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Posts Tagged ‘kind’

Disappointment

April 12th, 2016

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV.

Disappointment comes from varied sources in assorted sizes.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “disappointment.”

People will not always behave as you expect. Inevitably, you will need to deal with disappointment because that is one of the life’s common experiences. Disappointment comes from varied sources in assorted sizes. Sometimes it happens in a sequence of little things, and at other times occurs more painfully, sudden and unexpected. The word simply means, “not as appointed.”

There are a lot of things that could be described that way; they just don’t turn out according to your plans or preference. The small things produce momentary discomfort that may slow but not stop you. You adjust, recalculate, and resume your journey no worse for wear. Sometimes situations are disappointing; at other times people disappoint, just as you have and will disappoint others.

Usually, people don’t mean to disappoint others. Like the rest of us, people are often self-centered, not thinking of how a word or action will affect others. When a person disappoints you, it feels more personal and difficult than when things or plans don’t happen as you hoped. You cannot choose the actions or control what others do or say; you must choose and control what you do and say. Jesus words were wise and practical when you feel disappointed by others, “If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.” Read Matthew 10:12-14 NIV. Refuse to carry someone else’s relational baggage. Peace of heart and mind is invaluable.

The best way to deal with people who disappoint you is simple: forgive and forget. First, consider yourself and the grace shown to you by God and others. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV. Don’t harbor wrongs done to you; deal with your feelings promptly and thoroughly. Some wrongs were real; some were imagined; and few if any were as bad as they felt at the time.

Now, let’s talk about times when you disappoint others, and yourself. The worst disappointment you will feel is when you fail in a big way and know it – when you let your family down, are not the friend you meant to be, did not do what you knew was right, or do not live up to your own convictions and standards. The best way to deal with that is to “face up, ‘fess up, and forge ahead.” Remember your humanity.

Jesus’ words were plain, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV. It is a dangerous illusion to assume you are perfect, “We have this spiritual treasure like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 TEV.  Yours or others’ failure is not final if you include God.

Today, I pray for you to bring every hurt to the One who cares, heals, and restores.

Disappointment

Christian Communications 2016

EDL: facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Prayer and God’s Forgiveness

March 7th, 2014

“Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive . .” Matthew 6:12 TEV.

For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prayer and God’s forgiveness.”

Thus far in our study of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), we have examined, “The Pattern and Practice of Prayer,” “Prayer and God’s Sovereignty,” “Prayer and God’s Kingdom,” and “Prayer and God’s Providence.” Prayer also involves the practice of receiving and extending forgiveness.

Living without forgiveness results in soul-damaging condemnation, a heavy burden you were never meant to bear. Who has not needed to be forgiven by God and man? The Bible is clear; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” See Romans 3:23-26 NKJV. This truth offers bad news and good. We all need to be forgiven; we all need to forgive. See Mark 11:25 NIV.

Here’s how the process works: conviction of sin, confession of sin, cleansing from sin, or condemnation due to sin. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” See 1 John 1:8-10 NKJV. Be warned. If confession is not made, the Accuser imposes condemnation which worsens as confession is delayed. David suffered greatly when he failed to deal with his sin. His testimony is: “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable . . Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me . . Create in me a pure heart, O God.”  Psalm 32:1-5/51:1-4/10-12 NIV.

In Jesus’ model prayer, He taught, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father . . forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.’” Matthew 6:12 TEV. The word, “wrongs,” is correctly and variously translated as, “debts or sins.” Elaborating further on His words, Jesus said specifically, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt 6:14-15 NIV. Whether described as debts, sins, or wrongdoing, they come large and small.

Forgiving is neither optional nor easy, but is essential for spiritual health and growth. The measure and nature of your treatment of others determine what comes back to you – from others and from God. “Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. [What you give] will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:37-38 NLT. Let me simplify Jesus’ words, “For good or bad, you get what you give, but in multiplied measure.” Unforgiveness of others is an unkindness you impose on yourself. Read Matthew 18:22-35 NIV.

The ability to forgive others flows from your experience of lavish, unmerited forgiveness from God. “In Him we have . . the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 1:7-8/4:32 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you will embrace and extend God’s forgiveness.

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Love’s True Expression

August 1st, 2011

“Love is patient and kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 NLT

Loving others begins with the Christian civility of patience and kindness.”

My thoughts today are about “love’s true expression.”

The Bible warns, “Quick! Catch all the little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of your love.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NLT. Marriages, friendships, and even business relationships are not as commonly damaged by big things like dishonesty or disloyalty as by little things, like taking one another for granted, or disrespect, ingratitude, or ongoing criticism and complaint. It‘s those small inconsistencies that may appear negligible when they occur, but are relationally destructive as they accumulate.

They are eventually harmful because such attitudes and actions stand in stark contrast to love; such little irritations grow in the fertile soil of impatience with others and its resulting unkindness. I regret to say that impatience is an area with which I am not altogether unfamiliar. I have learned to be more patient after observing that my tone of voice and words became less kind when I was less patient. I hope I have improved in this important area as I have grown in Christ and matured in life.

In Paul’s majestic discourse about love at its best and most sincere, he writes, Love is patient and kind . . it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4/7 NLT/NIV. As I have thought of that description, beautiful and practical in its simplicity, I observe that patience is a prerequisite of kindness. To me, kindness seems an observable evidence of patience. Patience with another person opens the door to your kindness being expressed toward them in thought, word, or deed. Patience is a choice you make; kindness is the expression of your choice.

Can you imagine God’s love for you being absent of patience, and lacking kindness? Wouldn’t that confuse you? The Bible teaches that God’s kindness is directly linked with your salvation. “And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us through Christ Jesus. God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:7-9 NLT. See Titus 3:4-7 TEV.

Here’s the practical application. Are you and I not required to be gracious with others as God has been with us, and as gracious as we wish Him to be continue to be toward us? Can I treat you in a lesser way and still expect God to treat me in a better way? Jesus was pretty clear about His expectations – a “new commandment” that “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34-35 NLT. That is not a suggestion, nor a noble objective; that is non-negotiable, a command to obey! Loving others begins with the Christian civility of patience and kindness.

My prayer for you today is that patience and kindness will crown your relationships.

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Opinions and Judgments

September 9th, 2010

“Who dares accuse (one) God has chosen.” Romans 8:33 NLT

Be charitable in your opinions and kind in your judgments.”

My thoughts today are about “opinions and judgments.”

It is easy to misjudge someone. You can so easily misunderstand what another person has said or is reported to have said, or misinterpret what a person has done or been accused of doing, or mistake someone’s motive – presuming that you know what another person was thinking or intending. But do you, really?

Doing so often leads to misjudgments of one another. And what if you are wrong about them? Can you be all that sure of what your own motivations are much of the time? See Jeremiah 17:9. How could you possibly be so sure and certain of someone else’s? The Bible provides this caution, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way that you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV. That should give anyone pause.

A friend taught me a practical way to differentiate between having an opinion and making a judgment. Those may seem very similar, but they are worlds apart. I wish I could say that I have learned the principle well and practice it better, but I still live in what my friend, Campbell, described as “the biggest room in the world – the room for improvement.”

Opinions are plenteous, even unavoidable. Everybody has them; some people seem to have too many of them for others’ good – and many of the ones they have are frequently incorrect. People may have an opinion about anything, matters that are their business and things that are not. That’s where the danger comes of holding strong opinions. Opinions are often nothing more than an individual’s likes and dislikes, their preferences and prejudices, as much unexplainable whim as any firm reason. Don’t confuse your subjective opinion with an accurate, objective judgment.

This matter of judgments is more serious. There are judgments that should be made, and must be made, but those should be left to those who have been given the authority and responsibility to make them. Ask yourself this question when tempted to pass judgment on someone or something: “Is this my God-given responsibility and authority?”

The principle is this simple and practical; if you don’t have the proper, recognized responsibility, be assured you have not been given rightful authority. You can’t judge where you don’t rule. “Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judging on one another . . God alone, who made the Law, can rightly judge among us.” Read Romans 14:4/10-13 NIV/James 4:11-12 NLT/ See Psalm 9:8 NLT.

You will be much happier and have far better relationships if you learn to recognize what is best left to others, and give better care for the things that are yours. Be charitable in your opinions and kind in your judgments. You don’t ever know all there is to know; don’t be so sure of what you do.

My prayer for you today is: do not mistake your opinions for God’s judgments.

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