It has been said time and time again that it takes some exponential number of positive statements to offset the number of negatives in ones life. God spoke to me in yet another awesome way while having a discussion with my wife, Courtney yesterday that has just continued to resonate in me.
Now considering I used to be that guy that would take every word as an opportunity to take up a spirit of offense and fight with you about it, what the Holy Spirit gave me was huge. His response to a question posed about how often my wife and I do or don’t praise one another and if it was enough to offset the negatives we may or may not bring to the table. This probably isn’t news to you, but married couples do say non-positive or otherwise known as negative things to each other.
His response was that we need to deal with the deep wounds in our lives, otherwise Satan will take neutral comments to each other and twist them into negative, heartless, ungrateful and hurtful comments.
He gave me a vision of a pressure cooker. With the top off it is no more than a pot and as the temperature rises the steam simply vents out, but once you put the top on every bit of heat adds to the pressure felt inside. Until the pressure indicator rises it is still safe to take the top off, but once the pressure indicator pops up there is to much going on to safely remove the top. As the pressure builds even further the rocker on top lets of enough steam to keep the pot from exploding.
I believe this is the heart behind Ephesians 4:27 – “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (The Message)
Much like that top, holding what’s in, in and keeping what’s out, out, an event or words that hurt deeply can create a barrier that not only shields us from bad, but prevents us from letting positive in and negative pressure out. If we deal with it soon enough in a healthy manner we can take care of it, taking the top off, without too much, if any, collateral damage. But at this point every little but of heat adds to that hurt and pressure inside. The problem comes when we pass that point of pressurization, the indicator pops up and watch out. What is that indicator for us as people? It could be the smiles and flirtatiousness dissipates, arguments don’t stop and can get to the point of pure dislike or hatred towards the other spouse. It could be almost anything, we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to help us notice the indications.
The issue of compliments, neutral and negative comments is hard to deal with at this stage. Once the pressure’s up a nice comment here and there is like tipping the rocker with your finger to let a little more pressure release. This compliment could be roses or tickets to a ballgame our any other nice gesture for those who’s words get in the way, but like splashing a small amount of water on the top to cool everything down a tad. It doesn’t last long and it can be back to the same pressure in no time and some times that little splash of water can become steam and burn you (I hope you’re getting the analogy here). In addition many times the pressure comes back quickly because the heat from under the pot hasn’t been taken away.
There are three problems here one is the top that started to keep in the heat and therefore build pressure, two is the heat under the pot and the third I will address later. The heat could be coming from many sources, a job, family, school basically life. The top is anything that keeps you from venting that heat. Everyone is different so determining which needs to be addressed is not for me to say in a blog, and truly should be talked through with an unbiased counselor or mentor, but I hope this will help.
Some can handle and dare I say even enjoy the heat of everyday life. It drives them, gets them off the couch, lets them do things, some not so much. If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen. I’m not being rude or obnoxious here I am simply saying know your design. If God created you to operate at room temperature or on keep warm, then don’t throw yourself on a red hot burner. To be continued…..”The Pressure Cooker – Part 2“