Sunday Sermon: Falling In Love Again: “Loving The Aint’s”
9/23/12 Isaiah 53:1-15 Luke 4:14-20
Today; we are going to focus on one of the biggest life issues we face; “Falling in Love Again.” How many of you have fallen in love at least once. Everybody likes the feeling of falling in love. As a matter of fact, we even get so caught up in somebody else’s falling in love so that we have a ton of questions we want to know. The first one is usually; how good do they look? Then comes how much money do they have or what kind of job do they work? How old are they? We want to know what family they come from and how do they treat you? We want to know what religion they are. We want to know how the two of you met. We want to know every bit of information about that person.
Now we all would like to think that when we fall in love, we have got us a good looking, mentally balance, well behaved, faithful person with no serious defects. How many of you found out that’s not who you fell in love with? Now I got some good news and some bad news for you. If you have not married the person yet, you can still change your mind and look for someone else. The bad news is that whoever you do find is also going to be messed up in some area because of the limited number of people you have to choose from.
If you are looking for someone born on this planet, here is what God says about the available pool in Romans chapter three verses 9-18. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”[a] 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”[b] “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[c] 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[d] “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[e] 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[f]
Everybody fits somewhere in these categories and most of us fit into more than one. Now which category of persons do you want to fall in love with because there are not any more people left? Can we be honest with each other for a moment? How many of you know, if everybody knew you, as well as you knew you, they would be reluctant to fall in love with you up front? You know, deep down inside we all know that we really ain’t all that. Now if you are one who didn’t know it, then I’ll tell you—you ain’t all that.
Many times we even try to hide who we are from the very person we are trying to win over. Why do we do it? Because all of us know that we have things wrong with us. You see everybody who goes through life, gets battered and bruised at times. We are left with wounds and scars that cause us to see ourselves in negative ways. All of us carry around emotional scars. Even the person you envy and wish that if only you could be like them has scars.
Some of the scars come from being part of the “Aint’s” crowd. You can be from a poor family or rich one, a Black family or a white one, an uneducated family or college degreed one, an unknown family or famous one and still be among the “Aint’s”. The “Aint’s” crowd is made up of people who have been battered by an event in their lives that has caused them to see themselves in a particular way. Somebody gave them a label that stuck in their brain. How did it happen?
Coming home from school with a report card full of A’s and B’s but having one C only to hear, you ain’t smart enough. Your brother got all A’s. Listening to everyone say to your sister how pretty she is, but never hearing anyone say how nice you like. You hear, you “ain’t” pretty enough. You tell someone that one day you’re going to be a doctor, and the words come back, you probably are going to be just like you old daddy and you “ain’t” going to amount to much of nothing.
You didn’t respond quick enough to help your little brother, and you hear “you ain’t deserving of nothing but a beating”. You miss curfew once, and you hear, “you ain’t no good and you’re probably a slut”. You displease someone, and they say “you’re worthless and say ain’t anybody going to love you”. You try out for a team and you don’t make the squad. You here, “you ain’t nothing but a failure and that’s all you will ever be. What a disappointment you are”.
If the right person says this to you enough times, or even if the wrong person says it’s a critical time, the memory of the event goes inside your brain and takes residence there. If you do not release the proper emotion that you felt at the time of the episode, that memory becomes a part of who you are and the emotional discharge that should have come out of you is stored somewhere inside of you. It will either come out in other areas, or do internal destruction in your body and emotional wellbeing. There is an emotional time bomb ticking inside of you and inside of me.
Imagine for a moment that 8 year old Charlene is being sexually abused by her 13 year old brother. He comes into her room after her mom has fallen asleep. He tells her if she ever tells; her mom will be so angry with her for acting like a prostitute. Everybody in the family is going to hate her, for bringing shame on the family. The kids will make fun of you at school.
Nobody is going to believe her when she gets C’s and D’s on her report card and he gets all A’s. How many lies is Charlene going to believe about herself because of this traumatic and episodic event in her life? Do you think she’s going to have some trust issues with men? Do you think there is going to be a lot of anger inside or her? Do you think she and her husband are going to have issues in the bedroom?
Imagine for a moment that 5 year old Rodney is taken over to his grandmothers by his mother thinking he’s going over for a short visit. But when evening comes his mother does not show up. Grandmother does not know what to say to Rodney. Nor does she come the next night, or the next, or the next. It’s been over a year now. Rodney, now 6, still waits every night for his momma to come pick him up.
Do you think he’s going to have a problem with trust, especially with women? Do you think he will bring his insecurity into his marriage? Do you think he’ll wonder if anybody really loves him? Do you think he may develop some anger inside of him? Do you think each time his wife or husband leaves the house; he may want to know exactly where she/he is going and when she/he is coming back?
All of us have something in our past, which has kept us broken as adults if we have not allowed Jesus to heal that particular situation. Most of the times we masque our hurts, and put layers of defenses on our wounds and try to bury them so that they we will not hurt us again. Can you imagine being told gangrene has set into your foot and your solution is to wrap your foot in a new stocking and put on some new shoes? Now hiding the problem does not make it go away.
To keep people from seeing who we are and how we may have been hurt, we may act out in one of four ways. The first way to act out is by performance. We have a tremendous drive to achieve. We are going to prove how good we are and that we can do things better than others can. We can become perfectionist. Everything has to be done just right, the way I think it ought to be done. We can become workaholics, the more I work, the more it proves my value and my validation. We don’t ask the question, what is it costing me and those around me for me to keep doing this.
The second way react is by pleasing others. I need you to love me and you can call on me when nobody else will come. We can become so afraid of rejection, that we are afraid to reject anyone. We become the great rescuer or the Savior. We don’t ask the question, is what I’m doing healthy for me, or how is my behavior affecting those around me. The danger with the first two of these acting out is that we reward you for them in the church. We see them as signs of your faithfulness and commitment to the cause of Jesus Christ. We forget that Christ calls us to a relationship to him, not to kill ourselves in service to others.
The third way we act is failure. We seek out situations in which we are going to fail. We go after terrible choices in relationships. We move from one abusive one to another. This is the person that always shoots for something that is far below his or her potential. They almost wear a sign saying punish me, I don’t deserve anything better. You know they could be doing so much more, but nothing seems to help them see the light. They will sabotage things to keep from moving forward. They don’t consider the cost of their behavior.
The fourth way we act is defective. We choose not to cope with anything. We become addicts to drugs, to alcohol, and to destructive habits. We won’t commit to anything or anyone. We just kind of float through life, looking for someone who will take care of us. There are no concrete plans for the future.
The hurt of the child can govern the life of the man or the woman without them even realizing what’s going on. We don’t recognize that we are a part of the group of the “Aint’s”. The good news today is that God loves all of those who are a part of the “Aint’s”. God doesn’t even ask you to give up the mask before choosing to love you.
God knows you better than you know yourself, and God chooses to love you. God knows that you can’t be trusted and yet still God loves you. God knows that you have hidden pains, hidden secrets, and a hidden past and God still loves you. God knows every thought that has come to your mind during church, or out of church and it has not changed God’s love for you.
Why did Jesus come to the earth? He says in Luke 4:18-20 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]
Jesus did not come to just to let us go to heaven. Jesus came to heal our hurts and our brokenness now. He sees what’s inside of us. He knows all the “aint’s” we have been called or told we were. He knows all the lies that we have believed about ourselves that are not true.
The Second part of the verse says “1He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”. We forget that we can be prisoners to our past. Jesus wants to walk back there with us into the trauma that occurred in our past to get the key to unlock the doors of today, to allow for us a better today and future of tomorrows.
Imagine with me for a moment, a grown man who goes berserk when his wife asks him, what time will he be home tonight. Or a teenager who starts yelling and screaming at her mom who asks her to wash the dishes. There is a level 10 outbreak to a level 2 situation. Have you ever done that, and said “I’m sorry I just overreacted”. What’s going on is something in the past is controlling our actions in the present. We are actually in bondage or we’re a prisoner of something in the past. It could have been an hour ago, a week ago, a decade ago or 30 years ago.
When we give our lives to Christ, we become new creatures, new people and we are as ready for heaven as we will ever be. But we don’t fully give all of ourselves in that moment. There are still memories stored up inside of us that trigger certain responses from us without us even thinking about it.
A woman can be absolutely beautiful to those around her. But when she was growing up a group of boys on the playground had made fun of her appearance during recess. They called her skinny Minnie and super ugly. The other girls laughed at her as the boys ridiculed her. She went home feeling ugly and unworthy. She’s convinced she’s not very attractive.
She will settle for half a man, who will treat her with disrespect, and even use her and abuse her. You will think, what’s wrong with you, why don’t you just leave him. She’s thinking at least I have someone in my life and that’s probably more than I deserve.
Jesus comes alongside of her and offers her a new life. She receives her salvation the moment she accepts Christ. But there is still some work to be done. She needs to allow Jesus to take her back to when the prison doors were first locked and those bars of ugliness and unworthiness were sealed insider her brain. They need to go back to the playground.
She then needs to hear Jesus say, “I see where you are and I feel what you think, but your thoughts are the lies from the enemy. You are not the person you keep thinking you are. Let me tell you who you truly are. You now are in me. In me, you are absolutely gorgeous in the eyes of God.
You are seated with me in heavenly places right next to my Father reserved for those who are special in His eyes. Your gown that you are wearing is absolutely beautiful. Your eyes are as radiant as the sun. Your smile is noticed by the angelic hosts and it brings great delight to my heart. The silver crown upon your head dazzles with brilliance from the stones that are placed in it. Your name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life, and I’m always going to love you no matter what. Every time I look at you, I see the truth of who you are.
This is what the bible is teaching when it says in Ephesians 2:6-7 6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”.
Too many believers go through life thinking that God is ashamed of them, or God is angry with them, or they are not quite sure God wants them. Jesus said the spirit of the Lord is upon him to open the eyes of the blind. The false beliefs we have about God and about ourselves keep us from being able to see that God loves us.
I can preach about sin and about what’s right and what’s wrong, but until you really believe that God loves you, sin is always going to have a greater appeal and greater grasp upon your life. If we do not believe that God loves us, then there is no reason for us to put our trust in God.
God is not going to do anything more drastic for us to show His love for us than what he has done through Jesus Christ. God is love, but God is also holy. Our sin is never acceptable in God’s sight but we can be. That’s why Jesus suffered in the way he did for us. We find in Isaiah 53. 5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all”.
There may be a hurt in your life that’s keeping you from experiencing all that God wants to do in your life. It may have happened recently or a long time ago. It may even be causing you to choose sin over devotion to God. God wants to heal you today. God loves the “aint’s” of this world.
You’ve got to be willing to let Jesus Christ take you back to that place where it all began, so that you’re past prison bars can be smashed by the overwhelming love of God. You may need to cry over what happened there, you may need to grieve, you may need to just tell God how you felt about it all. You might even discover that God was with you back when it was all happening but you just didn’t see God’s hand.
Below is my outline for the context of my sermon.
Sermon Outline Reverend Dr. CJ Gagné 9/23/12
Falling In Love Again “Loving The Aint’s”
Isaiah 53:1-12 Luke 4:14-21
A. Everybody Likes The Feeling Of Falling In Love.
1. How Good Do They Look
2. How Much Money Do They Have/ What Kind Of Job
3. What Family Do They Belong To
4. How Sweet Are They To You.
5. Where Can I Find The Right One
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”[a] 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”[b]“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[c] 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways,17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[f]
B. Really Facing The Truth How Hard Are We to Love
1. Hiding Who We Are
2. Everybody Gets Battered & Bruised
3. Even The Person You Wish You Could be Like, Has Pain
C. Poor People, Rich People, Black People, White People, And All In Between Get Hurt By The Same Kind Of Things.
1. The Aint’s Keep Coming
2. Smart, Pretty, Amount, Deserving
3. Good, Worthy Failure
4. The Power Of The Aint’s
D. How The Past Destroys The Future
1. A Traumatized Young Girl
2. An Emotionally Starved Youth
3. All Of Us Have Episodes That Affect Us
E. The Four Ways We Hide
1. Performance—The Drive To Achieve.
2. Pleasing—I Need You To Love Me
3. Failure—Please Punish Me
4. Defective—I’ll Never Change
F. When The Past Enslaves
1. The Child Can Rule The Adult
G. Good News Is That God loves The Aint’s
1. God Knows You Better
2. God Knows That You Can’t Be Trusted
3. God Knows That You Have Hidden Things
4. And God Loves You Still
G. Why Did Jesus Come
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]
1. Jesus For Hear And Now And Then
2. Jesus Came For Healing
3. He sees what’s inside of us
4. He Liberates The Prisoners
5. Jesus Walks Back With Us
6. When We Over-react
7. Getting Saved vs. Getting Healed
8. Beauty In Christ
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6:7
H. False Views About God
1. Having Our Eyes Opened
2. Truly Believing God’s Love
3. God Has Done What God Is Going To Do
4. What Hurt Keeps Us Away
5. Cry, Grieve, Scream, To God
6. The Amazing Wonder Of God Love
By the Reverend Dr. CJ Gagné, D.Div.