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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dealing With A Grudge

Ever had a grudge with someone? Can you feel your blood pressure rise at the very sight of that person? Haven't we all? Did you know that the Bible speaks to this very issue?
In Matthew 18, Jesus instructs his disciples:
If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend. If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won't listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God's forgiving love(15-17, MSG).
Unfortunately, we have a habit if mixing it around. Someone ticks us off. The first thing we do is go tell our friends. Or we spiritualize our gossip and "share" it among our small group so we can "pray" for this individual. Before long it is well-known throughout the congregation.After this, we finally go to the individual and deal with the issue.
How many relationships could be restored if we just dealt with disagrements as Jesus instructed? How many divided congregations could be united by behaving biblically? How many church splits could be avoided by humility?
The most troubling part about a grudge is the one we harbor the grudge against probably doesn't even care! They are not obsessed with this apparent wrongdoing. In many cases, they are completely unaware of it.
Again, if we were to deal with this biblically, and go to them first, then they would be aware of it.
The best strategy for conflict resolution? Go to to the person first, and possibly avoid the pain of gossip, and the humiliation of being ostracized.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Necessity of Rest

There are times when you just need to relax. There needs to be times when you need to set aside time to just rest. Goals are important. We need to work to achieve them. But we also need to have the strength to strive for them. This is where rest comes in. Relaxation is possibly the most important aspect of achieving goals. You cannot achieve your goals if you do not have the strength to run for the finish line.
As I'm working on my degree, I have to keep reminding myself that spending 8 straight hours studying for a final or hammering out a term paper is much less productive than punctuating that study or writing with times away from your work. Taking time to play a video game with my kids. Going fishing. Enjoying some time alone with my wife. Getting together to have some coffee with an old friend.
My wife is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools our children. There are times when she just wants to be alone in our room to watch Dr. Phil or take a nap. That's how she recharges her batteries
It does not really matter how you relax. Some people get recharged by spending time with others, while others require times of solitude. What matters is you take time away and just relax.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do or Die

Have you had it? Have you had that moment during the process of achieving your goal when you're just not sure you can do it? I know I have. You are trying to attain a goal you knew from the start would not be easy. At a certain point in striving towards that goal, you have that twinge of doubt. "Maybe I'm not cut out for school." "Is it even realistic to live debt-free?" "Is this marriage even worth the effort anymore?"
Look, we all face it. I call it a "Do or Die" point. We all come to a point where we either give up, or we grit our teeth, square our jaw, and continue to progress toward the goal we have set out. This is the point where we have the mentality of not being denied our goal.
Some of you may be there right now. I know I was last week. If you are, let me encourage you to tell your doubts "NO!" This is not the time to quit. This is the time to bear down and do it! To quote Dave Ramsey, now is the time to act as if "nothing's moved unless it's shoved!"
You have come too far and worked to hard to give up now! You can do this! Finish that degree! Pay off that debt! Fight for your marriage and family as if your life depended on it!
Some of you may be wavering, thinking you don't have the strength. You may thinking you don't have what it takes to win. Trust me: YOU HAVE GOT WHAT IT TAKES! All you have to do is do it!