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Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

At BC4 blog:

I would venture to guess that many reading this today have difficult people in their lives. They are the people with whom you have frequent or constant friction. They annoy you, irritate you, and you would avoid them if you could. Some of them are just Gloomy Gus’s always finding that sliver of darkness in any silver cloud. They are happy to tell you every negative detail of their day and see little joy in anything.

How do you deal with them? What is your goal in interacting with the difficult and grumbley people?  If you are like me, you sometimes have success in accepting them for who they are and not letting them get under your skin or spoil your day. Other times, the response or reaction is less than godly and you find yourself being as difficult as they are!

Keep reading here for some reliable counsel on how to love the difficult people in your life.

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Tim Challies has stirred up a bit of discussion on the book by Gary Chapman called the Five Love Languages.

Here’s a link with a longer article by well-known biblical counselor David Powlison.

Read the comment section on Challies articles for various people weighing in on this.

Have you read the book?  What do you think of it as you compare it in light of Scripture?  

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Do you have a harvest mentality in regards to your relationships? How about an investment mentality? Or a grace mentality in your earthly relationships?  Or all three? Paul Tripp explains with some words on our relationships.

 “I encounter people everywhere I go who are discouraged and confused about their relationships. I want you to think about your own relationships and look at them through three perspectives derived from biblical wisdom. These mentalities are essential in creating and sustaining a healthy relational lifestyle.”

Worth reading and remembering.

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“A Christian should at all times keep a strong guard against everything that tends to overthrow or corrupt or undermine a spirit of love.  That which hinders love to men, will hinder the exercise of love to God. . . .If love is the sum of Christianity, surely those things which overthrow love are exceedingly unbecoming to Christians.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits

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In Maggie Jackson’s book Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, she shows how life today offers many more distractions than at any other time in history.

Tim Challies writes,

“One way this societal distraction manifests itself is in the way we eat. Meals are no longer times to be spent with family savoring good food. Rather, they are times to quickly and effeciently refuel. In 2006, she points out, 1,347 products with “go” on the label debuted on the global market, a nearly 50 percent increase from the previous year. We can get our coffee on the go, our cereal on the go and everything else that we find we need.

She writes about Dr. Rapaille, a French-born consultant with a doctorate in medical anthropology who says, “Americans say ‘I’m full’ at the end of a meal because … [their] mission has been to fill up their tanks; when they complete it, they announced that they’ve finished the task.”

Challies shares some other snippets from Maggie’s book worth pondering as you finish up eating your sandwich as you walk out the door:

We need handheld, bite-size, and dripless food because we are eating on the run-all day long. Nearly half of Americans say they eat most meals away from home or on the go. Forty percent of our food budgets are spent eating out, compared with a quarter in 1990.3 Twenty-five percent of restaurant meals are ordered from the car, up from 15 percent in 1988.

Now we’ve left the fork behind, the casualty of a time-pressed age. But while we again eat with our hands, we’re rarely touching our sustenance. Wrappers, packaging, cans, straws, and the pace of life keep us from directly connecting with food until it’s halfway down our gullets. And the food itself, of course, is many steps removed from the drippy, messy, and sometimes wholly recognizable fare that graced many a groaning table of the past. In the name of civilization, we’ve moved toward clean, processed, and unobtrusive foods. A quiet fill-up, that’s what people tell [researchers] that they want. Nothing smelly, crackling

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“Self-awareness takes shape in community.  We know ourselves not in isolation but in the pingbacks we get from others.  An obvious illustration is a child in his early years at home.  But it continues.

This dimension of self-knowledge is imperfect, because we know one another incompletely and can even be unkind.  But still, self-image takes shape in “partnership” with others.

The most important way this works is through Jesus and his loving imputation.  He blesses us by redefining us from enemy to friend.  We look beyond what we are and receive his authoritative word by faith.  This is decisively uplifting.”

A secondary way this works is at church, by treating one another according to the same gospel.  We look by faith beyond what we see and retrain our perceptions with gospel categories.  This too is strongly uplifting.

We can go into church tomorrow with gospel thoughts: “This person I’m shaking hands with is in Christ.  This person is a living miracle, a resident of eternity, a knight of the King.  Wow.”

It will make a positive difference deep inside that person.

Ray Ortlund

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Me, you and love

“My business is to love others, not to seek that others love me.”–Robert C. Chapman

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