Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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If you live in snow country, there are few words more frightening than the word "avalanche." And there's no place where that is a greater concern than in Alaska. Oh, its got majestic mountains; it's got massive snow accumulations. And so, they've actually been creating avalanches there on purpose. You say, "Wait! Avalanches on purpose?" Yeah. Yeah, they actually fire avalanche cannons that bring down accumulations of snow that might otherwise trigger a larger avalanche or come down at a time when people would be jeopardized. Now, at first, it sounds kind of strange to cause an avalanche to control an avalanche. But it works with snow, oh, and it works with relationships.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Controlled Avalanches."
Now, you may or may not live in an area where physical avalanches take place. But I know you live in an area where emotional avalanches take place, because we all do. Blow ups, ruptured relationships, misunderstandings, a mountain of problems caving in on you. Sound familiar?
Well, there's one way to control avalanches in your marriage, or in your relationship with your parents, or your children, in your church, or in whatever important relationship you may be concerned about right now. And that way is described in our word for today from the Word of God, which is found in Ephesians 4:25-27. "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."
Well, in a sense, this is God's avalanche cannon. The way to take care of avalanches while they can still be controlled is summed up in these words, "Speak truthfully to your neighbor." Now, which neighbor in your life right now—somebody you're close to. Who might this apply to? Which neighbor is there a build-up with: your mate, your child, your parent, maybe a friend of yours, or somebody at church, maybe the pastor? Well, notice here that we are to speak truthfully and it gives us a timetable. It says, "Do not let the sun go down." In other words, daily we are to take care of avalanches while they're small. The result if you let it ride is to give the devil ammunition with which to poison you and to poison that relationship...and maybe to poison your whole family, a whole church, a whole office. You've seen it happen. Don't give the devil a foothold. It always starts small and ends tragically.
When you handle frustrations and conflicts on a 24-hour basis, you are dealing with problems that are controlled away. If you let it build up, it will all come down on you at once when it's just too big to handle. You see, problems and anger become sin when they're postponed. We all know that. We've been caught in the avalanche that results from postponing confrontation. But there's something in us that avoids confrontation. "I just don't want to do it today." But all the time you put it off, it's growing.
In the past, a staff member would come to me and say, "Well, I didn't want to bother you with it; you were so busy." My answer was, "Well, you know, you're going to bother me with it sometime. It's just going to get bigger. Let's deal with it while it's this size." We need to bother each other while it's still small, because it's going to come out in a major avalanche otherwise.
Hey, maybe there's an issue right now between you and someone close to you. And there've been too many sunsets and you haven't dealt with it. Would you go to them today? Speak truthfully to that neighbor. Deal with it while it's still able to be dealt with. Daily corrections are God's avalanche cannon. Get at the issue now. Don't wait until it comes crashing down on you.