got in the car. I longed for her embrace as it made me feel wanted, safe and seen. Sadly, hugs were few and far between, but they still held a tremendous value. I want to ask YOU, “Have you hugged your kid today?”

Homework – Make it a goal to reach out and offer a hug to your child at least THREE times today. Set a reminder in your phone, do it before/after each meal, or when they ask for something. Be intentional and hug those kids today!

JOHN 10:10

I have a friend whose teen daughter is fighting for her life after harming herself. I have another friend whose teen daughter ran away, and they don’t know where she is. I have another friend with a teen son addicted to porn. Another friend has a daughter in a psych ward. The one thing they all have in common is that they all passionately love Jesus. The battle for our children is real. We MUST equip our children with heaven’s tools to deal with hurts, lies, and offenses. As believers, we may experience the beginning of John 10:10, but we get to camp out in the last part! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO PARTNER WITH?

Ellie had a school fundraiser where she had to run a long course, and along the way, they throw colored powder on the runners. Super fun! The morning of the run, she said she was worried about running. I asked her why since she usually is quite fast and does well. She said, “I am so afraid I will come in last.” Together we asked Jesus to show her what she was so afraid of with coming in last, and she said, “People will think I am not good enough.” We talked about the truth that SOMEONE has to arrive first, and there is always someone at the end. That’s life. But we want to make sure that we aren’t carrying LIES about our worth and value if we come in first OR last. Jesus showed her that when she carries the weight of worry and anxiety, she is slowing herself down and not doing her best. I had her confess to Jesus that she was partnering with worry, and she asked Him to help her run HER best. Jesus is building her life story and had a lesson that she can choose to partner with worry and anxiety or trust Him to help her. A lesson that she will need to choose for the rest of her life.