|Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)|
Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!
As most of you know, we are working on the front lines as community life coaches. Although we know that we are apostles, sent to this community; and although we know that from time to time, we are also operating in the other four of the five-fold ministry gifts of prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist; we do not use any of these descriptions, titles or distinctions as we go forth in this community. We are simply known as community life coaches who happen to be ordained ministers. That’s all the public knows about us. And we believe that’s how it’s supposed to be.
A few years ago, my husband began teaching about Believers moving in stealth-mode in order to be more effective in soul winning and discipleship. He said we must learn to operate under the radar, not seeking attention, acclaim or accolades. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to minister in stealth and under the radar. It was through life coaching.
God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past the lies that they have received and believed.
We have been presenting you several quotes from Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book,
The Lies We Believe. He categorizes the lies we believe as Self-Lies, Worldly Lies, Marital Lies, Distortion Lies and Religious Lies. Last week we introduced the topic of Worldly Lies. This week, I want to focus on a very specific worldly lie that says, ‘You can have it all.’
There are many things I have wanted in life, but just being able to attain my short list of wants has been impossible. In my process of living, I have found that we don’t really NEED everything that we WANT. Most of the time, fulfilling those wants would have been self-destructive.
To have what we want isn’t always what we actually need. Coming to the realization that everything we want isn’t healthy for us, is a major life lesson and it is not one that everyone has come to accept.
One of the most insidious lies we are told in the world today is that we can have it all. Whatever avenue the world chooses to communicate this message, through the various forms of media, the concept that we can have it all in life is totally ridiculous.
Do you remember the old 1970’s commercial in which a woman sings, ‘I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never ever let you forget you’re a man, because I’m a woman!’? Unfortunately, many women, over the last 40 years, have tried to live out those lyrics by trying to have a full-time career, a husband and children, all while trying to take care of a household and attempting to have time for themselves.
I’m not addressing those women who were forced into this situation. Nor am I making a moral or social commentary on those who made this attempt. I’m simply pointing out the ultimate fallacy of the attempt to have it all. Over the decades it was found that no one could maintain the balance in juggling all these desires and wants successfully.
Saying YES to one thing most certainly means saying NO to something else. Saying yes to the job promotion can mean spending more time at work than you do at home, and that decision affects the relationships between spouses, and between parents and children. Saying yes to the career can mean saying no to school recitals and no to the children’s sporting events. It can mean spending less time with a spouse; not being able to discuss the issues of life as they happen. Tensions arise, frustration is felt, and there is distance in family relationships simply because issues aren’t able to be dealt with as they arise.
As human beings, when we receive the object of our desire, we still want more. Obtaining what we want doesn’t satisfy us. We always want more. This lie ‘you can have it all’ devalues life because it has us focusing on what we want instead of enjoying what we already have. We fail to appreciate the most important things in everyday life such as waking up, having family who love and support us, having a place to live, or being able spend time with our children.
Dr. Thurman sets forth the example of King Solomon, the wisest, richest, and most influential king of Israel. He presents Solomon, who explored the ‘you can have it all’ lie, as a case study.
In Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 King Solomon talks about what having everything is really like. He says:
Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
King Solomon set his heart to seek and search out wisdom concerning all that is done under the sun (Ecl. 1:13) and saw the absurdity, frustration, futility, nonsense and emptiness of trying to be happy apart from God.
In trying to gain power, popularity, prestige or pleasure there is nothing that can fill the God-shaped void in man’s life except God himself. Eat, drink, rejoice, do what is good, live joyfully, fear God, and keep His commandments. When you live this way, skepticism and despair will not remain part of your life. We must choose to view life daily as a gift from God.
Philippians 4:12 says, I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Dr. Thurman says, “We can learn how to be happy with little or a lot, enjoying life’s daily joys as we would a feast.”
We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,
Coach Carol Green