Getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse,

not a blessing.  WHAT?  Yup.  Pathway to miserable addiction.  Getting-my-way THWARTED by Jesus, is an enormous blessing, because it opens the door to my being retrained in a much-better way of living — disillusioned in my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-what’ll-make-me-happy.  But getting-my-way thwarted by Jesus is ONLY an enormous blessing when I’m convinced that getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse.

I know, sounds crazy.  All my life, and all my Christian life, I’ve gotten this backwards.  I think we’ve all gotten it backwards.  I know, sounds so radical, so unAmerican, unChristian.

Think about it.  When I get-my-way, it feels good, and like any addiction, I want more of this.  And more, and more.  In time, I grow addicted to control, addicted to getting-my-way.  My independence is strengthened/encouraged, my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-best is strengthened/encouraged.  I’m wiser and wiser in my own eyes, lean even more on my own understanding.  This is the Curse of INdependence passed down to the descendants of Adam and Eve.  We INdependents are a miserable lot, and I’m convinced that most of us, Christian and nonChristian, live in denial of the extent of our misery.

And every time I want-my-way, I return to life under the Curse.  Miserable existence.  And every time I’m freshly convicted of my INdependence, and embrace Jesus’ genius plan, want HIS way, trust Him to lead the way, confess I dunno best, I’m moved out from under the Curse, momentarily.  Ahhh, relief.

Impossible to be in a hurry, unless I’m wanting-my-way.  Impossible to be frustrated unless I’m wanting-my-way. Impossible to be competitive, to wannabe superior, unless I’m wanting-my-way.  Impossible to analyze, critique, judge, unless I’m wanting-my-way, confident-I-know-what’s-best.

Getting-my-way is not a bad thing, but it’s a mini-success, and like big success, it’s not a bad thing, but verrry dangerous to the health of my soul.  Strengthens my INdependency, my addiction to my confidence-I-know-what’ll-make-me-happy.  Miserable addiction.

So helpful lately, as I go through my day reminding myself over and over, “Getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse.”

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we Christians might have something the seculars around us want

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Emotional-health is

unusual self-acceptance that is based on unusual self-awareness.  Emotional-health is another way of describing inner-humility.  As opposed to the outer-humility of politicians, leaders, Christians.  Emotional-health/inner-humility, becomes an idol/addiction when we study emotional-health/inner-humility, strive for emotional-health/inner-humility.  Emotional-health/inner-humility for a believer, is best left up to Jesus. Unusual self-awareness, however, is a wonderful goal.  Unusual self-acceptance/emotional-health/inner-humility is a self-destructive goal, and is best left up to Jesus.  Why do I want self-acceptance/emotional-health/inner-humility?  Pride.  Because I know it’s the ideal, and if I’m ideal, I’ll feel good about myself.  When my goal is to feel good about myself, I’m unsatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness: I want some worthiness of my own, so I can feel good about myself.  The only believer who treasures Jesus and His imputed worthiness, is the believer who has NO worthiness of his own, especially the believer who once had great worthiness, then lost everything.  Most Christians leaders have great worthiness, and live in denial of how little we treasure Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  Unusual self-awareness is a wonderful goal, because our real flesh is exposed to us.  He who has a sense of having been forgiven only a little, loves only a little: Jesus, His worthiness, others, self.  If we’re not sensitive to what’s going on inside, we won’t be sensitive to others.  Won’t love them in ways that wow.  Jesus-like ways.

If you’re interested in Jesus growing you yet-more in self-awareness, I have a free ebook that I did not write, that has been used of Him in growing me way-more self-aware, and in the process, way-more self-accepting.  Way-more patient.  Gobs happier.  Email me.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we believers might have something seculars want

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I don’t need different circumstances,

easier circumstances, better circumstances — I need a different Dave — a Dave content with Jesus and the circumstances He’s carefully crafted for Dave, needing nothing more, nothing different.

So, why hasn’t Jesus given me easier circumstances?  Because He’s using the harrrd, the suffering, to retrain me in a better way of living — from dependent on Dave, confident-I-know-what’s-best, what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not, to dependent on Jesus, clueless-I-know-what’s-best, trusting that Jesus DOES.  And THANKing Him for everything just as it is, and everyone just as we are.

My flesh would have me believe I’d be happIER if I lived out west, where the sky is big, the sun shines most of the time, it’s warmer, and there are FEW CARS on the road.  My flesh knows NOTHing about how to engineer happiness for me, but it THINKS it does. I don’t need a different place to live: I need a different Dave, who lives where I live, facing all I face, with surprising joy and peace, THANKing Jesus for the harrrd because I believe in Jesus’ sovereign-and-loving reign over every detail of my life.  So I’ll have something seculars want.

And Jesus has me living in congested, cloudy, SE Pennsylvania, and has me feeling rotten physiologically some of the time, to retrain me further in Jesus-dependency, so I care LESS and LESS about the things my flesh believes will make Dave happy.  Jesus is making me a different Dave — a thanking Dave, and it’s painful to be overhauled in order to experience a better life, but it’s beneficially painful, lovingly painful. Actually, wonderfully painful.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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When I read the Bible,

it’s so helpful when I remember that I’m not ALONE, that it’s not up to ME to figgeritallout perfectly, and that my interpretation/understanding is not up to ME — that Jesus is totally sovereign over every detail of my life, including my biblical understanding.  Ahhh, s’wunnerful to rest in the sovereign reign of my ShepherdJesus. Blissful peace. Not alone and not up to me.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who is only curious and expectant to see what his SovereignShepherdJesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances, when freshly convicted of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s freshly enabled to thank Him for everyone just as they are, and everything just as it is, all according to His genius plan

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The best leader is

not the chief expert, chief accuser, chief knowitall, chief competent, but rather….the chief confessor.   Humble.  Not just on the outside, but also on the inside.  The best leader finds his security in worthiness outside himself, which frees him to live and love self-forgettingly with reckless abandon. Jesus provides this alien worthiness to those wise enough and humble enough to die to their own worthiness and embrace His imputed worthiness.  But ain’t nobody wise enough and humble enough UNLESS the Spirit is overhauling him/her, and typically over time, so the death to self-worthiness is slower rather than faster.  Faster has its benefits, but it’s also more painful.  Best to surrender any timetable to Jesus.

Here’s a two-minute video clip of Nick Foles, MVP of the recent Super Bowl, that’s impressive to ME.  A good-but-not-great example of humility.  We Christian leaders have all mastered outward humility.  Inner humility?  Not so much.  Still.  Nick talks freely elsewhere about the primacy of Jesus in his life, but in this clip, just mentions his faith, as enabling him to deal with failure.  Chief confessor.  Our hearts go out to humble leaders.  Easy to see why the Eagles players rallied around him, as a backup quarterback entering the playoffs with the hero starter’s season-ending injury only a couple of games earlier, and nobody except the Eagles themselves, expecting the Eagles to win ANY playoff games, much less the Super Bowl, led by a backup without respect in the NFL, and without respect by Philly fans.

The worst leader is the one everyone fears; the next best is the one everyone hates, the next best is the one everyone loves, but the best leader, is the one when it’s all said and done, the people being led say, “Look what we did.”  Can’t find the author of this great quote on leadership.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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The BEST-case scenario,

is what Jesus has for me, right now, in these present circumstances.  NOOOO.  My flesh thinks the BEST-case scenario is…easy…things going MY way, as judged by my flesh.  Dave’sFlesh is confident-it-knows-what’s-best, but in reality, it dunno nuttin about what’s best for me, or others.  Dave’sFlesh LOVES feeling great physiologically, free of pain with gobbsa energy, strength, confidence.  Ummm, sweet.   But Jesus sometimes thwarts the desire of my flesh for easy, and instead, gives me harrrd.  My flesh HATES harrrd.  Fails to recognize that suffering comes from the hand of a loving Savior to retrain me in a much-better way of living — dependent on Him, curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, THANKing Him for everything just as it is, and everyone just as we are.   Jesus-dependency is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.   Whatever it takes, Lord, that’s what I want more than anything else in this world.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, being dragged along kicking and screaming through the sanctification process, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing any difference

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I deserve BETTER.

I’m not a contented follower of Jesus.  I feel ENTITLED to better than what I have, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationally, vocationally, and for SURE, automotively.  I’m like Oliver Twist in the orphanage — I want MORE.  Jesus is not ENOUGH for me.  I want MORE.  I want BETTER.  I DESERVE better.  I feel ENTITLED to better.  Or so my flesh is convinced.  I’m not a humble man.  I’m not an enjoyer of others just as they are.  I’m their critic, judge, looking for ways to feel superior to them.  I LOVE people watching, because I discover fresh, new ways to feel SUPERIOR to other humans.  Ummm.  My flesh DELIGHTS in feeling superior.

Utterly impossible to feel superior unless I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best, INdependent not dependent on Jesus.  Wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, a great example of a bad example of a Jesus follower, ever needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, and also needing reminders that grace is for BIG sinners like Dave

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Failure is the best-case scenario.

WHAT?  Seems to me.  And big failure is better than small failure.  Whyzat?  Because until you are freshly stripped of your own worthiness, you will not freshly treasure Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  Worthiness-idolatry stands in the way of treasuring Jesus and His imputed worthiness.

So, Dave.  Are you saying I should TRY and fail?  No need for that.  Just pay closer attention to your thoughts, feelings and reactions, especially when you’re all alone, like driving or walking somewhere by yourself, and if you have a wide, deep foundation of grace teaching, and the Spirit is opening your eyes to know better your real flesh, I predict you’ll see your failure in every direction, over and over and over.  You will become overWHELMED with your failure.  But.  You will be highly motivated to run to Jesus for your worthiness, and leave your own pathetic worthiness behind.  So WHAT if I’m a big failure?  My success/failure is meaningless, says Ecclesiastes.

And being hyper-conscientious — obsessive about failure-avoidance, is the trap of the devil, to get you so self-absorbed that you are a poor enjoyer of others — seed sown on thorny soil, unable to reproduce thirty, or a hundred fold, or even double.  Fruitless.  No contagious Jesus within.

We don’t learn to be obsessively-failure-avoidant from the Bible, but from the world around us, outside the Church, and sadly, inside too.  We Christians have bought into the worldly value of one’s personal performance determining our worth, contrary to Scripture which says personal performance is like filthy rags, and only the imputed performance of Jesus means ANYthing.  Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees — imagining we are following God, but actually following OURSELVES, awhoring after performance/worthiness of our own, and living in denial of our failure to obey, to find contentment in Jesus and His imputed performance/worthiness, in denial of our dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we Christians might be compelling to the seculars around us

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