Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ten Pathways To Positive Speech And Healing

Excerpted from Gossip: Ten Pathways To Eliminate It From Your Life And Transform Your Soul, by Lori Palatnik with Bob Burg

Gossip may be defined as any form
of communication that harms another. It can ruin lives, assassinate reputations, split families, alienate friends and destroy businesses.

On the other hand, a gossip-free environment leads to peaceful lives,
healthier relationships, and overall prosperity.

Yes, the gift of speech is a marvelous one, depending upon how it is used. Would you like your words to soothe instead of sting? Heal instead of hurt? And build instead of burn? Following these ten pathways will help:

1. Speak No Evil. Say only positive statements. Let words of kindness be on your tongue. This means to respond instead of react. And, even, to edit your speech before you speak.

2. Hear No Evil. Refuse to listen to gossip, slander and other negative forms of speech. Hint: If avoiding the conversation is impossible, have another topic of "positive" interest you can quickly bring up in order to change the subject.

3. Don't Rationalize Destructive Speech. Excuses like "But it's true" or "I'm only joking" or "I can tell my spouse anything" just don't cut it. Gossip is gossip, anyway you cut it. Besides, the fact that it is true is what qualifies it as gossip. If it were not true, it would be libel or slander.

4. See No Evil. Judge people favorably, the way you would want them to judge you. If you've ever been accused of doing something for which you know you were innocent, then you know how it feels to be misjudged. Remember, if you weren't there, you don't know. And, even if you were, you may have missed what actually happened in context.

5. Beware of Speaking Evil Without Saying An Evil Word. Body language, and even positive speech, can bring tremendous destruction. Yes, telling someone you know takes advantage of others' kindness that a particular person will give you "the shirt off his back," although it seems like positive speech, is not an act of kindness.

6. Be Humble; Avoid Arrogance. These will be your greatest weapons against destructive speech. As Rabbi Noah Weinberg teaches, "Take pleasure in your accomplishments, not pride." This way you recognize the Ultimate Source of your accomplishments. And those who are arrogant are so filled with themselves, there is no room for their Creator in their lives.

7. Beware Of Repeating Information. Loose lips sink ships. Even positive information needs permission before being repeated. Telling someone who's out of a job that your mutual friend, Julie, got a raise, does not constitute proper speech.

8. Honesty Really Is The Best Policy—Most of the Time. Be careful to always tell the truth unless it will hurt others, break your own privacy or publicize your accomplishments. Strive for honesty in everything you do. But if it's between honesty and unnecessarily hurting another's feelings, it's better not to be so truthful. Those who boast about being "brutally honest" are usually more brutal than honest.

9. Learn to Say, "I'm Sorry." Everyone makes mistakes. If you've spoken badly about someone, clear it up immediately. It might be embarrassing, but get it over with quickly. Apologize, ask for forgiveness, and let him or her know it won't happen again.

10. Forgive. If you have been wronged, let it go. Forgive for your sake, if not for theirs. Those who can forgive live healthier, happier, and less stressful lives. Those who say they'll forgive but not forget are actually saying that they'll neither forgive nor forget.

Try this for the next month. The good news is, if you slip up now and then, it only means you are human. Try again. I congratulate you simply for making the effort.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Changin Our Stinkin Thinkin

When Israel left Egypt they were nothing more than a battered band of slaves. They knew nothing in their life except for slavery, oppression and tyranny.

God, through the wilderness experience and the giving of His word, had to change their "Stinkin Thinkin."

Why do you suppose that these people we
re so quick to say "let's go back to Egypt." "Let's go back to slavery and oppression."

Huh? Wait, they were willing to exchange their glorious freedom for the shackles of slavery? Why? Because they were still thinking like slaves.

God was trying to change them from slaves to sons.

Why do we lack the freedom and power that God desires for us to have. It is because we have been conditioned by the world to think like slaves.

We must realize that God did not call us out of slavery to be His slaves... He called us to be His sons and to possess His authority and His birthright.

We must change our Stinkin Thinkin from thinking like slaves to thinking like SONS...

Gal 4:6-7
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Moving Forward Despite the Setbacks

In leadership and especially in pastoring, forward is always the direction of choice. Backwards is never the plan. I have never heard someone say "this quarter we are going to decrease sales" or "this year we are going to down size our congregation." However, in leadership as in life, setbacks are inevitable.

How we deal with setbacks will determine whether we are ultimately successful or ultimately a failure. Here are some simple principles for dealing with setbacks:

1. Failure is not Final

2. Many times setbacks are just God's way of showing you a new door or bringing blessing through unconventional means...My Pastor called these "Gifts Wrapped in Less Desirable Packages."

3. Stay True...If Truth get you in a bind Truth will bring you out

4. Do not compromise simply to minimize the setback...it will always cost more than you want to pay and take you farther than you're willing to go.

5. Trust God...All things work together for your good...

6. Trust Wise Counsel...Godly Counsel will always move you in a forward direction

7. Press...Pray...Strive... Don't let setbacks cause you to coast, give up or let down.

Forgetting those things which or behind...I Press toward...

Hang in there... today may feel like 1 step forward and 2 steps back

but tomorrow is a 2 step forward kind of day...

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