I’ve learned over the years in ministry that there are four things that will cause more harm to the ministry and me than most anything I’ve come across. These four things are being quickly offended, easily provoked, too sensitive, and slow to recover when I’m offended. Most of all they damage me first, and then they reach out through me and hurt others. So what is the answer to laying these four killers to the side?
1. Self Talk
Most of the time we rush to judgment. We feel offended, so we must have been offended. When this happens to you, try asking yourself some questions to reframe the situation and put it in another light. Questions like, “Did they really mean what they said the way I heard what they said?” or “Is this person truly trying to bring pain into my life on purpose?” (Often, when we already have a wounded spirit, we tend to filter or hear things differently than it was intended.)
2. Change Places
View yourself from their perspective. Sometimes they just might be saying something that is true that you need to hear. The bible tells us that the wounds of a friend are faithful. (Note: at times, an enemy can even speak truth to you) In other words, sometimes truth hurts from friends but it is exactly what you need to hear in order to become a better person.
3. Convictions Verses Emotions
When I get over emotional on a subject I run the danger of being reactive under perceived press and it always ends up setting me below someone else or above someone else. Convictions, however, defines me to others. It neither sets me above or below. Personal boundaries flow better out of conviction than it does emotions.
4. You Don’t Have To Always Be Right
This one is simple. You are not right all the time. Learn this and you will be way ahead of most of the world in maturity. Learn to have the heart desire to only want to know and get to the truth. Perfect soil to grow hurt in is the, It’s-All-About-Me-Being-Right-Soil.
5. Don’t Jump Into The Defense Mode To Quickly
Learn to hear the other person out before you start to make a judgment on what they are trying to say to you. Give them room to say all they need to say. You might be surprised by the way they begin to sum-up what they have been trying to say to you. They may have some positive things near the end of their conversation that bless you.
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