Thursday, October 06, 2011

#6 - My Blessing

My Blessing
A resolution to esteem others with my time, concern, and full attention

~ The Gift ~
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

He listened to the clever dodges and smokescreens of the woman at the well
~ John 4:4-30

He listened to Peter and the other disciples indignantly boasting that they would never deny or desert Him
~ Matthew 26:31-35

He listened to the call of an individual blind man, even the mournful roar of human need on a crowded street near Jericho
~ Luke 18:35-43

Listening to the accusatory sentiments of a discouraged, impatient prophet
~ Habakkuk 1:1-11

Listening to the delineated questions of a man suffering unexplained misery
~ Job 3:1-26

Listening to the many excuses mapped out by Moses for why he was uniquely unqualified for locking horns with Pharaoh
~ Exodus 3:1-4:13

Listening to the whining tirade of a bitter, unbecoming man of God
~ Jonah 4:1-11

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What is the most difficult part of listening for you?

~ Recall the last time you genuinely felt heard.  Make a list of some one-word adjectives that describe how this encounter made you feel about what you were saying?  About yourself?

~ Who are the people in your life who would benefit the most if you took the time to listen to them?

~ Shhhh ~
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1.) Knowing what to say.
2.) Not saying it.

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
~ Proverbs 10:19-20

The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined.
~ Proverbs 10:8

For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in [a]what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
~ James 3:2
Blessings of silence:
- Learn it
- Love it
- Live according to it
Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What would immediately change for the better in your life if you began exercising the spiritual restraint of silence?
~ Try it for a day or two.  Deliberately keep from saying something that's better left unsaid.  Allow the bait of another's unkind or inappropriate remark to land without hooking a response from you.  Record what you observe about yourself and the change in the dynamics around you.

~ Underneath It All ~
Thursday, October 6, 2011

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
~ Luke 6:45

Inventory of your tongue's track record is an instructive way to uncover what's hidden within:
1.) Symptom: Are you always quick to offer an opinion, inserting your assessments into conversations at ever conceivable opportunity?
~ Diagnosis: This could reveal a haughty tinge in your heart, which causes you to feel the need to impress and be at the center of attention.

2.) Symptom: Are you constantly critical and demeaning in your spoken sentiments?
~ Diagnosis: These are often code words for insecurity and a lack of certainty in your inherent value, as well as a heart infested with anger and judgmental attitudes.

3.) Symptom: Do you frequently find yourself quarreling with your spouse or being divisive among others?
~ Diagnosis: You're lacking a spirit of peace and unity deep inside, a true desire for your relationships to be strengthened and reflect the grace of Christ.

4.) Symptom:
Does gossip continue to come easily for you, so that even the steeliest self-
restraint is unable to stop you?
~ Diagnosis: You find others' problems and difficulties entertaining and don't think of them as people needing your support, prayer, and companionship.

5.) Symptom: Do your words often reveal a doubtful, skeptical outlook?
~ Diagnosis: You're low in the faith and belief department, not operating from a deep trust in God's ability and His wise handling of the details and timing of your life.

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
~ Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart, and do not allow it to become:
- Hardened
How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

~ Proverbs 28:14

- Deceptive
They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

~ Psalm 12:2

- Prideful
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

~ Proverbs 21:4

- Unclean
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

~ Psalm 51:10

Seek rather to have a heart that is always:
- Sensitive to the prodding of God's Spirit
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
~ Romans 8:5

- Single-mindedly devoted to Him
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

~ Psalm 86:11

- Drenched in humility
The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

~ Proverbs 22:4

- Pure before God
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
~ Matthew 5:8

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
~ Philippians 2:3-4

As you prepare to make this resolution, picture the people in your life who most need to receive this gift from you, as well as the obstacles that often keep you from being able to give it.  Before rushing ahead and signing your name, consider what changes you'll need to make to become a person who is "quick to listen and slow to speak."  Do you need to turn off some technological devices, for example, so people feel prioritized and important?  Be willing to make some of these practical and necessary adjustments to this resolution doesn't just "sit on the shelf" of your life and not become a reality.  Then, when you're ready, prayerfully read the statement below and sign your name.

My Blessing
I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak.  I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.

Note From Myself:
This resolution is teaching me more about how I should be quick to listen and slow to speak to others around me.  To have a care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.  With this I will have an open ear to listen to anyone who wants to talk to me about anything that is on their mind.  Help them in anyway possible that I can help them with what God allows me to do.  Even slowly speak of things that can help another out, and not something that will just push them away.  I have know as for myself that sometimes I can speak to quickly and really regret what I have just said, when speaking speak out what I know won't cause any problems that I basically can't really take back.

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In Christ,