Monday, September 8, 2008

Haves and Have Nots

I don't suspect the cliche that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence is a cliche for no reason. I'm sure there is some statistical data that would show that we as humans focus on the negative more than the positive in a person, situation, or circumstance. It is said that for every negative statement we receive (or speak) there needs to be five positive to counter act that negative. Think about feedback or comments at work. More times than not we will receive a comment on something we have done wrong than something we did well. It seems it is easier to give criticism than encouragement.

Why do we tend to pick out the bad in another than the good?

The family member who doesn't parent the way we see fit.
The neighbor who appears unfriendly and never speaks.
The co-worker who claims is short and rude.
The friend who doesn't call or email anymore.
The house that hasn't sold. :-)

Or it is rather....

The family member who does the best with the skills they themselves were taught growing up.
The neighbor who is just very shy.
The co-worker who is overworked because everything is dumped onto him/her and stress abounds.
The friend who doesn't know how much he/she is needed.
The house that serves a mighty purpose and purposes unknown.

How many times do we look at the things we do not have or that another does have. I admit I'm guilty.

I do not have a successful marriage.
I do not have a husband (legally).
I do not have a ministry involving writing, speaking, and leading.
I do not have children.
I do not have a beautiful complexion.
I do not have two-sizes smaller figure.
I do not have a stress-free job.
I do not have a sold house.

But I do have...

Parents who love and support me unconditionally.
A brother who would do anything for me.
A grandmother who is alive, kicking and as healthy as a horse (praise God).
Two nieces who adore me :-)
A body that is healthy and functions in all parts.
A job that fulfills.
A house that shelters me.
Friends who bless me unimaginably.
A President who professes his faith in God.
A church that allows me to worship freely.
Cyber friends without I can't imagine journeying life.
A ladies small group from church that I cherish.
Finances that provide.
A vehicle for comfortable transportation.
A ministry through my words on this blog, through comments, and email exchanges.
Salvation from my Lord and Savior.
Eternal security in Heaven.

A God who provides ALL of these.

It can be a continual effort to focus on the haves rather than the have nots. It should be easy as it is a command from the Lord to not envy what another has. I believe we shouldn't envy what we don't have either. However, being a command from the Lord does not make it easy but it does give us great motivation.

The word "have" always brings to my mind the scripture that I have paraphrased "you have not because you ask not."
You do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2b

That is not to say we will receive whatever we ask but conclude for yourself. It's one of those 'gray' scriptures much like
Matthew 21:22. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

I'm not sure how to fully understand these scriptures among other similar ones. However, I try do as they say.

This may be my shortest post yet. Time, life, and my heart have not allowed me to write of late. I long for it though, as it is a real time of communing with the Lord for me.

So, I leave you with a short list of my haves and have nots. May I encourage you that if you, like me, struggle with focusing on the have nots instead of the haves (even if it's momentary), give each have not to the Lord. The Lord tells us to test Him with our tithes and see if He won't bless us more. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10

I say "test" Him with your have nots and see if your haves don't increase. They may never increase in the areas or ways we wish or think, but He will open our eyes to see the haves we have [no pun intend :-)] and He will add to our haves in ways unimaginable.

Of course that word, unimaginable, reminds me of a verse very special to me because He fulfilled it (the verse) on 7/27/04 and 4/16/05 through the love of my life. So, I believe He will also do the unimaginable again one day. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

My haves come from having Him,
(The picture is of my Crape Myrtle.)


skoots1mom said...

Jer. 33:3
call to me and i will answer you; and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

good post!

Mari said...

Paula, Sweet Paula how I needed that reminder today. You are quite simply a godsend to me. May God continue to bless you with the haves. May I add a couple? A precious spirit. An obvious and contagious love of God. Incredible communication skills. Be blessed all the more!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Thank you, Mari, for blessing my socks off with such precious words to me. You have deeply encouraged my heart when I needed it most. Thank you for the three additional "haves" that you added to my list. Sometimes it's hard to see in ourselves what others see. Again, maybe it's that "negative" perspective aimed even toward ourselves.

Sharon said...

Hmmm, Yep I too find myself doing the same. And it's a ugly thing we get caught up in, isn't it?

Thankkkkkk Youuuu so much for the card. It was so wonderful to open my mail box and find that!! Anything for my friend.

I am having problems right now, and I am not sure how to handle myself, with a situation. But Brad and I are praying to God, and hopefully we will get our answer from God real soon. We have to have patience right now, and it's veryyyy hard. So please keep us in your prayers! I will probably post on this later, when I can think straight and say the right words. I am sure you know what I mean!
God Bless, Hmm I just realized this is part of the haves, you are talking about. I will ponder on this alittle while.

annette said...

Amen Sister. Great post!

andi said...

I so agree Paula. I am so thankful for you. I too often look at my have nots. Right now, there are multiple things going on with us that scream "I deserve...." Thanks for your great insight. What I deserve, I didn't get and instead was given that which was "imaginable" eternity with my Lord...I can't get my arms around that one. :) I will be praying this week! GREAT POST!

Jenn @ Casa de Castro said...


You, like me, HAVE so much! Realizing our blessings in the midst of difficult times is something we all need to do, but oh, how hard that can be when we find ourselves going through a trial. Thank you for helping me and challenging me to refocus my attention on all the the Lord HAS given instead of moping about things I think I should have.

You are a blessing!

Nicole said...

I too find myself doing the same thing. Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positive (the have's). The scriptures that you referenced I have come to learn... that if we ask anything that is in accordance to His will we will receive it. So, when our desires line up with his and we are praying (The Lord's prayer is our example) like that then we can rest assured that we will receive what we are asking for.

Thanks for the advice on my pink bathroom.


Nicole said...

By the way, great timing of your post!

much2ponder said...

Wonderful reminder Paula. God is good and faithful. I am blessed.

Victoria said...

satan loves nothing more than to get us to feel discontent. our haves will always out number our have nots if all we have is Jesus! He is more than anything. but our humanness cries out for more.

great post. and i am one who says the shorter the better...then you're pretty sure they're all God's words. well done, my friend.

love to you-

Sheryl said...

paula-before you start thinking "who on earth is victoria", that was me. i was helping her with her blog and obviously hadn't signed out from her name. the other post really was from me - truly.

love ya

JnL4God said...

Such a great word and so true. I have often asked why do we focus on the negative? That's why it's so important to stay in the word and build ourselves up continually. Hope all is well with you, I haven't heard from you but you are still always in my thoughts and prayers.
Hugs and Blessings,

Amy said...

Thank you for this encouragement today....I read Kristen's blog this morning as well, and I feel like both of you have given me confirmation that I need to be praying for some "specifics" for my own family.

It is easier to focus on the negatives and totally dismiss the positives in our lives...I am trying so hard not to continue in that pattern myself, but some days it is very difficult. The devil is good at his taunting skills in that area....I love what Erma Bombeck says about the situation, "The grass is always greener over the septic tank." Amen?;)
(That makes me laugh every time I hear it.....I need to remind myself of that quote each time 'envy' creeps in my heart.)

You are a blessing to so many, friend! I hope that you know that in your heart.

God Bless,

Ang baylis said...

I think I will start my list of the great things I have, too! Thanks for the reminder. I'm grateful to have YOU as a friend!
Angie xoxo
p.s. I love the Fall picture I see on your sidebar!

From the Heart said...

A great post, like I told you before you really know how to express yourself. If we think about it we all have more than we need. God bless you for being an instrument in His hands.

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Paula,
I used to dwell on what I didn't have , and it sure got in the way of me being able to see what blessings I did have. It may not have been a long list, but they were the most valued items I could ever have. Just to have my family, and the basic needs along with being able to get up each morning despite having a serious illness these are the haves I now dwell on. And having the Lord in my life it sure makes it so complete.

Hgz Lorie

Laura said...

So true! I don't know why it is easier to believe the negatives. I have been trying to view life through the lenses of gratitude, and it has changed a lot of things for me. I guess that's the haves! I love your heart, Paula! You are so thoughtful...always opening my eyes to a new way of seeing things.
Thank you, friend.

LynnSC said...

Thanks so much Paula for this post. I am often guilty of focusing on the have nots instead of all of the blessings that God has given me.

You also HAVE the most beautiful flowers. Another blessing of the Lord.

I am blessed to call you friend.

Rev. Brad Hurley said...

Hi Paula,
This Rev. Brad~~Sharon's husband. I have heard so much about you and your site from my wife, I decided to come and check it out myself. You have a wonderful way of expressing your heart on your site. I am Thankful for the fellowship that you and my wife have. Friends are not easy to obtain, not true friends. And it sounds to me you two are on your way. God Bless You and continue to allow the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and your mind and your hand to write beautiful things.

Joanne said...

All is given from the Lord, AMEN friend!

I am so grateful for so many things. I have often written in my journal that an eternity won't be long enough to thank Him.

God is good.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beautifully said and a reminder to me to keep a thankful posture. I have a good life; so much to be thankful for. Still and yet, it's hard not to linger in the "might of been's" or the "what's to come's".

Good thoughts, Paula. May the gift of God's tender presence be your portion this weekend.


Tonja said...

If we would just start listing the 'haves'...we would be so blessed we would not even think of the 'have nots!'

Being content and resting in God...these are some times so hard, but it is just what He calls us to do.

You blessed me today.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post. It was a word in due season and just the pick me up today I needed. Thank you! Write on!!!!!!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Paula, this was a good word.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I needed this one today! God Bless.

Lelia Chealey said...

Glad you took the time to post this dear friend.
Thanks for all your sweet and encouraging words. Especially about Amiyah. I'm sorry Paula, but you can't have her. Just can't happen. :) MAYBE and it's a big maybe if you came to Nebraska I'd let you hold her. I don't know though, it is really tough to share her. ;)
You are awesome.

Yolanda said...

This so goes along with what God placed on my heart yesterday afternoon.

Love to you!


GOD'S LADIE said...

I "have" a new friend who is beautiful, caring, loving and thoughtful. A woman of GOD. A woman who GOD loves very much. That person is you, Paula. I love the post. Thanks for reminding me to focus on what I have (that GOD blessed me with) than what I don't have.
Be blessed in HIS holy name,

On Purpose said... just keep on rockin' with your positive attitude and right focus...for you are puttin' a great big huge smile on His face!

LynnSC said...

Hi Paula,
You haven't posted in a week... I just wanted to check on you. Hope things are going well.

I'll be back...

Sandy Toes said...

Stopped by...I am doing the Tuesday study! Thank you for the have and have nots...we moved this past year and I have struggled with the haves and have nots....great post!
-Sandy toes