A Gated Community

“Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto My GOD while I have My being…” Psalm 146

I recently heard a sermon where the speaker spoke in a negative way about people who live in gated communities. That sermon motivated me to write this article, as I want to point out some things about gated communities, why people desire to live within the confines of a gated community, and why ultimately we all should want to live in a gated community. However, before I expound on the gated community statement, I want to share what I believe is an over-arching issue, that causes statements such as these to be made, and the impact they have on a church congregation.

The picture that is painted is that these un-named individuals think they are “better” than everyone else. So, they are scrutinized and criticized because they have been prosperous. Unfortunately, what this does more often than not is cause those who may not be as prosperous to have “distorted thinking” about those who may have more, causing them to view these individuals in a wrong light. Distorted thinking is when you think things about an individual based on what someone else has caused you to believe, and not based on your own personal interactions with those individuals.

The  “gated community” statement is really systemic of a larger issue. This is a pretty typical but sad thing that happens in many congregations, where a Pastor/Preacher has an issue with someone in the congregation who may have acquired wealth, or a certain degree of success.  They insert statements in their sermon that have nothing to do with the Word of God, but are designed to place focus on certain individuals in a negative way. I’m sure you’ve heard a many sermons where a pastor/preacher talks about the people who have the fancy cars, a big house on the hill, college education, etc.  Sprinkled into the sermon are also statements such as “when you see people who ….…”, which causes some to look around to see if they can identify those individuals within the congregation.

The men/women of God who deliver such messages may not realize it, but they are actually sowing discord among  the  brethren, causing  division in the body, and causing the saints to be judgmental in a wrong kind of way. Usually when this happens in congregations the speaker normally has specific people in the congregation in mind, and there are others in the congregation who also know exactly who they are talking about.  You may ask, how do I know this happens?  Well I know because we  have been in the church continuously (never left) for over 60 years, and have been the target of many such sermons.

It’s really a shame that this occurs, particularly in the church from people who claim to have been called by God to deliver HIS message to HIS people.   In spite of all the encouragement and opportunity that is given to people to make something of themselves, and to utilize God given talents, gifts, and abilities, when it actually happens for some, there are those who seem to have an issue with them for succeeding and achieving .

I know these people are not speaking for God because they are making statements that are contrary to His written word. The real problem is not the ones who have succeeded, but the ones who have an issue with others achieving more than themselves.  They might have an “inferiority complex”, or are struggling with envy or jealousy.  It shouldn’t be an issue, for we all should know that God has told us in His word, that HE is the one that gives man the ability to acquire wealth and to become prosperous, and has provided in His word the prescription to be blessed.  Take a look at these scriptures as this is what God has said:

Deuteronomy 8:18

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Psalm 1: 1-3

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Joshua 1:7-8

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

For the past 26 years we have lived in a gated community, which we have thoroughly enjoyed. These communities require a special access code for entry, and if you don’t know the code you can’t get in. Typically there are higher end homes, often have private security patrolling the community, video recording of all who enter and exit, and are normally located in some of the most desirable and prestigious areas.  The homes typically have a higher price tag because of the location, and as many know, real estate value is really dependent on location, location, location.

Many believe that those who live in gated communities, are snobbish, think they’re better than others, etc.    However,  this thinking is normally created in their mind by someone who doesn’t live in a gated community, and for all the reasons I mentioned above.   If you actually got to know some who live in those communities up close and personal, you will find that’s not what they think at all.   They’ve just been fortunate enough in life to afford that type of living. 

We chose to move to these communities because the homes we desired happened to be located in gated communities. Yes it is nice to have all of the amenities mentioned above, but it certainly doesn’t make us think we’re better than others. Just like anybody else, we looked for places to live that we felt we could enjoy and would be conducive in raising our family to be well-rounded, and able to engage with anyone in this world. We also wanted them to be color-blind, and experience that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness  thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. It all belongs to HIM, and as his children, we can go and live anyplace in HIS world.  We are entitled.

We enjoy our gated community and all the surroundings.  I like the fact that the roads are paved and maintained, there is someone watching out for our well-being, the homes and properties are well maintained.

The more I think about gated communities it makes me think about Heaven.  In fact, those of us who profess to be Christians, we should desire and look forward to living in a gated community.  Why? If you want to go to Heaven, you will be living forever in a gated community. Heaven is the ultimate gated community.   In fact, it has more gates than any gated community I know. My Bible tells me that Heaven has twelve gates. As John the revelator said in Revelations 21:

 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates:

Oh, and by the way, it has paved roads that are made out of gold. 

Wouldn’t you like to live in this gated community, forever?    Well you can, but you will need to know the Access Code.

 To get in you have to know Jesus, up close and personal.

 If you don’t know the Savior, you can’t get in.

Share This:

Growing and maturing beyond resentment Part 1

Marriage God's way Works!

Marriage God’s way Works!


Growing and maturing beyond resentment

Part 1

Resentment can kill or deteriorate any marriage, home, family, congregation, or relationship if it is not properly dealt with. It is like leaven. It spoils… Resentment means you feel over and over the pain or distaste associated with an act or deed that has been made against you.

Don’t let others continue to disrespect you or undermine who you are becoming in the Lord. Especially when they have showed you over and over who they are. I say “becoming” because we never arrive; there is always room for improvement as long as the Lord has us on this side of Heaven. Pray for discernment. We actually do arrive; when we reach Heaven!

Counseling entails objective listening. Be a good listener whenever people are talking or speaking. No matter how young or old they may be. When they say something that you know is not true it will give you a clearer picture of who they are and how they feel about themselves as well as what influences them. There is a difference between gossip and having a desire to resolve conflict and set people free. Or if you simply want to control them. Some have an addiction to control. If they cannot control You they will manipulate and try to control the people around you.

PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT!
If you want increased discernment you must truly seek the will of the Lord. Discernment does not allow You to see what you want to see. It causes you to seek the Truth of what is really going on. You readily release what is not so because it clouds your ability to discern. Discernment goes beyond the surface of how things appear. Remember The Holy Spirit; His Comforter wants to lead us to all Truth!

Know the difference between the works of the flesh and the FRUIT of the SPIRIT!

Avoiding conflict or not confronting how you feel and just stowing it away causes resentment to grow and fester. It is healthier to validate your feelings. Then put them in the proper perspective. You can not change anything that has happened. But you can get release from what has been. Resentment hurts you more than it hurts the person you are resenting! “Iron sharpens iron”

Many mistake acceptance for Love. They will do whatever; to be accepted. But are not at peace when they are alone. This also deepens their depression. Some are so use to abuse that they cannot recognize genuine concern or proper correction that comes from love. Oh how we need to allow GOD HIS rightful place in all areas of life. God has a much better way. Live before an “AUDIENCE of ONE!”

To help others become free from resentment share and feed them the “WORD of GOD” not gossip. Encourage and model the principles of God’s Word yourself! This is how you break the cycle of dysfunction. “GOD IS LOVE” HIS WORD is necessary SPIRITUAL FOOD for our souls. GOD is the SPIRIT of TRUTH! HIS WORD IS what quickens (makes alive) the soul! Always remember; “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE” ~

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines resentment as such: “a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.” You can feel resentment towards a spouse, parent, child, relative, friend, neighbor, boss, coworker, person of the clergy, abuser or even a stranger. Life is precious. It is far better to readily discuss the matter at hand candidly and respectfully.

Many wait too long and allow the clarity of the facts to diminish. Often the truth is totally distorted and misconstrued. When questioned they will usually go in the direction that is desired. Just know if you do not address the associated issue, resentment will keep you fixated upon a momentary encounter for years. It will rob you from moving forward. A lot of the time the person has no clue that they are “stuck” in an abyss of not liking what was said, done or transferred upon their soul. Know you always have an option to speak Up!

GOD IS OMNIPOTENT!

You really can become whole! You can genuinely smile and mean it. You really can; Let the “JOY of the LORD be your strength” Some people do not have healthy boundaries. They will say and do just about anything. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Discipline yourself to speak when you are in control of your responses. Know when to speak and when to say nothing. God will impart HIS inner PEACE to you as you begin to exercise more self control. Truly having the Lord within our lives really does make a difference. THANK GOD FOR our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS & HIS HOLY SPIRIT!

Always seek to build your character in the eyes of GOD. It is HIS opinion of you that matters most. As you grow in the Lord; Fear no one and walk in meekness. You do not want to compromise your Peace with the Lord! GOD’S PEACE surpasses the understanding of man. So know that many will misunderstand you. Learn to take refuge and rest in the Lord. HIS HOLY SPIRIT is the COMFORTER! Above the LORD is no other. KNOW without doubt that GOD IS OMNIPRESENT!

Do not let resentment become the theme of your life, marriage or relationship! Life is too precious to spend most of it in regrets. Letting go of resentment does not mean that you forget what has happened. Many are quick to say “forgive & forget.” Forgiving does not mean that you should forget. Some things you do not want to forget you want to remember in order to prevent them from happening again. Neither do you have be afraid or paranoid.

Become alert! This can serve to Help you to know when to; “guard your heart!” Don’t let recycled junk become your current habitat. Readily recognize when someone is trying to take you down a path that you don’t have to go down. You do however want to work through any hurt or pain. You do not have to be a life long victim. Release any associated hurt or pain; this way it therefore no longer holds you captive. Today many seek to relive over and over their issues and often seek out others to further enable them. What bands them together is there shared experience. You will hear them over and over talk about their past and then say; you need to forget about what happened? Go figure. They don’t realize that they are actually sending a binary messages. (Yet, they are telling you to forget the past and are constantly bring up their past?) So no don’t forget. You really should want to file it away in a healthy manner so that it no longer becomes a trigger for anger or fear; nor does it have to continue to negatively impact your life.

No! You do not have to seek revenge. Give them and the situation to God. I was taught by a wise Mentor and Mother. God can do a lot more with people than you can. There are many diverse doctrinal beliefs. Some hinder the flow of the SPIRIT… Don’t reinforce dysfunction. GOD is NOT the “Author of Confusion.” Some do not really seek understanding. They rather stay “Stuck.” It is good to spend time alone with the Lord as well as with someone you can “Touch and agree!” Learning how to “BE STILL & KNOW” is precious. You learn how to better respond rather than react.

Self Control is part of the Fruit of God’s Spirit. You really can have genuine inner Peace. I will not compromise my Peace with the Lord in order to be accepted. You do NOT have to force your way. Don’t get pulled into messiness. Pray for increased Discernment. Have Faith in God!

God really can heal you. But you must want to really want to be healed. Believe! It will take some effort on you part… Healing is welcomed because you really do want to become whole!

See part 2

Share This:

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates