Monthly Archives: November 2019

Bible Study Tidbits

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“What will you do the next time you find yourself being suspicious, exaggerating, guessing, or making assumptions about someone’s behavior?”

This morning brought cold temperatures and a member of the Wednesday morning Bible Study couldn’t make it because her furnace stopped working! As I was preparing to fill her in on some scriptures and thoughts she missed, I decided that I would write a blog about it and share it with all.  We are working very slowly through the book Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. We are working through it very slowly because it is so full of information.  (I have an extra copy if you’d like to borrow it!)

Playing Mind Games – Do you regularly entertain any of these thoughts about other people? “I don’t think he/she means what he/she said.” “I wonder what I’ve done wrong.” “I wonder what he/she thinks about me.” “I wonder what he/she wants from me.”  Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

What truths in these verses could help you with your nagging thoughts about what other people are thinking?

Read Phil 4:8 – How will asking yourself “What is true?” help you to stop second-guessing your relationships?

Read Matthew 18:15 – How can obedience to this command assist you in your relationships?

What is a similar command in James 4:17?

If no one comes to you with a personal issue, what can you assume?

How does remembering the wisdom of Proverbs 28:1 help you proceed in your relationships?

Now, it’s time to apply God’s principles to your thoughts!  Consider what you’ve learned from Philippians 4:8 and what the guidelines “true” and “real” offer for your thoughts.  What can you do, and what can God do to keep you from torturing yourself with unfounded (& therefore, probably inaccurate) thought about what other people are thinking and feeling?

What will you do the next time you find yourself being suspicious, exaggerating, guessing, or making assumptions about someone’s behavior?

How would your relationships improve if you accepted people’s words at face value? Can you think of one specific instance where this would have helped?

Of course, we had a lot of discussion with these questions.  We will discuss the following next time!

Read Hebrews 4:12.

How is the Word of God described? What is God’s Word able to do? How does the Bible help you in your thought process?  What must you do to tap into this power?

I always look forward to our time together.  If you are online and want to comment, feel free!  And, if you are local….give me a call, I can loan you my book!

 

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Love Is…Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

50bc8f7d17f66d15e99c5cf35a5ce407“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  — John 13:34

Many of you may remember the Love Is…cartoons from the 1970s.  It depicted a boy and a girl drawn nude (with no private parts showing.)  They had sentiments like “Love is never having to say you’re sorry, having his picture on your mirror, taking one day at a time.”  These cutesie cartoons had some light sayings and also some meaningful sayings.  Though we may know of a cartoon that answers the sentence “love is…” I hope we are even more familiar with the scripture that states “Love is….”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 has a long list of what love is. We probably remember this passage from weddings.  Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy or boast, it is not proud and the list goes on.

We have access to lists of what love is, but the scripture I started out with may make love a little more challenging.  We have been given a command to love one another as God has loved us.  That makes love about more than cutesie phrases and also more than loving your spouse because they read Corinthians at your wedding, it means loving one another.  It means loving all the people you come in contact with each day whether you choose to or not.  It means loving the neighbor who runs their chainsaw before you wake in the morning, it means loving the person who is tailgating you when you drive to town and it means loving the person who yells at you when you accidentally bump into them in a store. Because we are loved by the most high, we also need to love others, even them. In order to do that, we need to stop and consider them and their possible circumstances and assume the best of that individual.  Instead of being offended by someone, we need to have compassion for them. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32

What does that look like? Instead of being angry at your neighbor waking you, have compassion for him that he has so much work to do that he has to start before dawn. The lady riding your bumper even though you are driving 5 miles above the speed limit? She may have received a call to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The angry person in the store may have just lost his job and is there to cash his last paycheck. In all instances, the truth is that we don’t know why others act the way they do, but we are commanded to love them.

We need to let go of petty offenses that are offered by others and put those offenses behind us. Our calling to love is greater than the offenses behind. We are called to love others. Love is….giving the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

 

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Another Phase of Life

boy wearing green crew neck shirt jumping from black stone on seashore

Photo by ajay bhargav GUDURU on Pexels.com

I woke this morning, the day after Paul’s 20th Birthday and realized that I am NOT the parent of a teenager for the first time in 16 years!  I have been parenting a teen for 16 years and yet, at times, I feel unqualified for the position.  Everyone who raises a child gets to train during the teens for 7 years, but the way my children are spaced, I’ve been in the teen years over twice as long and still feel like a rookie!

This discovery has given me something to ponder.  I have three children out of the nest and I find them to be awesome, productive adults.  They are people that are very interesting and quite honestly, I don’t think they’d run in the same adult circles as me so I wouldn’t have ever met them if they wouldn’t have been my children.  They are my children, but they are their own selves. I am amazed over who they have become. Actually, I’d like to take credit for some of it and maybe I do at times, but I remember one time thinking that if I take credit for their accomplishments, I have to take credit for their stupid mistakes too and who wants to do that?! I mean, I have enough of my own stupid mistakes, I’m really not interested in taking on anyone else’s! So, my adult children became responsible adults and I’m not claiming that my mothering had anything to do with it.

My nest isn’t empty.  I still have a 20-year old who struggles in a different way and I’m still trying to teach, influence and mother him. AND, I still have a preteen to worry about. This morning, my mind was full of insecurity. Am I involved enough with my 7th grader, who her friends are, what activities she should participate in, etc.? Is she getting enough of my time and attention? Then I realized that those adult children of mine had a mother who was often distracted by younger children as we fostered over 40 kids during their teen years. I may have missed out on some of their events and I may have disappointed them at times, but quite honestly, I think that they are grateful that I didn’t have time to be overly involved in their relationships, homework, and other teen drama.

I think I will give this guilt I have a positive spin. I’m not going to feel guilty about not knowing everything about my 12-year-old’s life and I am going to trust her to make her own friends and even some of her own decisions. I’m taking these seven months of not having a teenager off and I’m going to see how much today’s problems matter then.  I’m betting not much.

Note: This blog was written months ago.  I am currently back in the trenches with a teen and rarely have time to ponder it!

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