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Call Out The Best In Others

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We encourage people to be their best when we call out the best that is in them. Whether we say a simple thanks or take the time needed to say, “That was really great what you did” or “I could tell it took a lot of character and courage to say what you said.” We need to get in the habit of calling the good out! For some this comes naturally, for others it's a challenge. Here are some things we need to be in the habit of doing for when we interact with other people...


Look and listen for what’s good in the other person. Simon Peter isn't perfect, but in Matthew 16:16 he gets it right! Later Jesus is going to rebuke him in the harshest possible tones saying, “Get behind me Satan!” Peter will also famously mess up when he denies Jesus. But, that’s later and for this moment, maybe only 1 minute, Peter has got it right and Jesus calls it out in him. Jesus says to him. Matthew 16:17 (NRSV), And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revea…

Build A Bridge Through Dialogue

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We are in desperate need of more dialogue. A dialogue is an exchanging of ideas, which implies that I listen to you and you listen to me. I hear what you say; you hear what I say. Unfortunately today we have less dialogue and more monologue. We make ranting posts on Facebook about someone, something, some group, some business, some organization. There are some people who just want to complain, who want to monologue, and hear their own voice. The problem is that if everyone is talking then no one is listening. We need dialogue especially over the things which we disagree. Dialogue builds a bridge where monologue builds a wall.


How do we build a bridge? How do we dialogue? It starts with asking others about their beliefs. Ask because it communicates that you want to know. If I start by sharing my view then I might short circuit the conversation either they agree and say, “I agree.” Or they disagree and don’t want to argue so they say, “I’m not sure.” Or they’re undecided until you told …

Questions Build Trust & Understanding

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Everyone wants to have life-giving conversations. These conversations are started with questions because we build trust and understanding through questions. I’m afraid that in many ways we’ve lost our ability to converse. We limit our conversations to texts and tweets. We’re afraid of offending so we don’t ask and because we don’t ask we don’t understand. We have a hard time communicating about things of significance, even truths of eternal significance. As Christians we want to talk about Jesus because he’s changed the world and us. Yet, we have a hard time having a conversation about him because we have a hard time conversing. Over the next few weeks at church and on the blog I want to unpack some truths I’ve seen about conversations from Jesus’ interaction with the disciples in Matthew 16, here are three.



Our best conversations happen in the “real world.” One of the reasons I think people struggle to talk in church or in class is they don’t want to be wrong. When you have a conversa…

The Three Best Places To Get Wisdom

Earlier I posted about listening and how it was the original lifehack from the book of Proverbs. But, who should we listen to? Recently I heard about “chipmunk speed” a setting you can use to listen to podcasts at 5x speed. This (in theory) lets you listen to a podcast faster. I have my doubts about this because if you’re in a hurry to get done listening, are you really listening at all? We need to listen to those who are worth listening to and take the time to gather their wisdom. But, who are these sages? I can think of three people we should always listen to.

Perspective from those who care for us. Do you want advice that is in your best interest? Get it from someone who simply wants you to succeed! There have been a lot of commercials and laws passed in the past couple of years about people who give financial advice. It was revealed that some advisors were not giving what is called fiduciary advice, advice in their client’s best interest. Instead these advisors were giving advice t…

Listening The Original Lifehack

The biblical word for "wisdom" can also be translated “technical skill” - wisdom is “skill for life.” The book of Proverbs is an early collection of timeless life skills. These were the original “life hacks” which have become so popular today. Consider these life hacks from the book of Proverbs … Proverbs 15.1 (NRSV), A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.Proverbs 27.14 (NRSV), Whoever blesses a neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.Proverbs 29.17 (NRSV), Discipline your children, and they will give you rest; they will give delight to your heart.Proverbs 13.11 (NRSV), Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, but those who gather little by little will increase it. The book of Proverbs is full of life hacks, like these, that make us wise for life. In the very beginning of Proverbs we see that the key practice to growing in wisdom, the most important skill, is “listening.” Vers…