In this week’s episode, we tackle some great questions like:
– What is the difference between favor and favoritism?
– How do you recognize the season of life you are in?
– How do you deal with betrayal?
– Are we really supposed to love people all the time?
Questions on Favor Betrayal Love and Recognizing the Season You are In
What is the Difference Between Favor and Favoritism?
Melissa: What is the difference between favor and favoritism? Because I think we all struggle with this, when we’re relating to God what we want favor in him, we want him to say oh, we hear this, “Oh, you’re God’s favorite, you’re God’s favorite. You’re his chosen.” What does that look like in our life? Between favor and favoritism.
Mark: Well, there’s a big difference because what favor brings about, favor is the work of God’s grace upon your life, to empower you to be able to fulfill the calling that you have. We have to connect to the favor. We have to grow in the favor that we have, you can’t decide, necessarily, you can’t decide the favor you start with, but you can grow. I believe favor is very connected to grace, in it’s not the same as grace, because grace is so multifaceted, but favor is the ability of God to open up doors, to provide resources, to give you the intelligence, the ability to accelerate in certain areas.
Everybody’s been given that in certain areas and you need to tap into it, but if I don’t believe in who I am, if I don’t believe in my identity, it’ll be harder to connect to that calling, because I won’t see my worth and my value of who I am as God’s child. Then I start measuring my worth and then I’m like, “Well, I got to be good enough to get in this”, it’s like no, God’s favor is going to meet you in your assignment, so I have favor that I began with, but I need to grow with it in certain areas. I need to understand what it means to be confident in growing and expanding that favor in my life, so for instance, I don’t have, in my life, favor to open up grocery stores. That’s not the favor that I have. I don’t have favor to be a PGA golfing champion and to reach people on the golf course, as I’m playing; that’s not in my make-up and I’m very, very clear on that.
I think a lot of people need to understand where they’re gifted, where God has equipped them and stop worrying about all the areas that maybe they don’t compare to somebody else, or they don’t measure up to what somebody else has. We all have favor, that’s what we have to start with, we all have favor in a certain amount. We all have gifting to a certain amount. Stop comparing yourself to somebody else, stop comparing yourself to where somebody else is at or what somebody else gets, you have your own sphere of influence and so you grow in it. I connect the word favor a lot to grace, because the bible says grow in the grace of the knowledge of our lord and savor Jesus Christ, so the grace you’ve been given, grow it, steward it.
Most people take who they are and they shove it in the ground and so they say, “I’m not really that significant”, but they have a lot of favor at their local community center; the people love them there. Every time they walk there, the people look their heads up and go, “Hey! How you doing?” They go to the pizza shop, every time they enter into the pizza shop, everyone goes, “Hey! It’s good to see you in the pizza shop!” You know?
You know what I mean? They don’t recognize where they do have favor, so when it comes to growing in that, I have to steward that grace, I have to see what I have that I’ve been given to start with and see the relationships around you, or the businesses or the church arenas, or whatever it is, take that and grow in that, because that’s where the gold is. Look at what you do with very little effort that takes somebody else more effort. It could be very simple as when you cook, people gather and they want to be around you and you have hospitality. Use that, stop looking at that as like, “Well, I don’t do this and do that”, take what you’ve been given and expand it, so that’s favor, it’s the work of God over your life.
For instance, I have a message that God’s put on my heart and he’s given me an assignment, so I have to grow in favor. I started off with just a handful of people that I talked to, so I stewarded that, grow in that and then it makes room for the next level, but I have to believe in who I am to tap into that favor. Favor doesn’t just come while you’re sitting there and going, “I don’t know, I don’t know if this is going to work out”, and then, boom, something opens up. I have to connect to that no, God has in me the favor needed to do what he’s assigned me to do. How do I connect to my assignment? I got to connect to my identity.
Favoritism is a relational advantage given to somebody based on certain merits, certain things, that God doesn’t do. God is no respecter of
Melissa: Favoritism is earned.
Mark: God is no respecter of persons, so in fact, you’ll notice the favor of God works in people that do not qualify, from human standards and standpoints, in fact, God will take somebody who is of the Jews and use them to minister to the gentiles, like he did with Paul and Peter, respectively, he took a gentile and brought him to minister to the Jews. Took a Jew and had him administer to the gentiles. It’s like you would think in our minds, like you grew up in the inner city and so God’s going to raise you up with favor to go minister. Sometimes, and I’ve seen it, where God takes somebody, who had a great suburban, farmland upbringing, going, “I’m calling you into the inner city to reach them and my favor is going to pour on you”, or vice-versa.
He’ll call someone, who’s in poverty, to raise them up to go minister to the wealthy. What favor does, is it throws all the formulas, a lot times, out the window of what’s possible, but I have to grow in my favor, so whatever lane God’s put me in, I got to steward that. I got to grow in that, what does that mean? What does it mean? If I have this lane of ministering to people who struggle with anxiety disorders, I need to learn that, I need to grow in that, need to focus my efforts and attention, because that’s where the gold is. I’m not going to waste my time trying to walk in this lane, like that guy does, because that’s just not who I am, so I find that.
Favoritism, which God doesn’t do. God doesn’t look and go, “Hey, you’re wealthy”, or, “You’re a man, you’re a woman,” or this and that, he’s no respecter of persons, your black, your white, he works way beyond that. We, in our relationships, we tend to operate in favoritism, we have our favorites. I don’t think favoritism, though, is always evil if we really break it down. Because Jesus had favorites.
Melissa: Right, well, that goes into a question of mine, because I think a lot of people, I think, are asking this in their mind, I know I have. When you look at certain families that seem to carry generational favor, okay?
Melissa: Like we’ll pick which is the most obvious in our generations, right now, would be the Johnson family out in Bethel, Bill Johnson, his generations.
Mark: He’s a fourth generation [pastor].
Melissa: He is a fourth generation, I think even more than that, five or crazy, with the stories they have of aunts and uncles reading scripture in the house and praying over kids and their destiny. When you look at that, you look and you go, “Wow, what a setup he had. There was favor.” There is a part, I know, even as myself as a Christian, I go, “God looks, to me, at that with favoritism”, because they, yes, they’ve been through some things, but I can name a lot of other churches who have been through similar and are still ploughing and haven’t reached that height yet.
Mark: I disagree.
Mark: Yeah, I disagree.
Melissa: I’m trying to pull this out, because I think people are thinking these things in their mind, so on that point, I would ask you to help explain that to people.
Mark: Right, what that is, that is an example of stewarding the favor.
Melissa: Excellent, thank you.
Mark: Because if you go back, let’s drill back the generations, let’s go back to his father and what his father paved.
Mark: He had a favor that he started with. Let’s go back three generations to what the grandfather had, let’s go back to the fourth generation, if you want to take Bill Johnson as an example and go back to, because he says fourth generation. I don’t know his great-grandfather, but if we went to that, I will guarantee you’re probably looking at a guy who started off with a lot of humble beginnings. He was given what we would consider to be a small measure of favor and many would take that and shove it in the ground, but he stewarded it; I will guarantee you, there was a stewarding of it.
We expand it, expand it, and that’s really God’s heart in generations, in the family, is that we grow in the favor, expand it, so then to other people it looks like favoritism. It looks as though God is playing favorites, but I want to go back to what I was talking about earlier. I’ll get people on a wrong track when I said Jesus had favorites.
Levels of Relationships
Mark: Because you have certain circles of relationships where you have levels of inner circles in your life. We all have it. We all have it, I don’t care who you are. People say, “I hate people play favorites”, and people will say this, they’ll say, “That church, there are cliques and they play favorites”, well, part of what’s going on there, is that there’s been an intimacy developed with a handful of people. Jesus had the crowd, he had the masses that would gather in, he had the seventy that he sent out, he had the twelve, but he had the three.
Melissa: Yeah, that’s great, great point, yeah.
Mark: Peter, James and John. He also had the one, John. John was the closest to Jesus, so the disciples all squabbled with this, because there was a level of, you could call it, favor on John’s life. You could also look at it and go, “There was favoritism, because Jesus spent more time with him”, but there is a reality in life that we give and invest more of ourselves to somebody. Now, let’s go to our father in heaven, he doesn’t play favorites.
In that sense, he has time for everyone, but he deposits favor on all of us, differently, for our assignment. To the person who is opening grocery stores, he’s given them a favor that he’s not giving me. When I look at that, I don’t need to look and go, “Oh, man”, I don’t need to look at Bill Johnson and go oh, oh. What I need to do is steward mine.
Melissa: Exactly, yeah.
Mark: If I grow in my favor, then that will be past on to Max and Abby. They will launch off where I left off. Now, I took off from where my parents plowed and they plowed from the beginning, in a lot of ways, of the faith that then I took. My father didn’t necessarily have faith in his, I’m still researching it, I’m looking. My grandmother, who just passed away, she was in the faith. That traveled then back to my great grandparents. I don’t know much further than that. There was beginnings of that, so then my parents broke through a level that then they handed off to me. They didn’t go, “Hey Mark, here you go”, but it’s in there, so then I go to the next level.
Then, let’s say in Max and Abby’s generation, say Abby steps into something, which she will, people will look and there’ll be a jealousy going, “Oh, there’s favoritism.”
Melissa: Right, well, “she had her father who ……. ” right.
Mark: Really, it’s a stewarding of the favor.
Melissa: Yeah, I think this is great, this is why I wanted to bring this out, because I think this is a great point, yeah.
Favoritism in Church
Mark: Favoritism, from a relational standpoint, is what was addressed, like in James, when James said, “Don’t you dare, when you gather in a church service, and there’s a rich guy there, go, come up to the front row”, which, that’s what we do, right
Melissa: Right, a lot of churches do, yeah, that’s very true.
Mark: I was very intentional about this when we pastored. There were certain people who had money, certain people who had
Melissa: We actually did the opposite, yeah.
Mark: I would, because I never wanted to go into that arena. I never gave like, “Oh, I had lunch with this person and it was great”, I mean, certainly there’s understandings of people of influence and all that. I’m not saying I’m going to be rude to people who have influence or certain aspects of resources, but we have to recognize, with God, that he doesn’t just play favorites based on human standards. There is a favor, supernaturally, to your calling, but I like to, in my own relationship with God, I like to tap into a thing where I believe I’m his favorite.
Okay? It’s not something I tell other people. “Hey, I’m God’s favorite”, because then that releases a comparison. No, it’s just my own personal thing. Because then I feel like I can lean up against him, I can talk to my father, he hears me, he’s there, I don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops, but I’m also connected to the fact. There’s certain things, and this is something I really want my audience to understand, is that God has a specific assignment for you and the favor’s there. Stop wasting your time in all the other stuff.
Melissa: Right, and looking at other people. I wanted to bring out that story, because I’ve done that in the past and where I’ve struggled with certain things, where we’ve gone through certain times and went, “Man, how come they got it so easy”, or whatever. I think a lot of people do stew in that, so the way that you’re addressing this, I feel like, is really going to bless somebody today, who is stuck. Because I think this is a huge, yeah.
Mark: You have to start with look at, even if it’s a microscopic thing of favor, even if it’s you know, my next door neighbor really appreciates seeing me and it brightens her day when I walk by her and say hello. Steward that, steward that and then go God, is there anyone else? Then you grow in that. Then, feel the significance in being faithful to that. If you get promoted to a certain level or if you have a big church of whatever, or big business, that’s great. I think we’re so defeated, because we feel like we’re not measuring up to somebody else. I think it’s a bunch of hog wash and you’re not seeing the value of yourself.
Melissa: I think that’s good.
Melissa: I think it’s great. Excellent, thank you, babe. Okay, ready for next question?
How Do You Recognize the Season You Are In?
Melissa: Okay, then, after this question, we’ll check on and see if anybody has written in anything. How do you recognize the season that you are in?
Mark: This is a really important question, because in a lot of the people, I’m going to actually give you a free coaching session.
Melissa: Do it. Let’s sit back, let me get my coffee, sit back and relax.
Mark: The people listening, yeah, I’m going to save you the coaching session, right now, because a lot of people that are coming to me, not all of them, but a lot of them, what they really need to recognize is the season that they’re in, that we have seasons in life, we have spring, autumn, summer, winter, that are natural seasons that we go through. If we didn’t have calendars and didn’t know what day it was, we would actually have a hard time knowing what season we’re in, right? Because you’d go, “Oh my goodness, it’s 90 degrees today”.
Melissa: Especially this past winter, we had weird warm and then cold.
Mark: Hot, you would say, “Oh, it’s July”, and it might be April or May.
Mark: You’d say, “Oh, we have snow.” You can kind of guess we’re somewhere between November and-
Melissa: Right, right.
Mark: Right? Because we have a calendar, we have a guide to say, “No, this is the season I’m in and today’s a hot day, but that’s just unusual.”
Melissa: We can accept it.
Mark: Right, right. Most people don’t know, am I just having a bad day, a bad week, or am I in a season? They need to recognize the season that they’re in, because when you understand the season you’re in, you tap into the assignment in that season, okay? There’s a number of seasons that people are typically in. One, is preparation season, you’re being prepared for something that’s ahead. Usually, the identifying markers of preparation is that there isn’t a lot going on of output. Like there’s not necessarily a lot of open doors and so it’s a signal that I need to be equipped and I need to build up the resources of what I’m going to pour out.
Melissa: That’s great.
Mark: Then there’s those seasons where you’re pouring out, you’re giving. They’re seasons of sabbatical, where you need to stop and rest, I’m not talking about just for a week, I’m talking about for three months, I’m talking about six months, or maybe there’s seasons of changing into a new level of work. There’s seasons of, this is the biggest one, I see, the season of healing. There is zero room for that, that I see, in modern Christianity and in modern culture, of giving room for healing. Example, this is very, very real to me, because my grandmother, who was 90 years old, on my Mom’s side, passed away and she lived a very long life and I’m very grateful for the life that she lived.
I’m sitting there, it was out in Minnesota, we had the wake, we had the funeral, and we’re seeing all the family and stuff like that. It’s very interesting how in seasons of grief, the wake and the funeral, for people, is not the hard part. It’s after everyone leaves and then you’re left alone, because the people who’ve gathered, have come and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m praying for you”, you know?
Melissa: You can go over stories, there’s a surge of connection in that moment.
Mark: Yeah, then there’s connection, but they leave and they’re moving on, so if you don’t have help, you don’t know how to move on, because you think, “I need to just get over this”, and really, no, you need to grieve and grieving is different in timing for everyone. I’ve gone through seasons where I’ve just been in healing of a wound. It’s taken time. I’ve been in seasons, the biggest one, was when we left our pastoral work, last year, and we spent 8 to 9 month, living in a hotel, because we had a flood in our condo.
Melissa: Right, literally, almost a month to the day that we closed our church with the flood, yeah.
Mark: I had to recognize, now, I’m cancelling trips, I’m cancelling plans. My book went way forward, I had to push it out, way out. We had to scramble for where we’re going to live, what we’re going to supplies, everything was turned upside down. You and I had to, all the time, like every couple days, go, “Recognize the season.”
Melissa: We had to, constantly, check in with each other, yeah.
Mark: Because when you recognize the season, you recognize the capacity that your heart needs to focus on for that time. To answer the question, it’s really simple, how do I recognize the season I’m in? You need to have a season person, usually, give you some input.
Melissa: Yeah. Stay on that for a minute, because I think that’s super important.
Melissa: Because number one, we haven’t really even cultivated those kind of relationships.
Melissa: I think a lot of people listening are going, “Well, I don’t even trust anybody in my life.”
Mark: Right and they need to have-
Melissa: Okay, it takes time to do that, yeah.
Mark: They need to have somebody who is mature, who’s well seasoned, to help articulate a recognition of where they’re at so they can give some road maps, they can give a calendar, that says, “You’re in January right now. You need to hunker down and rest, heal, get ready, because spring’s coming and you’re going to need to start planting”, then there’s recognition of like, “You’ve been working hard. You need to recognize the harvest of sitting back and letting people love you and receiving from God.” I think that it takes a wise person, who’s healthy, to look in. Unfortunately, I’m sorry, there’s not a lot of them out there.
Melissa: There is not.
Mark: You and I have worked very hard at being this for each other.
Mark: It’s taken a lot of growth, because we have to look at the other person, say, “This is where I think you’re at.” Where, I’ll look at you and say, “You know what? Just remember, you’re in the season of really establishing your role as a mother. You’re first a daughter, but you’re in a role of a mother”, and so then some of the other projects you want to do, or things that you’re wanting to invest in, we can look and go, “I can’t do those things, so therefore I’m a failure.” No, no, no, you’re investing.
Because there’s people, two generations from now, that are going to be jealous of what’s in our generations, because of what you plowed right now.
Melissa: Yeah, it’s true, I’ve had to, I think we both have had to do this, there’s so many things that are on the horizon that most people are quick, “Well, I got to get through this so I can get to that. Well, I want this to look like this. Oh, no, no, but I have that on my mind”, and no, we need to just really pull the reigns in and put the breaks on and go, “Wait a second, if I don’t let this season happen, I’m going to be in trouble, heart wise, mind wise, sleep wise, because then we’ll, 10-20 year down the road, go, “I can’t sleep, what’s going on with me?” Then we’re in counselors office and everything else and we’re not taking in the seasons, properly, that we needed to.
I have to say that’s one thing that you and I, we were just talking about this yesterday, about how we’ve worked so hard with each other in having these. Because we didn’t have anybody to teach us, we really didn’t and I have to say that, we really didn’t. There are a lot of people that we’ve gleaned a lot of things from. We really have, but we’ve had to work this out ourselves and that’s been the one thing that’s helped, me, even in how I love, how I love myself, how I love you, how I love the kids. It’s just when you say to me, “You know what? Miss, it’s okay. This is what we’re going through right now.”
Especially when we went through everything with the hotel and the flood. We’ve had other things before that, with Max, we’ve had to really, really work through, “This is a season right now and I don’t know how long it’s going to last.” It could be a time of crying, it could be a time of, whatever that is, you have to pay attention to your body, you have to pay attention to your heart and go, “I need to let myself go through this.”
Mark: I think, to tag on to our previous question, we have to pay attention to where the favor is, and the favor, may be in a certain area and that’s all you need to focus on. I’ve had to learn this, because I’ll be like, I have the capacity in me, if I had enough people around me, I could go launch this book, do this video training, just go, there’s so many things that swirl in me, that I could do that. Then I have to step back and go, “Nope, I’m in a season where I have to focus on this, I have to focus on that”, so we have to also follow the favor, what’s the favor?
Is the favor, “You know what? It seems to be like I need to stop and make opportunities for just rest right now and recovery.” We had a profit speak over us, this was about ten years ago, he said there’s a slow start to the season and the reason is you need to write the book. That’s a good example of season, is that don’t sweat this, because you need time to write the book. If this thing goes where you think it’s going to go, now, you’re not going to have time to write anything, so use the investment.
Then there was a season where I was investing in a church, it wasn’t a church we pastor, it was another church. Nine months, I’d invested there, right? I’m sitting there going, man, what am I doing here? I have some other things, in my heart, to do and you and I both felt God was saying, “No, this is the place that you’re establishing your teaching resources.” Which then became resources for lots of people, so getting it out on audio, getting it out and written so that people could then glean off of the things growing it. I would like to take this into another area and this will help churches, businesses and organizations. Most of the time, there becomes these conflicts that we have, organizationally, because we don’t recognize the season the other person is in.
Melissa: That’s really good, Mark, yeah.
Mark: I’m going to be very transparent, when I left the first church that I was a pastor at, for eleven, almost twelve years, there was a lot of like, “Oh, Mark’s leaving, what’s going on?” There was all this stuff stirring up and the thing I had to keep saying, is I had to keep saying, “My season is done”, there’s a moving on that needs to happen, okay? When we ended our season pastoring, last year, it was like I actually feel that we recognized our season was done, nine months earlier. It took us nine months and conversations with people and stuff and we went the rounds and it’s like, okay, we got to do this.
We are not tapping into the season that God is releasing us into, so therefore, when you don’t connect to your season, your current relationships get frustrating and you start, a lot of churches, they get irritated and they’re fighting, and they’re back-biting. You probably need to just let them go. Somebody’s going, “I feel like I need to leave and move on”, and you’re not recognizing your assignment with them is done, release them, let them go, they have another flock or fellowship they’re going to invest in. There’s a season and we’re so not recognize
Melissa: Insecure, but we’re so insecure that we can’t love each other, which our new book coming out is going to help everybody with this.
Melissa: We can’t be accepting enough and loving somebody else enough to say I’m secure enough in me and I love myself enough to let you go and say, you know what? I get it. I’ve taken what I can, I’ve learned what I can, it’s time for me to move on. I think that was something that, especially when we ended our pastoring season, I had someone, a lovely woman that’s in our life and I need to connect with her soon, I haven’t seen her in a couple months. I love her so much and she really spoke that wisdom to me, that she knew, it’s over, it’s time, we took what we needed to and it’s time for us to move on.
I appreciated that, because it showed her maturity and it felt so loving and in that, I respect her, because I went oh, she loves herself enough to say that to me. You know? I think that’s something so big, in whatever you’re in, whether it’s a church setting, a work setting, a family setting, somebody’s moving on, whatever that is, if you are having a tough time with it, look inward. Look inward, what is going on in me? That I need to heal in myself and be okay in myself, that I can say to this person, man, I love you enough, I love you enough, go. I’ve learnt, we connected in what we needed to, or, be free.
Mark: You know? As you’re talking about this, I’m looking back at every relationship that I have that I’m not as connected to anymore.
Mark: I’m trying to find one that doesn’t fit it, but every single one, it was just time to move on.
Melissa: It was a season, yeah.
Mark: Yes! I found some of them, at the end, there was squabbles. Like I’m thinking a few people, like, it was long ago, like ten years ago, or eight years ago, where there’s squabbles and looking back, I’m like, it was just that, if you can recognize it and we’re so tied to relationships, it’s like it’s time to move on, I love you, I bless you, no hard feelings, just moving on. You know, it’s like, I wish we could be good at those conversations.
Melissa: We’re judgmental, especially in a church mode, we have, “Why aren’t you in that church for 50 years? You betrayer, how dare you?” It’s like man.
Mark: Right, God has used, I feel like in all my relationships, where I got frustrated with people, is because I took the season too long.
Melissa: Yeah, so good.
Mark: God would bring somebody in my life and use them significantly in an area and then I would just keep going, like we need to be best friends, let’s go to coffee together, let’s have our families hang out, let’s be good buddies, and that wasn’t what the relationship was for. Then it’s like well, I didn’t really enjoy having dinner with them.
Mark: I didn’t like hanging out with them, but that’s not what the relationship is for. You have to recognize not only seasons, but what’s purpose? This is it, you appreciate people, rather than have these judgments about what they didn’t give, you’re thankful. What I do, is everybody in my past, I want to look at and just appreciate what-
Melissa: Yeah, we’ve been able to do that so beautifully, lately, right?
Mark: What they were for my life, I haven’t always done that.
Melissa: No, we haven’t been good at it, no.
Mark: That’s, okay, so that’s how I deal with people that get on my nerves, is that I focus on, all right, what is the thing that they brought to my life that was a blessing? That, I’m going to appreciate that, because then I recognize the season calling of what they brought. No one, brings into your life, the full metal jacket of everything that you need. The whole gamut of things that are going to satisfy and I think that’s the thing people don’t recognize. They’re like, “I don’t have any friends”, like, you do, there’s just no one person that gives you everything that you’re looking for. You have a person and you go and you have a great time playing sports with and you have that friend you sit and have coffee with, but you don’t really go to the movies with them, because you don’t like the same movies. It’s like, just appreciate the themes of the tapestry that God’s bringing into your life.
I think most church splits or church problems, business issues, organizationally, and these are issues I’ve been brought into to bring help to the scenario, is not recognizing the season. Like this person’s in this season and we need to recognize that and support it. They’re in a season of grief, how can we structure our self, where they can walk through the grieving time? Some people, they’re having nervous breakdowns and they don’t even know it. Like they’re having absolute collapse, so they’re rebuilding. Certain people have gone through a divorce. It takes years, I don’t care how spiritual you are, it takes years to heal from a divorce.
Melissa: Right, especially when you’ve been in a pattern of life, of waking with someone, doing those things and then, now, that’s over and even a couple years after, people say, “Well, why aren’t you over that by now?” Okay, well, you’re unwinding and rebuilding and we’re not giving people enough grace to love them through that season. Now, I’m not talking about people that are stuck in victim mindsets, that’s a whole other podcast, okay? We’ve talked about those in the past, if you want to look at them? Look them up, okay? Because I know they’re all those things.
Well, this person’s stuck, I get it, I get there are people that stay in victim things. I’m talking about people who are, genuinely, processing life, heart connected, wanting to grow with others around them that are growing in the same way. We need to start having more heart compassion towards each other, in the seasons of life; in the grieving, healing, rebuilding of those seasons.
Mark: It helps your relationships, a lot, when you recognize the season the other person’s in, because somebody’s going through a season and you’re like, “Why didn’t they call me back? I Facebooked them and they didn’t Facebook me back”, and so we start from an assumption of judgment and criticism and offense. Instead, giving people permission to go through their season, because you needed to go through yours. You’re a real cruddy friend if you can’t do that for people. You’re just not going to be a friend people are going to connect to and it will make you that you don’t have friends. If you don’t have friends, do you give people permission to be in their seasons or do you create these expectations where it’s like people have to be on point and have to be high maintenance for you?
Melissa: Yeah, so good, Mark.
Mark: It gives us permission, in relationships, to process through where we all are at, to then grow together. Solves a lot of problems.
Melissa: Good, man, I hope everybody got blessed. We had some good comments on this, too, so thank you to those of you.
Show Love to Everyone?
Mark: There’s a question in the feed that says, “Do you think the church body and individual churches need to show love to everyone who enters the church?” I wouldn’t see a scenario where you shouldn’t show love. There is no person, no situation that we shouldn’t show love. Now-
Melissa: Is this coming from a place of burden baring, of being the person that has to connect with everyone? There could be two-fold in that question.
Mark: I don’t think that, you know, to love people, we’re able to connect with people at different levels. To love people, you’re going to love people at different relationship levels. To love people, society has told us, and I don’t need to live by societies definition, society has told us, in order to love me, you have to agree with everything that I do in my life.
Melissa: This is a great point, yes.
Mark: To love me, you have to affirm my choices and my decisions, my lifestyles, my morals. No, not at all. Those, love, accepts you in relationship as a person, no matter what’s going on around you, but it doesn’t affirm sin or areas, and that, the world, secular world, the non believing in God and Jesus Christ world, tells us we are unloving because we don’t say yes and accept to certain mores and thought processes that they have.
That we’re unloving, that is not truth, that is outside the truth, that’s counterfeit, but to love in the greatest power, is to love when love doesn’t seem to deserved at all. To love when people are acting in a certain way. Love doesn’t mean, though, that we have to tolerate abuse, love means we posture ourselves where we’re patient and we’re kind. We’re not envious, the list that Paul gave us in First Corinthians 13. We posture ourselves in a way that doesn’t feed the hostility, creates an opportunity for reconciliation.
Melissa: Need a drink.
Mark: No, it’s just something got caught in there.
Melissa: A little dust, I need to dust in here today.
Mark: Yeah. The bible says love covers a multitude of sins. Most people read that to think love hides, you know, love just covers, we’re not going to look at it. That’s how most families operate, most families operate in, “Just be family!”
Melissa: Right, “It’s family, don’t talk about that”, right?
Mark: Love covers a multitude of sins, gives the atmosphere by which people have an invitation to grow in relationship and deal with their sin issues one with another. Because I can’t process my sin just by myself, 100% of the time. I have to start there, but then I have to process it out with my brothers and sisters who are trusting, who are healthy, confess your trespasses, one to another, that you may be healed. There’s a healing that comes in the relation connection, but I need to be willing to enter into that and that’s a whole other subject in itself. Do you have any other questions before we-
Melissa: I have one more, yes.
Mark: Do it.
How Do You Deal with Betrayal?
Melissa: Okay, how do you, personally, deal with people betraying you?
Mark: At first, not always very well.
Mark: You know? At first, angry, traumatized, stunned. The people closest to you usually are the ones that do it.
Melissa: Yep, yep.
Mark: I’ve had different levels of it, I’ve had different demonstrations of that. How do I deal with it? The first thing I do is, and people might be surprised, I let myself go through the emotions of it.
Melissa: Yeah, you do.
Mark: Because when I do it, my heart comes to the surface fully. I’m honest with myself, I’m vulnerable and I’m real, okay? Then I start to break down and I start to go, “Okay, how much of this is really, truly betrayal? How much of it is my rejection lens kicking up? A rejection mindset coming through? Looking at it as a victim and they did this?” Then I start to process through the forgiveness of, and if I can do it right away, if it’s a small thing, because the better you can forgive at the jump, it’s better, it’s just you can not get hung up on it. Betrayal’s a heavy word because betrayal is where somebody does something for their own advantage.
Melissa: Yeah and usually you’re in a connected relationship with them.
Mark: It’s for their own advantage, but it hurts you. It’s like a disadvantage in you and they’re not aware of it. Most of the time, people who betray, are not aware of it, because they’re focused so much on their own life.
Melissa: They’re very self-justified, yeah.
Mark: Yes, and very self-unaware, which is a whole other subject. Processing through that, first, is just hashing out that emotion, then there’s a level of discussion, of honesty. I am big on straight up honesty and I realized, a long time ago, that I live in a world that doesn’t want that.
Melissa: Yeah, we have learned that, yes.
Mark: I live in a world that doesn’t want, you know, and I don’t know where I got it from, I think it’s through some relationships I’ve had, leaders I’ve worked for, where they were like straight up, hardcore and I was used to living in that. It was almost like an abrasive, New York kind of environment. “You talking to me?!” Like this just put it on the table. What I learned is we’re going to talk this out and even if our voices raise or we get intense, we’re going to stay here until we land somewhere.”
Melissa: Which is where you and I operate, too.
Mark: Right, so I did that, I’ve done that in our marriage, where it’s like no, we’re not leaving. Stay in this room and we’re going to work this out. It’s uncomfortable and it’s like no, we’re going to stay uncomfortable until we arrive at the place of connection, where we get to the root, because usually, the betrayal needs to be talked out, where we land into a place of healing. There’s usually an unidentified root that hasn’t been addressed yet. Most of the time, though, that doesn’t go very well and I talk about that in my book, Bitter Free, about conflict resolution, that’s where conflict resolution, where we sit down and I’m going to listen, I’m going to hear you out, what was going on? What was the deal with that?
Then, you have a, “I’m so sorry, that was not in my heart to do that. How can we deal with this?” Then, there’s the other option, which is the defense posture and when there’s a defense posture, you’re not going to get anywhere. You’re not going to get a lot of direction. I know in that moment, when there’s an absolute defense posture, we’re not going to get anywhere here.
Melissa: Yeah, which, unfortunately, usually does happen, because if someone does get to the point of betrayal, there is an offense, usually, they are so deeply rooted in, or a rejection root, something going on that they are, you referred to the word self-unaware, that they are unaware of and they do not want to let that thing go. They are holding onto that thing for dear life and are justified. In that situation, how do you position yourself and your heart, as you move forward from that? Because I know we’ve had a couple instances of those in our own life that we’ve had to heal from, so what does that look like for you
Mark: Here’s the biggest one, the biggest one is that I work very diligently to not take that hurt into my next relationship.
Melissa: Yeah, that’s really good, Mark.
Mark: I have to be aware, I cannot, you know, have, I’m just trying to throw out a generic scenario, a female leader on my team betray me and now-
Melissa: All women are betrayers!
Mark: There you go. Right, that’s what I was trying to pull together. I’m not going to say, you know, I’m not going to make any of those vows. I’m not going to make those internal, I’m going to let God heal me and we’re going to try again.
Melissa: Yeah, I think, too, I want people to get a practical understanding of this and how we process this out in our own lives, because we’ve had instances and then let’s say we’re at home and the kids are doing their thing, we’re making dinner, you’re writing or reading and all of a sudden, now, you realize, 20 minutes in, you’re spinning about the situation. The one thing that you and I, both, when we have this happen, are very good at is we stop and we say to each other, “Hey”, this, literally, goes on in our kitchen, people, so I’m literally giving you a for-real-walkout of this, I am mulling over so-and-so, help me out right now.
This is what I’m thinking, this is what’s pinging at me”, and you and I literally walk through it. Whether it’s just a walk through of, “Yep, you know what? That was a heart pain and I get it, where you’re at right now, let’s work through it and let it go.” Whether we say together, “Let’s pray right now, let’s pray right now for that person.”
Mark: That’s true, very true.
Melissa: We, literally, practically walk this out, especially in ministry, this is what happens people. We are a church body, we are a church family and I brought this up a long time ago, I heard really great people that we know, speak on this, were brought up to say, “Join the church family”, meanwhile we come from dysfunctional, natural families, where we weren’t good brother and sisters, we weren’t taught good parenting skills, we weren’t given all these things and then you go, “Hey, join the church, baby; be a good brother, be a good sister and guess what? If people come up to you, be a good father and be a good mother to them.”
Then we’re held to all these standards, let me tell you something, hurt and pain, and heartache is there, it’s alive and it’s real. Really, as Christians, we need to understand that a lot of healing needs to go on. Especially, not in our own lives, but in how we relate to each other and it’s very important, it’s very, very important that you don’t stuff it. It’s very important that you get with people that you can really process this out with, because it will bite you. It will bite you and it will take you out and then you’ll just be a broken part of the body.
Mark: That’s right.
Melissa: You need to be used and you need to be used mightily. We are all being raised up, right now, in a kingdom that needs to have a warrior heart, but with a love of nurture that father God carries. If we don’t take care of this stuff, man, we are going to get taken out as a church. We’re seeing it happen and so this stuff, these topics are really important to our hearts. Because we’re ministering to people that are going through these pains, we ourselves, have gone through these pains and we want to see the church operate at a higher level.
Mark: That’s right. That was so valuable, what you just said in the past 3 minutes, I couldn’t add one single thing, because it is exactly the problem that is going on now. People are trying to be told to be brothers and sisters, or fathers, and it’s like no, you really have to learn how to just be a son and you have no reference for that, so that’s the healing God needs to bring.
Mark: I had one thought that I want to just throw in, that I think helps betrayal, we’ve made this mistake before, so we’ve learned it by our mistakes, is the greatest way that I grow in maturity, out of betrayal, is I do not try to get validation of my hurt from anyone. It’s so, you know, it’s like if somebody, you sit down with somebody, like there was a big church blow up and they left. Somebody goes, “hey, so I heard you left that church?” There’s such a temptation to go, “Yeah, and they”-
Melissa: Duh, duh, duh, blah, right.
Mark: “This is what they did!” Because there’s a need for validating that I was hurt and there’s like an underlying theme of I’m right and they’re wrong.
Melissa: Yeah, believe me, listen, hey, I’ve done it……
Melissa: I’ve actually had to walk through a lot of repentance, you know?
Mark: Yeah, it’s something we’ve both done…everybody’s done.
Melissa: We have, you’re human and don’t beat yourself up for it, but you know what? You can recognize it and go, “Man, I got to pick up my big boy and big girl pants on this and grow a little.” You know?
Mark: Yeah, so if I go back to what I said earlier, in this Q & A, about really appreciating people, even people who’ve wronged me, if I had my list of top ten betrayers, you know what I mean? I can appreciate something each of them brought into my life.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely.
Mark: That’s what I’m going to focus on and some of those betrayers, listen, catch this-
Melissa: It’s true-
Mark: No, no, you don’t know where I’m going.
Melissa: I think I do, go ahead.
Mark: Some of these betrayers, they, we didn’t recognize the season!
Mark: That we were in.
Melissa: Right, right.
Mark: I need to let you go, you need to let me go.
Melissa: Yep, absolutely.
Mark: Is that where you thought I was going?
Melissa: Yes, I did, yep, yep.
Melissa: Hey, listen, we are one.
Mark: You’re right.
Melissa: We are one.
Melissa: Yeah, yeah, can I say this, too, it just, actually as you said that, it made me think of something else. With the people that, maybe, we had in our hearts as betrayers or people that things went awry, we’ve had recompense. Out of our healing, in how we’ve processed, God has brought about recompense and it’s been really beautiful.
Mark: It’s true.
Melissa: Out of the blue, out of the blue, yeah.
Mark: Phone calls, emails.
Mark: Running into, “Hey, I’m sorry.”
Melissa: Yeah, it’s been really cool.
Mark: It’s like, you know, it’s one of those things that you keep your heart right in those betrayals, keep your heart right in those areas. I really think a lot of it goes back to the season people are in. Somebody’s in a rough season and they didn’t come across the best way to you and if you just give them that grace, there will be an understanding down the road.
Melissa: Yeah, because don’t we all want that for ourselves?
Mark: We’re all going to get to heaven someday and I think what’s going to open up in our eyes, is go, “Oh, my goodness, that’s what was going on? This is what they were going through?” Like what was I sweating, for 15 years, over that thing?
Melissa: Yeah, it’s true. Because we want, and just remember, you’re going to want that grace in your own life. I know I’ve been in the store or had text messages come that I haven’t gotten to for days or whatever, because your life is going crazy and you felt that with another person, “Oh my gosh, they didn’t respond”, or, “Oh, how they acted”, no, they maybe just be going through something; just love them, love them.
Mark: If you’re in a relationship where you have that, ask the person, this is what I do, I ask point blank, I’ve had a couple people that come to mind, where I text them, I email them, I call them, like, “What’s the deal? I’m about to engage a rejection spirit right now if I don’t hear back, like what’s going on?” I just go, you know what? I’m just going to be honest. “Hey, dude, are you mad at me? Just wondering. If I’m totally off, I’m sorry.” One hundred percent of the time, they respond back with, “I am so sorry, I’m just going through a lot. I’m overwhelmed.” Then you start to hear the massive battle. What has been a struggle, like even in the past 9 months. There have been people that have given that to us and that’s so helpful. The people that don’t, those become difficult. Here’s the thing, I can’t explain myself to everybody.
Melissa: Yeah. That’s the thing we’ve had to take our peace on it, yeah.
Mark: I would spend my whole day, going, “Hey, just to let you know, okay, I got a thing, because my water line broke and then I had a thing with insurance”, I’m going to spend 30-
Melissa: Yeah and we haven’t slept for 3 days because our kids aren’t sleeping and yeah.
Mark: Right. Even this week, we’re like, we’re going to unplug and we’re going to go to Maine. Your father in law took some time and went with us and your sister and our niece, and our kids, we all went to Maine. Second day in Maine, I get a phone call from my Mom, “Grandma’s passed away. We’re having a funeral.” We’re like, okay, hon, you and I, we got to figure out babysitting.” We got to-
Melissa: Yeah, so the day we came home, we unpacked, repacked and left at 6 am the next morning.
Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Melissa: Within a day.
Mark: Flew out.
Melissa: We have been non-stop, so that means we haven’t been able to get back to people, do whatever.
Melissa: I need grace on my life, just as others would ask for their own.
Melissa: We all need it, we all need it.
Mark: I think this is the key in relationship, is I got to do two things: One, I’m going to check myself. Check my filters, check my issues, what do I need to grow in here? Then two, what’s the season they might be going in? We have to stop thinking. No one woke up this morning, on the planet, and said, “I’m going to get that, Mark DeJesus”, okay?
Melissa: Gosh, I hope not.
Mark: You know what I mean?
Mark: I mean, somebody might have said that about-
Melissa: Somebody might of.
Mark: Somebody might have said that about the president or, you know what I mean?
Melissa: Yikes. That’s a whole other show.
Mark: That’s where we got to chill-out. No one woke up going, “I’m just going to ruin”, you know what I mean? I know it’s out there, but I have to put it at a realistic level, so that people, when they act a certain way, they’re coming out of their hurt and their pain, if they’re wanting to engage, respectfully, they can. It’s like just really recognizing that people are in seasons that they need to recognize and if they do, will have healthier relationships.
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