Archives For Discretion

MountDiabloEmilieHike

You were not meant to be alone and isolated from people. You were never meant to say, “All I need is God and no one else.” God created us for fellowship with Him and fellowship with others. It’s God’s perfect plan.

I once had a friend who began to pull away from the body of Christ. He became disenfranchised for many reasons and finally allowed things to pull him away from those that loved him. He didn’t leave God, but he did say over and over to others, and me “All I need is God and no one else.”

Somehow, he had bought into the lie that he could do it with just God. By cutting off the flesh of humanity, he thought his life would be richer and fuller. Over the next several months,  he systematically cut off his best friends also. I was among that number, and it hurt and grieved me horribly.

He would touch base with me by phone from time to time, but it was shallow, and I could hear in his voice that he was slipping over the edge. The fellowship of the body of Christ had been traded in and replaced with a pseudo kind of Christian fellowship that consisted of just him and God.

It sounds good on the surface to say, “All I need is God and no one else,” but the fact of the matter it’s impossible to have true biblical fellowship cut off from the body. You and I were designed to have a vertical relationship with God and a horizontal relationship with each other.

My friend came up with a thought in isolation away from the body because he said he heard the voice of God tell him to do something. He didn’t run the voice through scripture to see if it contradicted anything and he didn’t run the voice by any believers for accountability. He simply “heard a voice,” and obeyed the voice.

The story is long;  therefore I will make it short and more bullet point for your reading.

  • He said he heard God tell him to drive out to the Mt. Diablo and climb to the top to be alone with him for many days. (Temperatures can reach high 90’s and above)
  • He was told to tell no one and to take only water
  • He drove his truck to the park and parked it at the bottom of the mountain.
  • He took his keys and threw them into a pond and threw his cell phone into the pond also.
  • He hiked up the mountain and found a place to worship and talk with God.
  • He used up all his water before reaching the top and over the next few days he dehydrated and began to see things.
  • He saw and heard angles telling him to do things and many other things that would be just too strange to share with you.
  • Finally, with the heat being too much to handle he unclothed himself wholly and lay down to die. That’s correct, he was naked on the mountain.
  • He was found the next morning almost dead. He was hanging on to life by a thread.
  • “All I need is God and no one else,” had taken him to a place of death and not life.

He finally made a full recovery in the hospital. His parents, family and friends were all happy he was alive. I would love to say he fully learned his lesson, but it wasn’t over night. Even after almost dying, he still had a grudge against the body of Christ. Over the years,  he has slowly worked through his issues, and last I heard he was doing well.

Pastor Rick Warren once said, “Why is it important to join a local church family? Because it proves you are committed to your spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory. God wants you to love real people, not ideal people. You can spend a lifetime searching for the perfect church, but you will never find it. You are called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does.”

GUYS-Bon-Qui-Qui--Don-t-Interrupt,-Rude--teeProverbs 18:13 teaches us, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”

Do you have a habit of interrupting people when they’re talking? Do you jump into their conversation, and splash their face with selfishness more often than you want to admit? I must admit I use to be downright crummy at these many years ago. I wasn’t terrible, but I interrupted frequently. How about you? Could you use a little more work in this area?

I’m continuously astonished at how nonchalant some people can be about interrupting others. It seems some have lost the grace of listening to the other person and waiting their turn. Don’t get me wrong, not interrupting is difficult, especially when you have a point you want to make, and you’re afraid you’re going to forget it. I would venture to say, that may be one of the main reasons people interrupt others. They simple have a point they want to make before they forget. However, that’s still no excuse for being rude and interrupting the other person.

Interrupting is often just downright disrespectful and needs to be removed from our lives as much as possible. When you interrupt someone, you are sending them a message that your words are more valuable than their words. You can tell when you have interrupted because you usually will do it mid-sentence. Interrupting is more than an etiquette no-no, it can also hinder your testimony for Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says of love that, “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking…” It is easy to forget, that love is tied to our testimony, and when we interrupt another person, we can be in danger of diminishing the love of Christ.

Let me give you a few tips on how not to interrupt others.

1. Become aware

You need to be aware that you might just be an interrupter. We all know what it feels like when others interrupt us, but many of us are never aware that we also might be the one interrupting.

2. Make a note in your mind

If you have something you need to say, make a note in your mind, and say it when it’s your turn. If you have a hard time remembering things, then write down a one word reminder on a piece of paper. (Don’t have a pen and paper? Carry them with you. You won’t regret it.)

3. Give permission for someone to interrupt you
Ask your spouse, or a close friend to interrupt you, when you interrupt them, by calling you out on it. Tell them you are trying to improve your conversation skills, and your witness for Christ.

Closing thoughts: Yes there are times you may need to interrupt others; however, it’s rare and I’ll save my thoughts on that for another post.

P.S. Sorry to interrupt your busy day with this post. 🙂

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grenade

Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will preserve you…

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon on discretion in my life but I know without a doubt it’s important.

The basic definition is the “Ability or power to decide responsibly.”

I believe a great place to learn to use better discretion is in our relationship with others. Words have power to heal or crush. We are called to use words of healing, not words that wound and crush.  Allow me to give you my definition of discretion as it relates to relationships.

In my economy, I would say it means to be good at learning to keep your foot out of your mouth in order not to hurt someone by something thoughtlessly said.

It’s learning not to use the truth to hurt someone for the sake of proving your point.

It’s learning how to say things that gets the message across in a kind way.

In other words, when you disagree with someone and want to give him or her critical feedback, you don’t need to be so cold as to cover your rudeness up with the excuse of saying, “I’m just giving honest truth-telling.”

Honest truth-telling can become a war where all you end up doing is throwing verbal grenades in order to win your point, instead of winning the heart of the person you are dealing with. Discretion keeps the pin in the verbal grenade.

We need to share with people careful words that lead and instruct them, not careless words that shame them.

It has been said, “Discretion is the salt, and fancy the sugar of life; the one preserves, the other sweetens it.”

In Short, Proverbs 15:1-2 says it well, “A soft answer turns away wrath. But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

NOTE: We all fail from time to time but that’s not an excuse to keep throwing verbal grenades. I’m working on me…you work on you.

 

What are your thoughts? Share by leaving a comment.