Lead a Weblog for Young Adult Leaders
The relationship between a man and his dog is the classic metaphor for loyalty. But if you know anything about taking care of a dog, you know it’s hard work. There are the vet bills, the gear, the food (only the best, of course), the obedience classes, and the time and energy you will spend walking, training, playing with, and cleaning up after your pet.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, in the list of most appealing Christian character qualities, integrity probably lands somewhere at the bottom. Hard work? OK, that generally gets noticed by other people and rewarded. Patience? Well, the more patient you are, the less mad you are, so patience is good too. But people of integrity? They sound like the playground tattletales.
Be sweet. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Hold your tongue. Think before you speak. Any of that sound familiar? The things we say are important. What we say will either build up or tear down those around us.
In churches today, many people fly under the radar, never connecting to groups or plugging into the body. Families are stretched by the demands of life and grow weaker as spiritual leadership at home becomes increasingly rare. And among churches themselves, debates continue on effective methods for discipling individuals. As distressing as these realities can be, churches have an opportunity to step in and make a difference through their small group ministries. They simply need to make a few intentional choices.
We’ve all wished for things we think would improve our relationships. I wish so-and-so would call more. He doesn’t bring me flowers often enough. She doesn’t compliment me enough. I wish I had money to go out with friends. I wish I had more time to spend with my family.
Fruit trees blossom in April. Every type of fruit tree requires specific work to encourage fruitfulness. You can over- or under-prune, over- or under-fertilize, and over- or under-water. The tree needs right conditions to flourish. The same applies to you and me. We need right conditions to flourish.
Separating from society’s influence is really about having a proper world view. When we let culture instead of Jesus influence us, we move toward sin. Right now, Western nations hold debates on human rights, abortion, legalization of certain drugs, gay marriage, and more. Where are those debates leading us? Where do we stand? Will we capitulate to the pressure or stand on God’s truth?
Some of my hardest but best moments in relationships are wrapped together. They come when I wrong someone and then seek to make things right. In my marriage, the best moments are often when I let my guard down, admit my wrongdoing, and repent. The same is true when I wrong a coworker and try to right things. There’s something really good in admitting wrongdoing and seeking to repair a relationship.
Whenever we know guests are coming to stay with us, the whole family pitches in getting ready for the visitors. Bathrooms are cleaned, clothes picked up, beds made, windows cleaned, floors mopped, and carpets vacuumed. The process takes a lot of effort. Sometimes I wonder if all the prep work is really worth it. But when our guests come and enjoy our clean house and our hospitality, it feels great.
There have always been crime dramas on TV. They are always some of the most popular shows. When I was a kid, it was Perry Mason. Now, it is shows like CSI, NCIS, or Law & Order. Whether it is Perry Mason or CSI, the show has the same formula. There is a crime. No one knows who did it. Right before the end of the episode, the criminal confesses because of the mounting overwhelming evidence.