22 February 2011

Building Better Relationships Chapter 5

This is me and Julia this past summer at the farm.
Handling Confrontation

I'm happy to say Gina is leading next week's lesson on confrontation.  I can't wait to hear what she has in store for us.

Here is what God showed me in this chapter...

If you have a problem with another person do you...

1. confront the person
2. avoid the person
3. talk about the person to a third party
4. forgive and work on forgetting

"In Scripture we are called to put away criticism, malice, revenge and hurtful words.  We are called to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love-even when rebuking or admonishing another person."

Gossip is never the answer

Have you noticed that the times you didn't confront the person who hurt you or continues to hurt you, one of the first things you do is tell someone else about the offense?  Gossip only causes pain, and it shows are immaturity in Christ.  Sometimes we call it "talking it out with a friend" or "venting", but really it's all sugar coated ways of masking gossip.  And we are called to go to the person and as far as it depends on us be at peace with all men.  (even mother in laws) And believe you me, I am talking right to myself!!!

Making peace with all men is not easy, it takes work, it takes prayer, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit, it is SO MUCH EASIER to gossip and avoid the situation.  "Gossip sows seeds of distrust and gives us negative attitudes toward those whom Christ has called us to LOVE."

Why do we gossip?

1. Gossip is less threatening than talking face to face with the problem person.

2. The story we retell is usually slanted to make us look good and the other person flawed.  We fail to realize the damage we inflict on another's reputation.

3. We try to manipulate people to join our side.

4. We gain sympathy for ourselves by telling the dreadful way we have been treated.

5. Gossip makes us feel powerful--we know something someone else does not know.

6. We have poor communication skills and often don't know how to talk about a problem without making in worse.

WHOA!!!!!!!!!! Are you as convicted as I am right now?  And looking at the reasons why we gossip only makes it worse because we realize how immature and hurtful it really is than just a face to face talk.

How are we to treat a gossip: 

Proverbs 20:19
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
What cluster of problems does Paul list along with gossip?
2 Corinthians 12: 20

20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 

How did John handle gossip?

3 John 1: 9-10

9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

"Scripture teaches us that gossip not only separates the best of friends but also brings anger, strife, and quarreling.  Gossip is the work of Satan and is a primary weapon he uses to destroy Christian fellowship."

Action Steps To Take on Gossiping

First and foremost, confess your sin to God, but then don't just feel bad about being a gossip repent or confessing your sin means that then you turn away from that behavior and head toward a new, better behavior.  The author suggested contacting a friend/coworker/family member that you usually are sharing negative info with tell them that you are sorry for involving them in your gossip and share that you want to change, they can even hold you accountable (very humbling, but that's ok, it'll keep you from tripping up in that area again).

This chapter also goes into rebuking and confronting others but I will save that for next Tuesday because there is a lot of scripture to share and go over!  It will also give me a chance to pray and ask God to show me where I fall short and how I can change.

Happy Tuesday!

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