There’s loads of emphasis on making healthy choices, particularly with our eating, exercise & uses of time & money. I’m continually coaching my kids to Mae healthy choices & I’m abundantly clear that God coaches me along these lines as well. Here are some specific areas for making healthy choices:
Advocate or Accuse: let’s be aware that accusing is what the devil does & advocating is what the Holy Spirit does. Which choice is your natural default?
Convict or Condemn: condemning is when there’s a dead end & no hope to change, grown or improve – everything the devil works to accomplish. Conviction happens when the Holy Spirit speaks in our hearts about something that’s wrong, endeavoring to help us change.
Truth Or Lie: Jesus says in John 8:44 that the devil’s natural language is lying but a few chapters later, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth. If we tolerate white lies or incremental truths we need to consider if we are listening to the devil more than the Holy Spirit :!
It seems to me that we all have various conflicts & hot spots that we have to manage – such hot spots could include: stressful conversations with co-workers / classmates, conflict with our mates, harsh words between friends, scratchy people, etc. Regardless of having hotspots, which seem to be inevitable, here are some ideas for constructive words that might come in handy:
*a soft answer turns away wrath (Prov 15:1): you are a really gifted person with (name a talent they have)
*words seasoned with grace (Col 4:6): I believe that you were trying your best in this situation (give the benefit of the doubt)
*be quick to listen (James 1:19): Please help me understand what you’re concerned about (seek to understand the other person’s point of view)
*be encouraging (1 Thess 5:11): I really want to encourage you that I see you’re trying hard in this situation; I want to encourage you that I see talents, gifts and potential in you that you may not see
*pursue peace (Rom 14:19): Here’s the common ground that we can agree on (describe something about which you agree)
What are some suggestions you’d give us that could also be helpful?
Before I met my husband, I had a few boyfriends who were nice guys. Some of them were really smart, some of them were very funny, some of them were very philosophical and some had some great business skills. They were all unique and great in their own ways. When I met Reece, it was really obvious that we were both very different people, but in a really good way. Of course we had some very essential commonalities, but to this day after more than 18 years of marriage, we are still very distinct and unique individuals. One of the beauties of our relationship is how well we complement each other.
So I’ve been thinking about this idea of complementary natures as it relates to God and us as individuals. It seems to me that we are God’s complement – broken, weak, frail, dysfunctional, insecure, etc and God is our complement. Sometimes I’ve tried to find my complement in various human relationships only to be disappointed and hurt. The only true complement to our true self is the Truine God. They have designed us to be Their complement 🙂
I took at pause from blogging for a week or so & it’s been great to take some time to reflect and contemplate. There’s lots to be said in favor of cultivating a strong interior life & sometimes we need a little retreat to make some progress in this area. So I took a pause with exactly this intent – to strengthen my interior life. It’s been super helpful because I discovered some areas that have become unhealthy & dysfunctional. With the dysfunction, I was having some non-constructive behaviors, thoughts & attitudes. There wasn’t anything overtly destructive, but getting still & quiet in my heart revealed some real challenges that I’m working through with the Helper. As we work through these issues, I’m confident that I’ll be increasingly settled in my walk with God & less dependent on exterior living and affirmation.
Be very certain and secure that you’re highly valuable & deeply treasured by the Creator of the Universe 🙂
Yesterday, I had several very intense conversations on a variety of topics. Why they all compiled onto one day, I don’t know. But thankfully, they all turned out very constructively. Here are a few things I learned from these discussions:
be clear: about what the issues are: make sure that everyone involved knows what is being discussed
keep the main point, the main point: avoid rabbit trails – take each issue & work on it until its resolved as best as possible
avoid emotional escalation: it’s ok to feel strongly about something, but be careful that your emotions don’t become the central concern of the discussion
timing: rather than rush into a discussion, wait for the right timing – let God give you the green light for the conversation
listen carefully: to what the other person is saying, even repeating back in your own words what you think has been said; this lets the other person know that you’re paying attention & want to understand their point of view
focus: keep your eyes on God as your source of value, significance & direction
My conversations turned out super well – having these kinds of discussions are vital not only for their resolution, but more importantly, for our maturation. Grow well my friend 😀
In America, we are very intense about our right to the freedom of speech. We have no appreciation for anyone who would try to censure our opinion or limit our expression. And in some ways, I really appreciate this right & I wholly appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to retain this privilege.
On the other hand, just because we have the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we should say anything & everything we want. Proverbs says that even a fool appears smart when they keep their mouth closed. There is tremendous wisdom in knowing when to say something, what to say & to whom something should be said. These choices can be very productive if we make the decision to be constructive with our opinions & freedom of speech & not merely selfish. In the end, the right to freedom of speech with a selfish intent is often more destructive than constructive. Here’s a simple idea that I’m trying to work into my daily living: I want to compliment & encourage more than I criticize & judge. Want to join me? 🙂
Today in America is a day that we remember the heroes & victims of the destruction of 9/11 ten years ago. Many of us probably have clear recollections of where we were on that day & what we were doing. Such an attack on America hadn’t happened in almost 5 decades & our lives have changed as a result of the events of 9/11.
The destruction that occurred on that day has ignited many different responses throughout our nation & the world. But here’s my challenge: destruction can only be transformed with a constructive reply. Hurting someone who has hurt you doesn’t change hurt. Insulting those who insult you doesn’t change the insults. Let’s be mindful about our responses to hurtful things – let’s be constructive & decide not to perpetuate destructive & hurtful behaviors