July 31, 2015

Building Trust and Intimacy in Communication (3)

‘Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.’ Colossians 4:6 NLT Building trust and intimacy in communication requires: (1) Working to build trust. Trust is not a ‘right’: it’s a privilege you earn by proving you’re trustworthy. We pay little attention to politicians who say, ‘You can count on me,’ unless their track record supports it. Christ’s standard for trust was ‘…believe because of the work you have seen Me do.’ (John 14:11 NLT) We know from social psychology research that speaking gently and slowly can deepen the listener’s openness and […]
July 30, 2015

Building Trust and Intimacy in Communication (2)

‘Pleasant words are…healing…’ Proverbs 16:24 NAS For effective communication: (1) Make use of the ‘eye–gate’. Eye contact stimulates the brain’s social–network circuits, decreasing the stress hormone and increasing the sympathy hormone. Intentionally looking at the other person enables you to quickly respond to the seven basic facial expressions—anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, contempt and happiness. These are keys; use them. (2) Express appreciation. The first words you speak set the tone for the entire interaction. A single compliment can create trust. Loyola University researchers found that when people in conversation are in basic agreement, interactions between them are experienced as […]
July 29, 2015

Building Trust and Intimacy in Communication (1)

‘…say the right thing at the right time!’ Proverbs 15:23 NLT According to ground–breaking neurological research, you can ‘train’ yourself to speak and listen in a way that stimulates sympathy and trust in the brain of the person you’re talking to. Think how valuable that is in communication! Here are some proven principles to help you do it: (1) Breathe deeply and stretch before speaking. When you’re handling a stressful situation, remaining calm is essential. Stress generates uptightness, uptightness leads to anger, and anger shuts down your ability to get your point across. So take a few moments to breathe […]
July 28, 2015

The Rewards of Confrontation

‘…do not reject the Lord’s discipline…’ Proverbs 3:11 NCV The Bible says, ‘Do not reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t get angry when He corrects you. The Lord corrects those He loves, just as parents correct the child they delight in.’ (Proverbs 3:11–12 NCV) Because God loves you, when He sees things in your life that could potentially damage you and other people, He deals with them. Paul writes, ‘Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God…’ (Romans 11:22 NKJV) God will deal with you gently, but if you don’t listen He may have to deal with you severely. That’s […]
July 27, 2015

The Benefits of Self-Discipline

‘God’s Spirit makes us…self-controlled…’ Galatians 5:22-23 CEV Is self–discipline difficult and demanding? Yes. However, instead of focusing on its demands, think about its benefits. When you begin to understand the power, liberty, joy and victory that self–discipline brings, you’ll want to have it. A disciplined mind makes the difference between a happy life and a miserable one; between a life of self–defeating habits and a life of freedom in God. Discipline is your friend, something to be embraced daily. It’s a tool given by God to help you reach your goals. One reason why disciplining your mind is so important […]
July 26, 2015

Stay on the Wheel

‘…He made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter…’ Jeremiah 18:4 NKJV While you are on the Potter’s wheel, consider these two things: (1) The Potter’s plan and pleasure are what matter. He has the right to make you into anything He chooses. What matters most is that His plan for your life be fulfilled and His pleasure in you be realised. Can you imagine a potter discussing with the clay what it would prefer to become? No. Only he has the wisdom to make that decision. So instead of struggling with the will of […]
July 25, 2015

The Potter’s Plan

‘…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand…’ Jeremiah 18:6 NKJV In the good times it’s easy to see that we’re making progress, but in the tough times we are prone to feel like we’re not making any progress at all. We react to pain, loss and adversity by consulting our feelings instead of God’s faithfulness. Please understand this: at all times you are securely in God’s hands! ‘…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand…’ (Jeremiah 18:6 NKJV) You’re a work in progress and the crucial thing […]
July 24, 2015

How to Activate God’s Word (2)

‘…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.’ 1 John 5:14 NIV While you are waiting for God’s Word to be fulfilled in your life, do these three things: (1) Verbalise it. The most effective way to pray is to speak God’s Word. The patriarchs, prophets and psalmists regularly reminded God of His promises in prayer, confident He would keep them. The surest indicator of God’s will is His Word. ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He […]