Summary: Message about the stones we carry
I have to give credit to Max Lucado’s book "He Moved the Stone" for inspiring this idea and thoughts.
Title: Our Bags of Stones
Theme: To help people remove the stones from their lives.
In my hand I carry a sack. You may ask, “A sack why do you need a sack?” Well I have a sack to carry stones. What stones, well we all have them. We all have a sack and most everybody has stones. Stones of all different sizes, stones of all different shapes, stones of all different weights.
You didn’t request them, you didn’t seek them. You were given them.
You still say, what stones.
Well for one there is the stone of rejection. Mine came when I was a young high school kid. I had just started playing basketball, I was shy and quiet but I decided to go out for the basketball team. I give it my best but when the list was made out I was not on it. Worse is the fact that the kid(s) that I thought would never make it were on there.
Yet this is not just an adolescent thing. It happens through out our teenage years. Rejection by our peers. Rejections by the opposite sex. Then it just seems to pile on. Rejection throughout life.
Rejection by our parents. Some still carry the scars of rejection form childhood. You wish they would have done more. You wish they could have at least said, “I love you”.
Causes insecurities, we are uncomfortable with love, ourselves,
Causes bitterness, we would rather hurt than say kind words.
Now you say, “I don’t have any rejection stones”. What about regret.
A. Regret for the time you lost your temper. You keep going back.
B. Regret for the day you lost control. You can’t forget.
C. Regret for the moment you lost your pride. It hurts so bad.
D. Regret for the years you lost your priorities.
E. Regret for the hour you lost your innocence
Regret causes guilt, causes fear,
One stone after another, on guilty stone after another.
With time the sack gets heavy. We get tired. How can you even think about the future when you spend all you energies carrying stones of the past.
Now wonder people look so miserable. The sack slows the step. The sack chafes. That is why you see the irritation and bitterness in so many faces. That is why you see people drage their step.
You vow to do whatever it takes to lose the stones.
Where do we try to lose our stones.
A. Take your stones to the Office. You work late hours. Impress people. Yet when it is time to go your stones are at the door.
B. You carry your stones into Happy Hour. You drink and party. The music is loud. Just for a moment you lose it all. Yet when it is time to go you look down and there is your sack.
C. You drag your stones into Therapy. You pull out your stones one by one. She listens but when it is time to go you load your sack back up and take them with you.
D. Weekend Rendezvous (Affairs). For a moment you lose your stones again. One night of passion. Yet when all is done you are back to the same place with the same stones.
E. Some even take them to the Church (Religion). Yet many times people leave with the same stones and may even add a few more for size.
So where are we. Back to the beginning. Still carrying stones. It is hard to be thoughtful when you’re carrying a sack. It’s hard to be affirming when you are affirmation-starved. It is hard to be forgiving when you carry so much guilt.
Paul makes an interesting observation in Ephesians 5:28 “The man who loves his wife loves himself.”
There is a correlation between the way you feel about yourself and the way you feel about others. If you are at peace with yourself, if you like yourself you will like others.
The opposite is also true. If you don’t like yourself, if you are ashamed, embarrassed, or angry, other people are going to know it. The tragic part of the sack story is we ten to throw our stones at those who we love.
So what do we do? How does a person get relief.
Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.
Some would say. I knew you were going to go there. You say have tried that before. Can I ask you, did you try religion and not Christ. There is a difference. Religion challenges you to Do it on your own. Christ says let him do it for you.