Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Messages and Thoughts’ Category

eye_iris

Several years ago, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood had a hit song talking about how significant others saw a couple who were tempted as better than they really are. There are many ways that we are impacted by how other’s see us and how we see them. Sometimes it’s in a positive way where someone can speak into our lives something they see encouraging us when we are down on ourselves. Sometimes, it not very positive at all.

What is on my heart today is on the negative side. I believe it’s something we all deal with from children to adults and often times, don’t realize it. It’s when we see another person in a negative light, not because they did anything wrong to us but because someone we are close to doesn’t like them. Our friend tells us gossip, complaints, and negative things about someone and now, you are starting to see them “through another’s eyes”.

I caught myself doing this before. Once upon a time, I was deeply involved in camping ministry. A friend of mine was also on staff and he did not like his boss. He would tell me things the boss would say, do and how he would undercut ministry from happening.

Up to that point, I thought his boss was a decent guy and had a heart for ministry. However, as I heard these things he said and did, I pulled away from him and was really disappointed in him.

Years later, I had seen enough trends to know my friend tended to be critical towards people and often time to cover his own shortcomings. I realized there was a chance he was trashing his boss to cover up for his own struggles. When I looked at the boss’ legacy of ministry, I could not see one thing negative except for things told to me by one person. I had wrongly judged a man due to seeing him through another’s eyes.

I invited that boss to lunch even though I had not seen him for over a decade. He was very suspicious because he could tell I was distant from him and had a bad view of him back in the day. However, when I apologized to him for believing what I was told, not coming to him to get his side of things, and being distant from him for years, he was truly moved. The scales fell off both of our eyes about one another and we had a great conversation for almost two hours about life, ministry and more.

As we talked, I realized I had chosen poorly and lost years of having this mentor in my life.

That said, I also see this in my life where I am the person being seen through another’s eyes. Being a pastor, I enjoy many loving and caring relationships that we are blessed by. At the same time, it puts you in a role where you become the victim of this trend at times.

There has been more than once that it becomes evident that someone pulls away from you. It could be because they are upset with someone I did, it could be their own insecurity (like above), or it could be one of a thousand different reasons.

When someone slips into that mode where they start to pull away, the next thing I usually notice is the people closest to them start to pull away as well. Not because they have an issue but because they start to see me through another’s eyes.

I believe all of us have been on the receiving and giving end of this trend. It’s very easy to fall into. However, often times we find that we are judging or being judged not fairly but because of gossip, complaining, or misrepresentation.

So, what do we do?

What I do know is that I wish I went to the “boss” much earlier and just had a conversation with him about what I was hearing. Not in a way that sold out my friend at the time but in a way I could hear his side. I bet additional communication would have made a big difference to the situation.

If you find yourself reading this and realize that there is someone in your life who you were friends with, was a mentor, or a family member that you have pulled away from only because of what others have told you …. maybe it’s time to take a pause. Maybe it’s time to talk to them and see what you find. You might reunite with a brother or sister through your own eyes instead of blinding yourself with someone else’s vision.

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18: 17

tsflife.com

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

IMG_7556

Here’s a little look inside my church office…specifically, this is the conversation pit. Many in depth talks have been held here.

This is where the church elders study, pray, and meet on church matters.

This is where the deacons often meet to work together for the care of those within our church and the community around us.

At other times, it’s where I sit with perspective married couples, people who are struggling, or people looking for an ounce of guidance.

Finally, this is where I sit and talk at times with people who have concerns, frustrations, or misunderstandings with me or within the church family.

I love this area because in all of these situations, this is often where understanding or healing happens.

In honor of the heart of this little space, I wanted to build on last week’s post concerning gossip. I want to suggest some best practices when it comes to communication during struggles that may be of interest to you.

– Ask yourself, does this warrant a conversation?

To be honest, sometimes our topic of interest can be more hurtful than beneficial. Sometimes, it is our self focus or frustration levels that convinces us that we need to get it off our chest and on to someone else. However, at times, this can just be a transfer of emotional weight with no real effort at a conversation that benefits both of you.

It’s best to pray over and take a moment before you enter into a conversation. It may just be something that you just need to let go of. It might be something that is flared up inside you because of another root cause or maybe your position is wrong. Having some time with the Lord to find if it’s wise to have the conversation is a great first step.

However, for many of us who don’t like conflict, it’s easy to talk ourselves into not talking to someone about an issue and then letting things back up on us. If it’s an issue that needs some conversation or some better understanding on… move to the next step.

Invite the other person to a conversation. If it’s needed and you don’t, you will lose control of your input.

Let me explain.

For some, we like to go silent when there’s a concern and thus withdraw. In reality, do you know what this leads to? Division.

The people who love you feel shut out and no longer know how to reach out to you. You start to feel more and more on the outside like no one cares. In a church environment, you stop fellowshipping, stop serving as part of the body, and set up a situation for you to feel like you are on the outs.

You may think by pulling your voice back that it’s keeping a division from happening. Not so.

Most of the time, you end up talking with someone about the concern with someone else to get it out there someplace instead of being stuck in you. You may even do so with a pure desire for input and advice. However, now it’s out there and they are bound to tell someone else. They may even have good intentions to get you help you when they don’t know how to but none the less, others now control your input.

It’s better to invite someone to the “conversation pit” than to have them invite you because you were unwilling to make the first move.

Bring Grace to the Conversation

Often times, when we are frustrated with someone else in a moment, we forget how much we love them. I have seen people accuse some of their closest friend of horrible things they know in their hearts that person would never do. Breathe. Remember who they are. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Ask questions instead of accusing them.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4: 29

– Expect a Two Sided Conversation

When you bring a concern to someone, they should listen and try to understand your perspective. However, they deserve the same from you.

If your only goal is to make them see and accept your reality, you are not looking for a conversation. A conversation is a meeting of two perspectives that let both sides walk away with a better and bigger understanding.

I have had people come to me with concerns that I listen to and repeat back to them to make sure I understand. Then, when I offer some information that they might now know or a perspective they may not be aware of, get angry at me. They weren’t looking for understanding, they were looking to unload. The key is to listen and speak on both sides to grow together in love and truth.

Get it all out!

If you have two or three things bothering you, don’t just choose one and ignore the others. Sometimes we pick and choose so we don’t come off like we are complaining too much or are overly needy. The problem is, the opposite usually happens. When we address one thing and leave with a hug, Satan will stir up the other concerns in short measure. The next thing you know, the relationship is strained again and the other person is trying to figure out what happened this time. Get it out on the table and let the conversation and love pour over it.

Give Mercy to Offenses 

Time to forgive. While there are those who abuse your mercy that you need to protect yourself from, most times there is no such thing as too much forgiveness. You will need their mercy … freely give yours.

Leave supporting each other

The goal is not to leave a conversation agreeing 100% with each other’s perspective. The goal is understanding and supporting one another. It’s unity, growth, and when ever you can…. a hug.

Time after time, I have seen people walk in my door frustrated, depressed, or hurting and after a honest and loving conversation are refreshed and renewed. The common comment is “I feel so much better after we talked about this.” We could all do well practicing healing through communication more.

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” Ephesians 4:15

Pastor Tom Hypes
http://www.tsflife.com

Read Full Post »

gossip-1

Over my years of ministry, sometimes it seems like there are two types of people. There are those who recognize gossip in themselves and work to grow and there are those who don’t realize they are a gossip and continue in their destructive ways.

Gossip is a killer. We may try to write off our own gossip by saying we are just blowing off steam, claim we should be able to say what we want to others that are close friends, or claim that it doesn’t happen often.

The problem is that usually the victims of the gossip usually find out and are hurt at the betrayal. The blowing off steam becomes starting fires. Talking to close friends becomes having less friends (at least friends of value) as they pull away from you. “It doesn’t happen often” becomes a quick defense but not an honest one as we slip more into negativity and feed the beast of gossip over and over again.

So, the question is, are you a gossip? Well, let’s look at the definition….
(more…)

Read Full Post »

When in Thailand, one thing we saw was the challenge of being in a culture where few have heard the name Jesus Christ. At the same time, we saw the way the Holy Spirit was moving in the lives of first generation Christians to turn that tide.

However, the challenge in our culture is quite different. We live where pretty much every have heard about Jesus Christ but tend to take Him for granted. What unique challenges does that pose to us to reach the world around us? What unique opportunities can it bring? How can it effect our personal lives as followers of Jesus Christ?

We need to address the issue of the “Ordinary Jesus” in our culture and lives to see the movement of the Holy Spirit. Be part of our study as we explore deeper into something we take for granted every day.

He’s extraordinary!

Read Full Post »

 

Pastor Tom returns from a two week mission trip in Thailand with plenty to share! This podcast serves as an overview of the trip itself and includes exciting information of what God is doing between The Shepherd’s Fellowship and Bible Church Thailand!mission, missions,

Read Full Post »

This is not your normal sermon on homosexuality….

Few topics divide the world and the church like homosexuality. For that matter, few things divide the church like the same topic.

The issues within the GLBT community effect our politics, views, and most of all… personal lives. Many have been hurt, driven to anger or just fall away over past hurts and experiences and the divide deepens.

At The Shepherd’s Fellowship, we believe in 100% love and 100% truth. Can this also apply to the conversation of homosexuality? Be part of our study and see what you find as we dig into a hot button but critical study.

Read Full Post »

 

The Bible is the gauge in which we as Christians gauge our life. It is very black and white on many topics that apply to our lives today.

However, what about issues the Bible is not as clear about? How do you find the path to holiness in areas like what entertainment we partake of, political issues, some denominational differences, and the like?

In this study, we dig into the teachings of Paul on this very thought process. We will explore how to find our personal way through topics as well as how to find unity in conversations that begs for division in our worldly selves.

As drinking alcohol (from non-drinkers to social drinkers to those who struggle) is a big topic in many lives, we will be using it as our example of how to make sure our views in all areas are Biblical, honoring to God, and lead to unity and love.

Sound like a conversational minefield? That’s why it’s the perfect focus point for Biblical living.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »