Posts Tagged ‘relationships’


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



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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….

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Our next struggle in life (or “cliff”) that tries to steal our joy is dealing with relationships. Many people shared they are struggling in their marriage, parent/ child relationships, singleness, friendships, and other areas when it comes to finding community.

If you find yourself struggling in any of these areas, this study is for you. Paul gives us a great block of advice in Ephesians that we will study to find freedom in our relationships.

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Valentine’s Day when I was single never bothered me a ton.

When I was in high school, a girl I was dating dumped me the night before my junior year homecoming. I decided to go anyways (though she was there with a new guy) mostly to show her I was not crushed (though I was).

That night, I danced more than I have ever danced in my life. Why? After twenty minutes into the dance, dates started getting into arguments with each other (drama) and I danced with all the girls who were no longer dancing with their dates. Had a blast!

I think I learned early that not only do you not need a significant other to have a complete life but the reality is, being in a relationship with the wrong person can be a lot more pain than being single and free.

Wait for the right person… if you even want another person. Being in a relationship is not required in life.

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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.

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OK, now it’s just shameful that I have moved two posts from Steven Furtick’s blog to here. Sorry…… I just like this one as well. Enjoy!

The next time you’re having a superfluous conversation with someone you really like and trust, try this:
Move deep on ‘em.
Here’s an example:

I was talking on the phone to my friend Bil recently, and we were having a pretty good conversation.  I don’t know Bil super-well, but we’ve hung out and interacted enough that I know I like him.  We also have a lot of mutual friends and I greatly respect his ministry.

At the end of the call, Bil asked how he could pray for me.
The easy answer: “Just pray that our Christmas Eve services will be great.  We’re having 2 of them Uptown and then blah blah blah blah….”
This response, while fine, doesn’t really take our friendship anywhere.  I’m just rehashing stuff he could already read about me on my blog.

Honest answer: “Bil, you know how sometimes as a leader you feel a little disoriented and lonely?  I feel a little that way lately.  Pray for me about that.”

This opened the door for Bil to share something brief and encouraging that really lifted my perspective.

A few clarifications:

  • Some of you will take this as a license to enlighten complete strangers about how painful your chronic back pain is or how tired you are.  Don’t be that person.Don’t assume that anyone wants to be your volunteer therapist.
  • Even when it comes to people you know, emotionally vomiting when they ask you how you’re doing is a bad idea.  If you take it to this extreme, people will certainly begin to dodge you.  Then they’ll tell others to do the same.
  • Be careful of devouring people’s time.  Moving deeper doesn’t always require talking longer than you normally would.  You can move deep-quickly-and actually probably spend less time in conversation, accomplishing more.

In spite of these landmines, when you time it right and do it well, moving deep quickly can accelerate great relationships and sift out mediocre ones.
It’s a lot better than: “Man, this weather sure is cold.”
Say something that matters.

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I read this on Steven Furtick’s blog and thought it was interesting. I am not sure it really addresses the real complexities of a broken relationship but it does raise an interesting point. What I mean is, I believe we are to try to work through the challanges of the bumps in relationships so I believe this blog comes into play once things get to a toxic level. The toxic level is once the person in your life is not open to reconciliation and refuse to act in love towards you. That disclaimer made, I think there is some things to consider in this blog. Let me know your thoughts….. (more…)

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