Communicate well

2018-02-27
Proverbs 15:1 MSG

However well we get on with someone, arguments will happen from time to time. People have different personalities, tastes, and ways of thinking so we won’t always agree on things. But there are a few things we can do to avoid some of the conflict we end up in. 1) Think before you speak. We need to ask ourselves if fear, stress, or worry may have caused someone to respond to us in a negative way. Or are we responding badly to others because we’re feeling insecure and unappreciated? Sometime we can misread the situation or exaggerate the problem. So we need to take time to think about what’s happening before we jump in and respond. 2) Ask for what you need. Other people aren’t mind-readers. They won’t automatically know what’s wrong or how they can help us if we don’t tell them. We need to communicate our needs and issues with other people in a calm and honest way. 3) Never threaten. Threats just make others defensive and insecure. So they end up switching off from what we’re saying and can get angry which leads us straight into conflict. 4) Get rid of the baggage from the past. The Bible says, ‘Love…always looks for the best…never looks back’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG). It’s easy to remember past hurts. Maybe a friend betrayed our trust or someone let us down. But we can’t assume that everyone is going to do that to us. It’s not fair on them, and it stops us from having good relationships with other people. 5) Say something nice. Our communication with others should be full of positivity. We should be building each other up. Sharp words can create wounds, but ‘a gentle response defuses anger.’

1 Kings 12-13; Matt 18:10-20; Ps 53; Prov 6:9-11

In plaas van om jou te bekommer, bid

2018-02-26
Filippense 4:6 NLV

‘n Bybelonderwyser skryf: “Die druk van ons lewens het baie van ons in ‘n web van die mees aanvaarbare, maar dreinerendste sonde in die Christelike familie vasgevang: kommer. Die kans is goed dat jy vanmôre opgestaan het en, voor jy nog iets anders gedoen het, jou rugsak van kommer aangetrek het. Jy het die dag nie met ‘n gebed begin nie, maar is deur bekommernis afgerem. Wat ‘n aaklige gewoonte! Jesus het sy volgelinge met die volgende vraag uitgedaag, ‘Kan al julle bekommernis julle lewe een sekonde langer rek?..’ (Matteus 6:27 NLV). Bekommernis los niks op nie. Dit skep onrus en ongemak en as dit nie hanteer word nie, kan dit ons angs in ‘n perfekte storm van emosies opsweep. As jy ‘n bietjie verbeelding en kreatiwiteit byvoeg, word ons grootste vrese lewendig in ons gedagtes. Die stres van kommer dreineer ons energie, neem ons gedagtes in beslag en stroop ons van ons vrede. Ons stres oor klein en groot dinge. Sommige van ons het ‘n lys van kwessies wat ons verslawing aan kommer voed. Dis ‘n baie onaantreklike verslawing, maar ons slaag tog daarin om ‘n grap daarvan te maak. Ek het al mense met ‘n glimlag hoor sê, ‘As ek nie iets het om myself oor te bekommer nie, raak ek bekommerd omdat ek nie iets het om my oor te bekommer nie.’ Angs het ‘n gunsteling tydsverdryf geword wat ons lief is om te haat. Die ergste is dat ons dit aan ons kinders oordra. Ons mentor hulle in die kuns van kommer wanneer hulle die kommer op ons gesigte sien en dit uit ons monde hoor.’ Wat is dus die antwoord? ‘Moet oor niks bekommerd wees nie, maar bid oor alles…’

Sielskos: 1 Kon 10-11; Matt 18:1-9; Ps 40:9-17; Spr 6:6-8

Instead of worrying, pray


Philippians 4:6 CEV

One Bible teacher writes: “The pressures of our times have many of us caught in a web of the most acceptable, yet energy-draining sin in the Christian family: worry. Chances are good you woke up this morning, stepped out of bed, and before doing anything, strapped on your well-worn backpack of anxiety. You started the day not with a prayer on your mind, but loaded down by worry. What a dreadful habit! Jesus challenged His followers with the question, ‘Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?’ (Matthew 6:27 NAS). Worry solves nothing. It creates unrest and uneasiness, and if left unchecked it can churn our waves of anxiety into a perfect storm of emotions. Add a little imagination and creativity, and our worst fears come to life in Technicolor brilliance. The stress from worry drains our energy and preoccupies our minds, stripping us of our peace…We fret over big things and little things. Some of us have a laundry list of concerns that feed our addiction to worry. It’s a very unattractive addiction, yet we somehow manage to make a joke out of it. I’ve heard people say with a smile, ‘If I don’t have something to worry about, I get worried about not having something to worry about.’ Anxiety has become a favorite pastime we love to hate. And worse, we’re passing it on to our children. As they see the worry on our faces and hear it from our lips, we’re mentoring them in the art of anxiety.” So what’s the answer? “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.”

Soul food: 1 Kings 10-11; Matt 18:1-9; Ps 40:9-17; Prov 6:6-8

6am priorities


Philippians 4:6 NLT

When you wake up, first thing, what goes through your head? Chances are you reach for a familiar net of worries and anxieties. Or maybe you try to head straight back into sleep, which can be another way of dealing with the same problem. Either way, it’s a pretty deadly habit to create, especially when Jesus outright asks us: “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27 ESV). Worry doesn’t help us with anything, except maybe keeping our to-do list at the front of our minds – which could be done just as easily with a pen and a notebook. And the notebook doesn’t come with waves of anxiety that cut through our mind and set our emotions spiralling. Sometimes you hear people saying ‘If I don’t have something to worry about, I get worried about not having something to worry about.’ We might end up training ourselves to worry, to the degree that when it has nothing to work with, it just creates its own destructive feedback loops. Flying in the face of all this, the Bible tells us: ‘Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything.’ The beauty of this is that it deals with the subjects that we dread to leave unattended; but instead of attending to them with unbounded, oppressive worry, we pick them up and hand them over to someone far more skilled in the art of getting stuff sorted. Jesus is our peace (take a look at Ephesians 2:14). So let’s let Him handle our worry.

1 Kings 10-11; Matt 18:1-9; Ps 40:9-17; Prov 6:6-8

Versterk jou geloof (3)

2018-02-25
Psalm 56:4 NLV

Geloof is soos ‘n spier; probleme mag dit dalk strek, maar dit groei op die ou einde sterker. Dawid het hierdie waarheid verstaan. Hy is aanhoudend deur sy vyande gejag. Saul het selfs nog op die troon gesit toe Dawid as koning van Israel ingeseën is. In plaas van om geloof in God se belofte te verloor, het Dawid verklaar, ‘…Die Here het die getroues vir Hom afgesonder. Die Here sal antwoord wanneer ek tot Hom roep’ (Psalm 4:4 NLV). Toe die Filistyne hom gevange geneem het, het hy gebid, ‘My aanvallers soek my lewe sonder ophou, en baie val my aan, o Allerhoogste. Die dag wanneer ek bang word, sal ek net op U vertrou’ (Psalm 56:3-4 NLV). Toe hy in ‘n grot opgeëindig het waar hy voor Saul se jaloerse toorn gevlug het, het hy gesê, ‘…In die skaduwee van u vlerke sal ek skuil totdat die onheil verby is’ (Psalm 57:1 NLV). Gedurende die derde eeu, toe St Felix van Nola vir sy vyande gevlug het, het hy skuiling in ‘n grot gesoek. Met die loop van tyd het ‘n spinnekop sy web oor die klein opening begin spin, wat dit laat lyk het of daar al maande lank niemand daar binne was nie. As gevolg daarvan het sy vyande verby die grot geloop. Toe hy weer in die sonskyn uitklim, het Felix verklaar, ‘Waar God is, is ‘n spinnekop se web ‘n muur. Waar God nie is nie, is ‘n muur ‘n spinnekop se web.’ Soms sal jy in ‘n grot opeindig oor iets wat jy gedoen het, of as gevolg van omstandighede waaroor jy geen beheer het nie. Met God aan jou sy, kan jy egter sê, ‘Die dag wanneer ek bang word, sal ek net op U vertrou.’

Sielskos: Eks 20:15; Jos 7:1-26; Tit 2:6-10; Ef 4:28