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Speaking Truth in Love Means Taking a Risk
It’s scary to speak the truth in love. The reason why we stuff our feelings and hide the issues in our relationships is because we fear the possible consequences. We let fear become greater than our love. Speaking the truth in love means taking a great risk! And because we don’t want to take that risk, we settle for superficial, shallow relationships.
Confront in Truth, Affirm in Love
A healthy, strong relationship is always built on two legs: confronting in truth and affirming in love. If you only have one of these legs in your relationship, it isn’t going to stand. It will fall over at just about anything!
It Matters How You Say Something
When you plan to lovingly confront someone, after you’ve checked and corrected your motivation, then plan your presentation. You have to think about when you’ll say it (make sure the other person is rested), what you’ll say (introduce it well so it will be received well), and how you’ll say it.
Confronting for the Right Reasons
As you learn how to love like Jesus, if you want to move out of grade school and into graduate school, learn to confront issues in your relationships that are keeping you from being closer. You have to learn how to face issues that scare you to death — and you have to learn how to do it in love
Kindness Is Worth the Cost
There is always a cost to kindness. It inevitably causes you to sacrifice time, money, energy, reputation, privacy, or something. There was a cost for the Good Samaritan, too.
Becoming a Kinder Person
The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 15) teaches two very profound lessons about kindness. If you want to genuinely become a kinder person, you must be willing to do two things:
Seize Every Opportunity to Show Kindness
We’ve been looking at lessons about kindness from the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. First, the Good Samaritan opened his eyes to see the need around him. Then, he listened to the injured man’s pain and sympathized with him.
Kindness Begins with Listening
If sensitivity to others’ needs begins with your eyes, then sympathy for their hurt begins with your ears. You have to learn to listen! The better listener you become, the more sympathetic you will be.
If You Want to Be Kind, Open Your Eyes
Kindness always begins with the eyes — the way you observe the world and are sensitive to the needs of other people.
A Prideful Heart Opposes God. A Humble Heart...
One of the most important ways you can practice courageous humility is to surrender your plans to God. However, this is what we usually do: We make our plans without even consulting God. Then we pray and ask God to bless our plans, which we didn’t ask him to be a part of. We assume that our plans are his will. Then, when our plans don’t happen on the timetable we want or they don’t happen at all, we get angry with God. That’s called pride, and God hates pride.
Five Ways to Relax in God’s Grace and Love
Realize nobody’s perfect. Psalm 119:96 says, “Nothing is perfect except your words” (TLB). What society tells you isn’t perfect. What popular opinion tells you isn’t perfect. What you learned growing up isn’t perfect. But God’s Word is perfect. When you get in the Bible and build your life on it, you will have a perfect foundation.
Three Effects of a Teachable Spirit
When you’re learning how to be humble, you have to be willing to listen, learn, and grow and be open to suggestions and corrections from other people. You don’t know it all, and you can’t act like you know it all, either!
Come to God Just As You Are
Everything that Jesus did for you, he did out of love. The Bible says that God made you to love you. The only reason you’re alive is because you were made to be loved by God.
How Often Should You Forgive?
Forgiveness is rarely a one-time event. So how often do you have to keep releasing your right to get even? Until you stop feeling the hurt — then you’ll know you’ve forgiven that person.
Respond to Evil with Good
The Bible says in Luke 6:27-28, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (NIV). Notice these three verbs: “do good,” “bless,” and “pray for.” A big part of forgiveness is responding to evil with good.
Let Go of Your Need to Get Even
The heart of real forgiveness is relinquishing your right to get even. The Bible says in Romans 12:19, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (TLB).
Five Things Forgiveness Is Not
There’s a lot of faulty thinking about forgiveness. The act of forgiveness gets watered down. It gets abused. It gets cheapened. What is forgiveness really? Take a quick test by answering “true” or “false” to the following statements:
Focusing on God’s Purpose Leaves Little Time...
When you start to get concerned about something God is doing in another person’s life and envy starts to build, focus on the plan God has for your life. Don’t get distracted — center in on God’s will for your life.
When You Envy, You’re in a Battle with God
When it looks like God’s blessing somebody in a way that he’s not blessing you, relax and trust God. Believe that he knows what’s best for you, and trust him when life seems unfair.
Being Content is a Learning Process
Instead of focusing so much on what you don’t have and what didn’t happen, be grateful for what you do have. This doesn’t come naturally to me, probably not for you either, and not even for the apostle Paul, who said, “I have learned to be content.” Being content is a learning process.
How to Rejoice in God’s Goodness to Others
When we see God being kind and gracious to others, we can respond with joy rather than resentment.
Get to Know Others So You Won’t Envy Them
The key to overcoming envy is to stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing is the root of all envy. And it was the first mistake made in the parable of the vineyard workers: The ones who were hired last “came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more” (Matthew 20:9-10 The Message). In other words, they started making comparisons: “Look what they’re getting. So we’re going to get more. We deserve more.”
Help Me Overcome My Unbelief
Is it possible to be filled with faith and doubt at the same time? Yes! You can have faith that God wants you to do something and still be scared to death.
There Is No Condemnation for Your Mess-ups
God knows that failure is part of life. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He’s not surprised when we mess up. In fact, he sent Jesus to clean up our mess. He didn’t send him to point an accusing finger.
God Wants You to Really Live
Jesus did not come to make life perfect for us. Rather, he came to give us a life connected to him, so that no matter what situation we face, we are eternally attached to the source of true life.
Articles last updated at Jul 27, 2017 07:16:25am.
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