What if we took a different approach? What if we got involved? What if we made a game of cleaning the rooms? What if we decided to make it relational and fun? The same outcome. Different approaches.Continue reading
We teach our kids to understand that there are differences between them and others, but we also show them to recognize and celebrate those differences. In the best case, we’re teaching our kids that just because another kid is different, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. But… Is that how we live?Continue reading
Even though we teach our kids to see that there is a standard of right and wrong that exists outside of them, we too often try to live by determining for ourselves what is right and wrong. We negotiate our morality, allow ourselves to live outside of what the Scriptures make plain and clear, and choose for ourselves what is right and wrong.Continue reading
We teach our kids not to bully, but we’re bullies about our opinions online.
We teach our kids to be nice to others, but we’re unkind to people who hold different beliefs and perspectives.
Why is it that that we know that our kids need to know how to navigate relationships in a life-giving way, but we neglect to see that we, as adults, need the exact same thing
Have you ever been out to dinner at a beautiful place to eat and, as the food comes from the kitchen, you notice it’s not exactly what you ordered? Maybe your steak is overcooked. Perhaps your burger doesn’t have the bacon you added. Maybe there’s a side that’s missing.
What do we typically do? We point it out to the server. A lot of us get frustrated with them. Some of us yell. Some of us have some anger because our nice dinner has been disrupted.
But… Who’s at fault?
Do you suffer from road rage?
Honestly, I’m pretty mild-mannered. I don’t anger that easily. I have, however, experienced more road rage that you would expect.
Let me clear this up… it’s not me who’s angry. It’s other people who are mad at me.
In all humility, I’m not exactly the best driver. I’m never going to win any “driver of the year” awards. Also, I wouldn’t be a good hire if you were hiring delivery drivers.
Honestly, I’ve worked on it. I’ve put my phone down. I’m lucky enough now to have a car that warns me when I’m getting close to the lines or too close to someone in front of me.
It hasn’t kept me from the anger of those who experience road rage in the past! There really are countless moments where people have pulled up next to me, while driving, yelling at me through two closed windows. I want to have a sign that reads, “Hey… I’m sorry. Trying to read your lips while driving isn’t going to make me a better driver, though! Have a great day!”
Where does road rage come from? It comes from the same place any other offense comes from. The commonality in driving just leverages a lot of people who know what other people SHOULD do, but then get angry because they don’t do it. They SHOULD have let me in the traffic line. They SHOULD not have stopped so quick. They SHOULD have been paying closer attention.
They SHOULD have…
The SHOULD have stayed faithful. They SHOULD have told the truth. They SHOULD have been on time. They SHOULD have replaced the toilet roll.
And then, all of a sudden, without warning you’re OFFENDED!
Offended hurts. Offended stings. Offended isn’t fun. It’s hard and hard to overcome. But… Offended is also the plan of the enemy to choke the life of Jesus out of you.
When we’re offended, we ask, “Why should I forgive them?”
It feels like a legitimate question. They’ve hurt us. They’ve done us wrong. Why SHOULD we forgive them?
Maybe that’s the wrong question to ask.
I’ve noticed that if you ask the wrong question, you always get the wrong answers! That doesn’t mean there’s a bad question. It does, however, mean there is often a better, more helpful question.
When we ask, “Why should I forgive them?” it places us on a team and them on a team. We’re on team “right”. They’re on team “wrong”.
For those of us in this boat, there’s a working assumption: “I’m right.” There’s also pervasive neglect. When you’re focused on your own “rightness”, you’re neglecting the fact that you, yourself, have been and could be wrong.
You have been wrong. Many times.
And when you’ve been wrong, both with God and other people, you have often experienced both grace and forgiveness.
If we’re honest, the debt that we’ve been forgiven of us is much greater than any debt another will ever owe us. We’ve failed greatly. We’ve also been significantly forgiven.
Maybe a better question is, “How could I not forgive them?”
What is keeping you from forgiving?
Is it that they seem sorry? Were you sorry every time you received grace? Probably not.
Is it that they did something pretty wrong? Have you done something terrible before and been forgiven? If you’re a Christ-follower, you have. You killed God’s Son, and He’s forgiven you for it!
Stop looking for excuses to refuse forgiveness and start forgiving with your own story as the backdrop for the grace you extend.
Forgive and love, and you have been forgiven and loved!
* * * * *
What’s your most common excuse for not forgiving someone?
Have you ever been there… stuck on the toilet, no toilet paper in the dispenser, and all that leaving you in desperate need of a miracle from God to provide for your apparent needs?
We’ve all been there.
Where do our hearts go IMMEDIATELY? We start to blame the person that left that cardboard roll with no life-giving tissue remaining. We blame our spouse. We blame our kids. We blame our coworkers.
I think this is a moment we encounter in more ways than we realize.
We see a problem. We identify an area of improvement. Then… we ask, “Who should do that?”
One thing I’m sure of is that we all see different things.
Maybe that’s the wrong question to ask.
Have you ever noticed that asking the wrong question gets you the wrong answer?
We do this all the time.
While there truly are very few “stupid questions”, there are questions we ask that take us off course in life.
When we do that, we can derail the plans and purposes of God.
One of the ways we often do this happens in the middle of CONFLICT!
Have you ever noticed that if you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer?
Your friend asks you to stop by and pick up some frozen strawberries. You stop by a clerk on your way into the grocery store and ask, “Pardon me. Do you know where the strawberries are?” The clerk points you to produce where you find the boxes of strawberries. You buy them and head on your way. When you finally arrive at your friend’s home, you find out that you have the wrong item. You have fresh strawberries, not frozen ones! What seems like a slight difference can have a huge impact.
Think about the questions you’re asking in life.
Could it be that you’re asking the wrong questions, and that’s why you’re getting the wrong answers?
One of the questions we are commonly asking is: What is good?
Good is a good question, but it’s often the wrong question.