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Friday, 30 May 2008
Ending Gossip in Our Lives
Topic: Ephesians 4:29-32

Spreading rumors about other people exposes little about their true nature but reveals a lot about the speaker's own character. Such behavior shows a willingness to sin against the Lord by causing harm to someone else. Until a gossiping believer confronts his sin, he can't progress toward becoming the person God wants him to be.

Confession is the first step in dealing with sinful speech. This should be followed by repentance by pledging to turn away from opportunities to talk about others. A useful scripture to pray daily is Psalm 141:3: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Second, be on guard against temptation. Believers have a responsibility to set themselves apart from gossip in order to keep thoughts and words pleasing to God. Being in the presence of one who spreads stories can tempt even a believer to participate. In a situation where rumors are being shared, the best course of action is to speak out against the practice and then leave.

Finally, instead of talking about someone, it's wise to pray for that person. Getting into this habit will help train the mind to replace sinful patterns with God-pleasing ways. The Bible teaches us to encourage and comfort each other, and prayer is a good way to obey that instruction.

A gossiping Christian dishonors God's name and his own. Instead of using words that disparage and injure, choose to speak well of everyone. In so doing, you'll bring glory to the Lord.


Posted by Prophecies Of Revelation at 10:45 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 June 2008 1:54 PM CDT
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Sunday, 20 April 2008
THE NEGATIVE POWER OF REJECTION
Topic: Ephesians 4:29-32
As a pastor, I have had many wounded children in my office. They might be adults, but the little boy or girl inside of them still grieves over a parent's lack of acceptance.

Parents have considerable power to negatively shape a child's life by making him or her feel rejected. Without the steady foundation of unconditional parental love, such kids become adults whose entire life experience is shaped by their earliest feelings. These walking wounded cannot trust in others- care for them - they are waiting for the rejection that they believe is inevitable. Friendly advice is often heard as criticism, and even a forgotten birthday may be seen as a sign of dislike.

Right now many parents are saying, "I love my kids, I accept them!" Rejection, however, can be subtle. For example, parents may think they're providing guidance by suggesting more conventional music choices, different clothing styles, or an altered appearance. But this type of criticism is often received as an attack on the child's personhood - an indication that he or she isn't measuring up. The same sort of thing can happen at a Little League game. If Dad says, "You would have hit that pitch if you had watched the ball as I taught you," his son's delicate ego hears, "If you performed better, I'd be happy with you now instead of irritated."

Unwise criticism can be interpreted as rejection, leaving a child feeling unloved or unworthy of love. On the other hand, discipline and instruction, which are necessary for children's maturity, confront their actions and attitudes while communicating a parent's acceptance.

Have you been unfairly criticized in the past? How have you handled it?

Posted by Prophecies Of Revelation at 1:57 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 20 April 2008 1:58 PM CDT
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