Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘truth’

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I am growing weary. Actually, I think many people are. We are growing weary of loud voices taking extreme positions that drown out any healthy dialogue on important conversations. There are huge issues in our country including racism, homosexuality, religious beliefs, and more that impact real people in very personal ways that are being treated like stones to throw at others with damaging intent.

I can not go on-line without seeing people offended, angry, and militant about issues that could easily be a conversation instead of a shouting match. I watch people who have the same beliefs I do and people with beliefs different than I do treat each other in the most vicious of ways. I see people choosing to be offended instead of responding with a sense of humor or grace at the smallest infractions. I marvel that many ignore starvation, killing, poverty and war to focus crusades against conservatives or liberals.

We could blame the media. They certainly have done their fair share to raise what they think will get people watching more than reporting the news anymore. Many times when you read comments after a “news story” on-line, it is full of people amazed at how sensitive and/ or mean people have become. At the same time, there is still a fair share of commenters that jump on the band wagon and start trashing others.

I believe it is a “rubber band” effect. For a long time, there are many that did not have a voice. Now that they do, (in some areas) it’s yelling instead of conversation. For a long time, others were the only voices. Now that they are not, (in some areas) the talk has become defensive trying to protect their ground.

How I pray for more common sense, common decency, and common respect.

Tolerance is a word thrown around a lot now a days. I don’t see a lot of it in the loud voices on either side. Even some will brag about how tolerant they are while at the same time trashing on conservatives because their views are different than their own.

You do not have to agree with my beliefs for me to be your friend. However, we are losing the art of that.

Since I have been ranting on…. I’ll give you an hypothetical example that will probably get some mad at me.

Let’s say, I went to a caterer wanting them to do an event to celebrate my son’s baptism. I did not know the owner was muslim until he says, “I appreciate you thinking of us but as a muslim, I just don’t feel comfortable. I’m not the best fit.” Once I heard this, I would understand, thank him for his time, and go to another caterer. He didn’t act in a negative way towards me nor did I to him. We left with mutual respect.

It would never cross my mind to sue him, start a campaign against him, trash him on the news and yelp, and the like. I can respect his views and would never think about forcing him to serve my beliefs.

I also would not take the approach that the best way to show my anger that this man would not do business with me because our beliefs were different by championing others to pull their business from him because his belief was different than me. At the core, it’s the same action.

We can have different beliefs. (We can think the other is wrong on an issue without disrespecting one another on it.)

We can have the same tolerance and love for one another as we discuss our differences, experiences, and emotions.

We can not trash on one another and then pretend we are the victim because not one is listening anymore.

Again, random thoughts that have turning in my head for a bit….. Time to let them out.

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 »

As we continue our look at being mobilized in the mission God has called you, we all agree that everything we have addressed quickly gets undercut when we act differently than the way we say we believe. People have seen enough hypocrites and it takes time to earn that trust back.

However, is it just acting “right” when people are looking or does it go much deeper? What does is look like to be a good steward so someday we hear “Well done, good and faithful one”?

In this study, we dive into the Word for encouragement and a warning in the area of being “Principled”. There is a difference between calling yourself a Christian and being a Christ follower. It impacts every area of your life.

Read Full Post »

I’m currently watching “Finding Neverland” during my morning workout time. There was one conversation in the movie that jumped out at me.

While feeling horrible after suffering a miserable response to their latest play , the author and the producer have this conversation.

Producer: They changed it on us, you know. The critics. They made it important.

What’s it called?

Author: Play?

Producer: Play.

When children of God struggle with guilt after committing a sin or falling down again.

Christian Friend: They changed it on us, you know. Those people in your past. They made it hard.

What’s it called?

You: Mercy?

Christian Friend: Mercy.

“ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 4-9

Read Full Post »

 

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1: 27

Can you fix everyone’s problems? Does the church do enough to help others in this world? Do you? Does Jesus really say to take care of everyone’s needs at your own expense?

This study, we dig into the Bible to see just how vital it is that we are helping others and making a tangible difference. While there is overwhelming need in the world around us, there is instruction on how to know where you are to step in and how to do so.

We also cover how to help others when you are in need yourself. God does not call us to a life style that He does not provide for so a closer look in this area will be of benefit as well.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »