039. Relationships: How Do We End Up Doing Satan’s Work for Him?

01 May, 2012

Even though we don’t know it, half the times in life, even in our own families, we do Satan’s work for him.  More than just making our family listen to the Black Eyed Peas, getting cell phone service on AT&T or changing the channel to Full House.

I’ll explain it this way… life is like a basketball game where our family is on our team and God wants us to score points for Him – and these points can be measured by the fruit of the spirit our family produces.

GAL 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control.

Our opponent is obviously Satan.  But half the time, instead of helping our spouse, parents, kids, or siblings try to score points, we end up arguing with them on the court.  

Most of the time about stupid stuff like who ate the last Snickers bar or the best way to load the dishwasher or which Black Eyed Peas song induces the most nausea.

In fact, we go beyond arguing with our family on the court and actually start hindering them from scoring – we start playing defense against our own team.

For example, let’s take just one fruit of the spirit in consideration for a sec… peace.  Let’s say we’re dribbling down the court to score points of peace. What are simple, basic ways we could help create peace in our households?  By returning impatience with love, by looking for ways to help, by removing stumbling blocks.

Do you think your spouse, parents, or kids are more likely or less likely to have peace if you try to correct one of their mistakes by raising your voice at them?  Or by not taking care of your chores, or by arguing with your sibling?

When we create obstacles for our own family members, we play defense against them… …and we do Satan’s job for him.

So what do we do?

How do we #1, stop doing Satan’s job for him by playing defense, and then #2, play as a team and score points for God?

To stop playing defense against them you simply have to stop tempting them to sin, like by being impatient with them.  Your lack of the fruit of the spirit with them will create an environment for them to sin. But let’s say you don’t mess with them.  It’s possible to just stand there and do nothing.  Just because you’re not playing defense against them, doesn’t mean that you’re on the court.  You could just be sitting on the sidelines.

So how do we start playing offense with them? First to score we need to get them near the basket, and to do that we need to remove obstacles from their path. What if your wife always gets upset when she sees piles of dirty dishes when she gets home?  Then do the dishes before the laundry.  Does it really matter what order it’s done?  No. It’s stupid. But it does matter if one way removes a temptation for sinning and the other way doesn’t. That’s what I mean by removing obstacles. 

And half these obstacles are simple, everyday things.  What you’re doing is removing a defender from her path.  What are the things that your family members get upset about? (Even stupid stuff). Can you do something about it? So when we’re done removing obstacles, we can assist them to score.  How are you helping your family members grow in the fruit of the spirit? Can you become a peacemaker in your household?  When they are upset, can you show them how God might be growing them?  When they complain, can you help them be thankful?  When they lose faith, can you help them trust God?

Point them to God and help them bear fruit.  That is ministry.

GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. [25] Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [26] Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. GAL 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. [2] Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. [3] If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. [4] Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, [5] for each one should carry his own load.

Take time to pray: Ask God to help you to stop playing defense and help your family members grow in the fruit of the spirit in their daily lives.