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Mar 12

Don’t Settle

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

25 years“Don’t settle…Don’t settle…Don’t settle.” That’s my self-talk. It’s easy for me to get lazy, give in and grab junk and eat it.

I wrestle with responsibility. I assume you do too.

Note: Today’s my 25th anniversary at TreeHouse, and this is the final post of the “10 for 25″ series on ten important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

Don’t Settle, Wrestle

I hate when I mess up.
I hate when I let down my guard.

I hate when I lower my standards.
I hate when I try to wiggle out.

I hate when I rationalize my choices.
I hate when I justify my behavior.

I hate when I make excuses.
I hate when I plot stupid stuff.

I hate when I hide my failures.
I hate when I’m afraid to talk to God like God doesn’t know already!

Can you relate? I assume some of you can too.

Dont Settle for Lies

That poem expresses my struggle with responsibility. It’s my raw gut-check while I’m sorting out what is a healthy and an unhealthy sense of responsibility. Understanding three terms is an essential part of owning responsibility: guilt, false guilt and shame.

Guilt says: “I made a mistake. It’s my responsibility.” Guilt is beneficial. Guilt is a healthy response to most unmet responsibilities.

False Guilt says: “Something needs to get done and it’s my responsibility even if someone else didn’t follow-through, someone made a mistake or said that I “made a mistake”; either way, it’s my responsibility.” But, false guilt is a misguided sense of responsibility.

Shame tries to convince us that, “I am what I do. I made a mistake. I am a mistake. I am what I am, I cannot change.” Fortunately, God doesn’t want us to stay stuck in shame.

Don’t Settle for Shame

If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!” 1

If we ask, really ask God for help:

God will listen.
God will answer.
God will be at your side.

I want that.
I want that for you.

We want you to know that God gave us guilt to help us steer away from hurtful and harmful things that the Bible calls sin. God wants us to take responsibility for our thoughts, emotions and actions.

God inspired Paul of Tarsus to send a benchmarking letter to an Italian church in Rome.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

“Don’t settle.” Don’t go there. Stop!

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

Pay attention. Don’t become complacent. Watch your decision-making. Don’t let your standards slide in such a way that you don’t even realize it.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” 2

I want that.
I want that for you.

#mysilentscream: Don’t settle.

1 – Psalm 91:14-16, MSG
2 – Romans 12:1-2, MSG

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