When you say, "How are you doing?" people usually give a quick (positive) answer, and the conversation moves on. If you slow things down and pursue a more thoughtful answer, you can usually expect a pause - as the person takes stock of their emotional condition and reviews their recent performance. Their status will often be expressed in terms of a treadmill week. And life goes on.
This need not be – there is more to life than a weekly treadmill. Jesus came that our lives may be abundant and full. (John 10:10) We must remember that we will be most fulfilled and alive when we are most spiritually alive. Paul reminds his younger friend Timothy to stir up (the fire of) the spiritual gifting within him. (2 Timothy 1:6) Sometimes we have to intentionally stir ourselves up to rekindle that fire.
What kind of things fire you up?
When was the last time you were on fire?
This might be a good time to put yourself in a setting or two that are likely to stir you...
Some people can really get under our skin. Possibly they are very different from us. They may look at life from very different perspectives or they may communicate in ways that seem very foreign to us. This can lead to misunderstanding and misjudgment going both ways. It is difficult to receive someone as they really are if we don’t actually understand who they are.
Other relational irritants sprout from people who are very much like us. They may be dealing with similar challenges, weaknesses or blind spots as plague our lives. We may be unaware of these problems in our own lives, yet somehow keenly aware of them in the lives of others. We can develop unconscious hyper-sensitivities to our own sin/weakness packages that are reflected in others. Our “stuff,” in others, can drive us crazy.
Jesus spoke about this natural propensity to judge others (Matthew 7:1-5). His point is that our judgments can be harmful to others and to ourselves because they are inaccurate and...
What if God designed us to live in meaningful relationship with others? What if He wants us to impact and be impacted by each other so that we might be changed and transformed in the process? If this were actually God’s design and plan, how might it affect how we act toward others and how we receive from them?
God has placed the lonely in households (Psalm 68:6), with families, friends, workmates and possibly most importantly in the household of faith. He has made us to have effect on each other. It is as if our souls have been created with permeable membranes that allow overlap and exchange when we come close to each other. We experience the most exchange with those who come closest. Maybe that’s why we can be so irritated by our spouse, family or good friend. It can also explain how we pick up mannerisms, expressions and worldviews from each other.
The New Testament is peppered with verses that describe how we can best relate to “one another.” They...
Many people in our country believe that faith is a personal thing – that it’s not something to talk about or share with others. To believe this, however, is to believe that there is no real, solid, true faith that we must all consider.
The Bible uses the expression “the faith” to describe a solid belief in Jesus Christ that impacts and informs all aspects of life. People are to be strengthened in the faith, encouraged to stand strong in the faith, to examine themselves to make sure they are in the faith, to grow in the unity of the faith and to experience joy in the faith together. Faith is personal. Faith is also corporate. We need to be discuss it so we can grow and progress in our understanding, application and practice of “the faith.”
In Ephesians 4:15 we are instructed to “speak the truth in love” to each other. This is what we all need spiritually and relationally. We need to receive both...