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Growing Up Versus Getting Older 

 

YOU, today/right now…..YOU, 1 year from now…..YOU, 3 years from now….5 years from now.  Sure, you will look a little different/walk a little different/know a lot more, but here’s a great question: 

WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO BE WHEN YOU GET WHERE YOU’RE GOING?

 

You already know this:  You are created by your Creator in incredible ways!!! Check this out:    You made my whole being. You formed me in my mother’s body. I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old (Psalm 139:13-16).

 

According to those verses, Who formed you/made you/created you?  And not only did God create you, He watched over you before you ever came into this world!  And think about it:  God made you ~ 

A Physical Person
An Emotional Person
A Relational Person
A Spiritual Person

 

You are ALL 4! We are all physical beings, emotional beings, relational beings & spiritual beings. It might seem a little silly, but try it.  Look in a mirror and say (out loud) these words to yourself:  

“__________ (your name here) is a physical person”

“__________ (your name here) is an emotional person”

“__________ (your name here) is a relational person”

“__________ (your name here) is a spiritual person”

 

 

Here’s a question:  Do you think that the God Who made you, wants you to be strong in a 4 areas?  I call it “The 4 Corners of You!” You didn’t know you had “corners” did you?  You thought you were “all smooth.”  Well, you are smooth, but you also have 4 corners:

There’s the physical you.

There’s the emotional you.

There’s the relational you.

There’s the spiritual you.

 

And God is interested in YOUR WHOLE PERSON (all 4 areas) – He is the One who created us with all 4 layers.  He wants us to be growing and healthy in all 4 areas.  He wants us to be physically healthy, emotionally healthy, relational healthy and spiritually healthy (It’s NOT as complicated as people make it out to be!)

 

Warning  Warning  Warning (Did I mention “warning?”):  

DON’T NEGLECT ANY AREA OF WHO YOU ARE CREATED TO BE!

 

A healthy, well-balanced person gives needed attention to all 4 corners….if you favor one area, but you neglect the other areas, it negatively affects your development and is hurting you (and probably hurting others connected to you).

 

Alright, what do you think about this: Is it possible for a person to be healthy in all 4 areas?  What do you think? The answer isAbsolutely.  That’s how God wired us.  Sometimes, you are asked this question:  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  That’s not the best question.  How about this question?  

 

Are you going to grow up?  Or are you just going to get older?”  I know!  You are just in middle school - I get it.  But you know this, right:  A lot of adult people have never grown up.  Oh, they are older (20 something, 30 something, 40 something….), but they haven’t grown up a lot.  And the reason why is so simple.  They neglected to pay attention to some important things –———- And now, they are struggling.

 

What I’ve found is this:   We become what we build ourselves to become.  What does that mean?   It means that every day, we are making decisions about who we


will be, about how we want to be, about what we are becoming. And we become what we build ourselves to become.  

 

We are all aiming at something.  We are giving attention to something.  We might be aiming at some really good things or we could aim at some really worthless stuff.  But our lives are always aimed at something --- making decisions about certain targets….pursuing various things…

 

          ….& YOU usually HIT
   WHAT YOU ARE AIMING AT!

 

The great issue for most people today is what we aim our lives at. God wants you to hit the right targets.  Here are 4 of them:  Giving attention/Growing
the physical you

the emotional you

the relational you

the spiritual you

 

God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.  He wants us to be balanced/healthy in all 4 areas – physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually. The simple truth is always this:  We become what we build ourselves to become.  

~~~~~~~

 

Activity #1 - Think of 1 step you can take to grow, to move yourself forward in each of the “4 corners of you.”  Write it down below.  Take 1 area and focus on that today. Then tomorrow, pick a 2nd area and the next day, focus on the next and so on…..  

 

Here’s one thing I am going to do to help myself
physically - _________________________________________________________
emotionally - _______________________________________________________
relationally - ________________________________________________________
spiritually - _________________________________________________________

Train the Brain

What do these 2 pictures have in common?

 

 

Look carefully.  Did you guess it?  Wait for it….wait for it…..

If you said, “it’s a mother and daughter,” that would be the wrong answer.  What about “there’s nothing in common - these are 2 totally different, unrelated people!”  And that would be the wrong answer.  What if I told you that this is the same person? No way!  Way!!!  She is the same person.  Amazing what a little light and make up can do for you.

 

All models and photographers know that “light is everything!”  Change the lighting and it changes the picture.  Light even changes your looks….  It’s all about the light.

 

Now, 99% of people are focused on what light does to your “outside.”  But there is another light that is more important than “outside light” and that is “INSIDE LIGHT.”  You know this, right?  When Jesus comes to live in us, He brings His light inside of us and His light inside of us affects everything (at least it’s supposed to!).

 

Think about what light does:


Light brightens up the place
Light pushes back the darkness
Light enables you to see what needs to be seen

Light makes things grow (without light, stuff dies)

 

Jesus said that WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.  He also said that He is the Light of the world.  Which is it?  It’s both!  And He wants His light that is in EVERY Believer to do what light does…..to grow us/to push back darkness/to show us what needs to     be seen/to brighten up the world that we are walking through.

 

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (that’s what Jesus says about you).  I like the way that The Message translation says it:  “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.“   (Matthew 5:14-16 The Message)

 

Go back and read those verses again.  That is what Jesus says about YOU!  In Day One, you looked at “The 4 Corners of You” (You are a physical person, a relational person, a spiritual person, an emotional person).  The light of Jesus in you affects all 4 of those areas of your life.  Be light!  Light changes everything.

Physical and Emotional People

 

We’ve spent some time this week discussing the "4 Corners of You.” We have established that you are a physical person. We have established that you are a relational person. We have established that you are an emotional person, and we have established that you are a spiritual person. Today I want to go a little bit more in depth about what the Physical and Emotional corners mean, and tomorrow we will discuss what it means to be a Spiritual and Relational person. 

 

I am a Physical Person

During the first week of our world’s history, God created the earth and the heavens, the oceans and all the plants and animals, and then He created mankind, and thus we became physical people.

Your physical corner is the piece of you that will pass away one day. But let’s be clear; you are not a body that has a soul. You are a soul that has a body. In 2nd Corinthians, the Apostle Paul says that our bodies are like a temporary tent that we live in while an eternal house is being prepared in Heaven by God. 

Your body is not permanent. That being said, what are you to do with your body now? We know that God doesn’t look at our outward appearance, and that matters of the heart are typically more important than matters of our body.

But in 1 Corinthians, Paul also tells us that our bodies are Temples of God, and therefore we must honor God with our bodies. 

What does honoring God with our bodies mean? Well, think about your body like a house. If you love your house, you take care of it. You keep it clean so that when guests come over they don’t think you’re a slob! You decorate the rooms and paint the walls! You furnish it so that you feel comfortable enough to call it your home! When something breaks in your house, you fix it.

With your body, you treat it sort of the same way. You “furnish” your body with clothes that help you feel comfortable in your own skin. You practice personal hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth, wearing deodorant (super important), using soap, and more, all so that you don’t push away people because you stink, and so that you can stay healthy. 

You also take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising. A body that doesn’t eat well or exercise is like a building that’s all broken down. You can fill it with as much furniture, paint all the walls, and sweep all the floors. But that house is going to be hard to live in until it gets fixed!

I am an Emotional Person

You could say you don’t really have emotions. And I could say you’d be lying! Most people would tell you that women are the emotional gender. However, the truth is every person ever created is an emotional person.

I don’t cry very often. But one of my guilty pleasures is playing Call of Duty online with my friends. There’s one problem though: I’m not very good at it. So every time I lose a match, I get more and more frustrated, and sometimes I’ll yell at the tv screen. Maybe some of you can relate.

The honest truth is that a person’s levelheadedness isn’t what makes people yell at their Xbox’s; their emotions do! Your emotions are what cause you to cry when you’re sad, yell when you’re angry, smile when you’re happy, or even roll your eyes when you disagree with someone. 

But here’s the thing: you don’t have to be ashamed of having emotions. In fact, Jesus was an emotional person, too. Read that again, slowly: Jesus was an emotional person too.

In one instance, Jesus saw some temple workers who were selling stuff and exchanging money in the temple. Jesus knew that the temple was to be a place where people prayed, not a place for Get-Rich schemes! Jesus overturned all their tables and cracked them with whips! He called them thieves! Jesus had a passion for prayer and knew that these people were a hindrance to that. 

In another instance, Jesus was on His way to see His friends, Mary and Martha, because their brother, Lazarus was sick. When he finally arrives, He finds out that He was too late; Lazarus is dead. He finds His friends mourning over their dead brother, and he doesn’t just cry. It says that He wept. 

Some people think that when Jesus cried, it was like Bruce Willis, letting out a single manly tear after beating all the bad guys at the end of an action movie. But weeping is more than a single tear. Weeping is the result of a broken heart. Pain will stir up inside a person’s heart and it lets itself out in tears, and cries of sorrow. Jesus was touched by the death of his friend, and the pain of his family, and so He wept with them.

Mastering your emotions is something that’ll take an entire lifetime, and you still may not get there. Your emotions can lie to you. You can feel infatuated by someone who you think is cute (that means to have a crush on someone), but infatuation isn’t the same thing as love. Just because you’re angry about something doesn’t mean you’re right. Just because you’re sad, doesn’t mean that you’re right.

Growing as an Emotional person is all about learning how and when to listen to your emotions. When you listen to what God says about your emotions, you learn that you are called to weep with those who are weeping, and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. You learn that if someone is angry with you, the best response is a soft answer. Apologizing is the best way to get through an argument. What do you think God is trying to say about your emotions?

Relational and Spiritual People

 

The Emotional and Physical corners of you go hand-in-hand, because they both deal with how you treat yourself. The Spiritual and Relational corners of you go hand-in-hand, because they both deal with how you deal with everyone but you. The first two are important because you spend your entire life with yourself! You need to know how to properly treat the person you spend your entire life with! 

But the way you treat others is important because life does NOT revolve around you. The way you treat others and the way you treat God are some of the most important things about you, and it’s crucial that we get this right!

 

I am a Relational Person

Currently, there are about 7.6 billion people in the world. In case you’re unaware of how big a number that is, you could have the entire world’s population walk in a single file line, and shake each of their hands; the line would never end, because in the time it took for you to get from one end to the other, an brand new generation of babies would grow up and learn to walk and talk and read. If you were to count every person living on our planet, naming every single number from one to seven billion, it would take over 100 years to count that high, even if you don’t stop to eat, drink, sleep or breathe. There’s a lot of people in this world, and you need to learn how to relate to them.

We have been called and commissioned by God to love our neighbor. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our hearts and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourself. How exactly do we do that? There’s people out there that are really hard to get along with!

In what’s widely regarded as the best sermon ever preached, Jesus gave a great message that was unlike any message people had ever heard. Many people today would even hate what He had to say then, but it rings true today now more than ever!

In Matthew 5, Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

Wow! One of the best things you can do to those who disagree with, is just listening to them! If someone wants something from you, give it to them. Who would have thought that Jesus would be the one to say “do not resist an evil person!” 

The truth is, life does not revolve around us. When we let other people get their way, even if it doesn’t always seem right, God gets exalted.

When I was younger, I thought that people need to see me wear clothing with Bible verses, or I need to carry my Bible around, or that I need to post Bible verses on social media in order for them to know Who it is I follow. But the really, the world should know who I follow by how I LOVE people!

But everyone loves their friends. Everyone from muslims to hinduists to atheists, criminals to judges to drug dealers; everyone loves their friends. But the people who are against you, those who you disagree with, Jesus tells us to love those people, too. 

The way you grow as a Relational Person is to love people, especially the ones who see the world a little differently than you.

 

I am A Spiritual Person

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.” - John 4:24

Many people have lived great lives by mastering the Relational, Emotional and Physical corners. But you are incomplete if you ignore the Spiritual!

When I was younger, I would hear someone say “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual.” It was always a hippie who rejected all organized constructs of religion, but believed in some sort of greater power in the universe. These people were really weird.

Let me break this to you: being spiritual shouldn’t be that weird! You have a Creator, and He wants to talk with you! This is what being spiritual is about! 

When we pray, here in this physical world, God’s hand moves and changes things in the Spiritual world, which causes change here again in the physical. The Bible compares the Spiritual world to an atmosphere.

Our atmosphere has a certain level of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The nitrogen makes our sky blue, the oxygen allows us to breath, and the carbon dioxide allows plants to grow. Well our spiritual atmosphere has certain powers and principalities. When people become angry and hateful, it’s because of an evil, demonic influence in that person’s spirit. But when a person has joy peace and kindness, it’s because of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said when we pray, and “bind, or loose things on earth,” that God will “bind, or loose” things in heaven too. So when you pray against the feelings of anger you may be experiencing, God moves and takes away those spiritual things that are causing you to feel angry.

The enemy of your soul is doing everything he can right now to keep you from praying, because he knows that’s how God works. Praying is what makes you grow as a Spiritual person. God will not work in your life until you ask Him to! 

Will you ask God to work in your heart and in your life today?