No Regrets – I Wish I had the courage to express my feelings
Love, appreciation, affection, warmth, affirmation, compliment, encouragement
- These should be a daily delight
1 John 3:11 (pg. 942)
This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
Hebrews 3:13 (pg. 921)
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
I would add to that, “You must love each other every day, while it is still today.”
- Must affirm
- Show affection to…
Three reasons why it is so hard to express love, appreciation, affection.
Definition: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.
- It compares to others. Sense of the risk may be too great.
Causes people to compensate: arrogance, aggression, bullying. Also causes you to not share your feelings with the people you care about. There is this fear. The idea is, I don’t really like me and if you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me either. I care too much what you think about me and I couldn’t handle it if you didn’t.
I need to be in control and feel powerless so I withhold my feelings as a way of gaining power or control.
The Principle of least interest is the idea in sociology that person or group that has the least amount of interest in continuing a relationship has the most power over that relationship. Typically it is referred to in relationships to explain where the power lies in the relationship.
~ The term originated in 1938 by the sociologist Willard Waller
The more emotionally involved in relationship, the less power you feel. Power is in the hands of the person who is involved in the relationship the least.
This causes people to disclose very little. You don’t share your dreams. You don’t give up your emotions and fears. You don’t tell people how awesome they are or how proud you are of them. You don’t celebrate their successes.
Solution: trust God and what he says about you. Trust the people you love. Trust that they will still love you as you give up power by self-disclosing.
- Distracted by misplaced priorities
James 4:13-17 (pg. 932)
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
Prioritizing projects over people.
The happiest people are the ones who have the deepest relationships and many regrets occur because of lack of depth of relationship
Too many have regretted the pursuit of misplaced priorities. We must learn from them.
All the things that distract you from meaningful relationships will abandon you on your deathbed. They are not loyal. They will mock you. Put people before projects.
- Taking your loved ones for granted.
People think there is an infinite amount of time to be with the people they love or to say the things that are on your mind.
Proverbs 3:27-28 (pg. 483)
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
There may not be a tomorrow or you might not be there tomorrow.
We need to invest in relationships now. Don’t take them for granted.
Paul is at the end of his life. In a prison in Rome. He knows that very soon he will be executed. Master theologian, expert church planter, revolutionary missionary, wrote most of the new testament. The letter to Timothy is his last known writing. In the end, he doesn’t’ espouse theology or “don’t forget”, rather he longs to speak with him one more time. It’s all about relationship.
2 Timothy 4:9-22 (pg. 916)
Timothy, please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done. Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.
The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living in the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed at Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick at Miletus.
Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters.
May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you.
Come Before Winter
by Clarence Macartney ~ 1879–1957
Paul’s last letter is to this dearest of his friends, Timothy, whom he has left in charge of the church at far-off Ephesus. He tells Timothy that he wants him to come and be with him at Rome. He is to stop at Troas on the way and pick up his books, for Paul is a scholar even to the end. Make friends with good books. They will never leave you nor forsake you. He is to bring the cloak, too, which Paul had left at the house of Carpus in Troas. What a robe the Church would weave for Paul today if it had that opportunity! But this is the only robe that Paul possesses. It has been wet with the brine of the Mediterranean, white with the snows of Galatia, yellow with the dust of the Egnatian Way and crimson with the blood of his wounds for the sake of Christ. It is getting cold at Rome, for the summer is waning, and Paul wants his robe to keep him warm. But most of all Paul wants Timothy to bring himself. “Come as soon as you can,” he writes; and then, just before the close of the letter, he says, “Do your best to get here before winter.”
Why “before winter”? Because when winter set in the season for navigation closed in the Mediterranean and it was dangerous for ships to venture out to sea. If Timothy waits until winter, he will have to wait until spring; and Paul has a premonition that he will not last out the winter, for he says, “The time of my departure is at hand.” We like to think that Timothy did not wait a single day after that letter from Paul reached him at Ephesus, but started at once to Troas, where he picked up the books and the old cloak in the house of Carpus, then sailed past Samothrace to Neapolis, and then traveled by the Egnatian Way across the plains of Philippi and through Macedonia to the Adriatic, where he took ship to Brundisium, and then went up the Appian Way to Rome, where he found Paul in his prison, read to him from the Old Testament, wrote his last letters, walked with him to the place of execution near the Pyramid of Cestius, and saw him receive the crown of glory.
Before winter or never! There are some things which will never be done unless they are done “before winter.” The winter will come and the winter will pass, and the flowers of the springtime will deck the breast of the earth, and the graves of some of our opportunities, perhaps the grave of our dearest friend, child or spouse. Before winter or never!
- What if Timothy thought, yes I should go but..
- Clear up some matters in Ephesus and go to Colossae to celebrate Communion prior to leaving for Rome
- At Troas he begins looking for a ship to take him to Macedonia but is told the season for navigation is over. No ships to Italy until April.
- All winter, an anxious Timothy is frustrated with himself for not leaving immediately and wondering if Paul is alright.
- Finally, in the spring, he makes it to Paul’s prison but does not find him. He asks around.
- Can you imagine if he heard the words, “And are you Timothy? Don’t you know that Paul was beheaded last December? Every time the jailer put the key in the door of his cell, Paul thought you were coming. His last message was for you, ‘Give my love to Timothy, my beloved son in the faith, when he comes.”
- All that would ring through Timothy’s mind would be the words, “Come before winter.”
Patterns of relationships are very hard to break.
It is paramount that relationships reach their peak potential.
Expressing your feelings requires bravery
- Kind words are hard
- Words spoken when you are not okay are harder.
Once again, then, I repeat these words of the Apostle Paul, “Come before winter”; and as I pronounce them, common sense, experience, conscience, Scripture, the Holy Spirit, the souls of just people made perfect, and the Lord Jesus Christ all repeat with me, “Come before winter!” Come before the haze of Indian summer has faded from the fields! Come before the November wind strips the leaves from the trees and sends them whirling! Come before the snow lies on the uplands and the meadow brook is turned to ice! Come before the heart is cold! Come before desire has failed! Come before life is over and your probation ended, and you stand before God to give an account of the use you have made of the opportunities which in his grace he has granted to you! Come before winter!