Friday 6/1 ~ How to make an argument stick

The scripture for today, June 1 (6/1), is Psalm 6:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleThumbnail.jpg“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.”

This is not only a good request to God, but it is a good request to each other ~ family and friends alike. When you disagree with someone, do you “back it up” with loud yelling or throwing or hitting things? Do you believe that your point cannot be understood and will not be accepted without a “tantrum”?

This scripture indicates that it is indeed possible to rebuke someone without the tantrum. In fact, it is more effective. When you calmly tell someone you disagree with them, it does not raise their blood pressure and put them on the defensive. With tantrums, they may react like you want on the outside, but you drive them farther from you on the inside.

Calm rebuke does not mean you don’t mean it; it means you are convinced enough, your point of view does not need reinforcement. In that case, the other person is likely to be convinced too.

Today, practice saying calmly what you normally back up with a tantrum. Practice in front of the mirror.  Practice when driving. Practice when cooking or mowing the lawn or combing your hair.  Then, next time you disagree with someone close to you, you will be ready ~ ready to not rebuke in your anger.

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Wednesday 5/23 ~ Is it a good idea to be mad at God?

The scripture for today, May 23(5/23, is Exodus 5:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your [God’s] name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

This is Moses talking to God, and Moses is very angry. Is it a good idea to be mad at God? Deuteronomy 34:10 says there was never a prophet like Moses “whom the Lord knew face to face.”

Getting angry [not violent, that’s different] sometimes is part of a healthy relationship, as long as we are willing to stick around long enough to understand the other person’s point of view. Moses did not desert God. He spoke his mind, then waited to see how God would reply.

It wasn’t that God didn’t want to rescue his people from slavery in Egypt. God was not quite ready yet. And he probably did not rescue his people in the manner Moses had in mind. But eventually ~ after a little patience on Moses’ part ~ it happened: God rescued his people.

Are you angry at God over something? Tell him so. Then stick around and wait for him to express his point of view. It will happen someday. Maybe it won’t be your point of view. Probably it will be better.

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Scripture for Tuesday, May 9 (5/9)

The scripture for today, May 9 (5/9), is Matthew 5:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God (Christians are adopted sons) was a peacemaker. He came to earth to help us make peace with God. After all, “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It only takes one sin to be a sinner. And God cannot dwell with sin. What was the solution?

Romans 6:23 says the wages we collect for sinning is death. In Old Testament times, God let people kill a perfect animal in their place. But they kept having to do it. Finally, Jesus came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live as the perfect Lamb of God. Then he allowed himself to take our punishment for our (not his) sins and be killed in our place (collected the wages we earn). His was the final sacrifice. Now, by following Jesus, God adopts us and makes us his children. Jesus was a peacemaker between God and man.

You, too, can be a peacemaker. You can help people be at peace with themselves. You can help them be at peace with each other. And you can help them be at peace with God. Thereby, you can share in what God’s begotten Son was ~ a peacemaker.

Do some peacemaking today.

 

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Scripture for Friday, March 3 (3/3)

campbell-cover-kindle-lg-mediumThe scripture for today, March 3, is Genesis 3:3 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

” ‘But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.’ “

This is a conversation Eve is having with Satan in the Garden of Eden. She was a little put out by God that he would withhold even one item from her. So, she misrepresented God. What God actually said was….

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Eve had added to what God had said: “You must not touch it.”

Do we do that? When we get put out by someone, do we embellish a little and add a few little things to an event in order to make the other person look worse than s/he really is? Are we in the habit of making ourselves a victim so we can get other people’s sympathy and maybe get other people to act on our behalf?

1st Corinthians 13:5 says love does not keep a record of wrongs. If you have a feud going with someone, try breaking the cycle 1st Corinthians 13:7 says love protects, always trusts, always hopes. Bring hope back. Then keep hope alive.

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