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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

You Need To Hear God When He Tells You, ‘Sign That Contract; Get Out Of That Contract; Lay Hands On That Building; Start Now; Stop Now; Wait Now; Not Now.’

1 Samuel 3:8-10, “God called again, “Samuel!” – the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.” That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” Samuel returned to his bed. Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” (MSG)

It was a time right at the beginning of Samuel's life as he is a young man staying with the priest, Eli. And it says this, “God called again, “Samuel!” – the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.” That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” Samuel returned to his bed. Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” (MSG)

See, God wanted to talk to Samuel, but He had a little difficulty getting the call through. He had to dial three times after all. Likewise, God has some things He'd like to say to you about your future, your pain, your questions, the decisions you need to make, maybe the struggle you're going through. But maybe there's just a one-way phone most of the time. Oh, you're calling God whenever you feel like it (or feel you need to). You're talking about whatever is on your mind. But maybe you're not allowing much opportunity for God to whisper something to your soul.

In a nutshell: He Wants Prayer To Be Dialogue, Not Monologue.

The dangerous problem is that we unfortunately rewrite this verse to read, "Listen Lord. Your servant is speaking." And He does. He listens. We initiate a call to God, we say what we want to say, He listens then we hang up. And the less we listen, the more we miss out on what God wants to tell us.
Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is God’s Message…’Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” (MSG)

But unfortunate for us, we call God; tell Him what we want to then hang up! He never gets the opportunity to speak back!

Instead, we call God and say, “Lord, help me meet the mortgage this month; how am I going to pay tuition at these new rates; how am I supposed to put these 3 children through college when they’re stair-steps in age; what am I going to do when this last check runs out? Lord, my marriage is letting go of the last string it had to hold onto, what now? Lord, I went to the doctor for that, and now they say I’ve got this too, what’s going on? God, I give my tithe, and my financial future is looking more and more empty.  God, I can’t get this weight off; God I’m tired of being single; God when will I have a baby? God, will I ever get this promotion? When can I open the church, start the business, have peace of mind?!” We talk to God only to tell Him to, “fix it God; heal it God; save it God; deliver it God; promote it God; protect it God; provide for it God; send him/her God; close that door God; open that door God; forgive me God; punish them God…” And our ‘to-do-list’ for God goes on and on and on!

But when do we take the deliberate, undisturbed time to listen to God?
Samuel said, “…Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.” (MSG)

Are you just as ready to listen? The word ‘ready’ is defined as ‘prepared for an activity or situation; made suitable and available for immediate use; easily obtained; within reach; willing to do or having a desire for; quick; prompt; prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action’. So, are you ready to listen? Have you entered into prayer prepared to listen to God? Are you within reach of God’s voice, or is His voice muffled by all the other voices vying for your attention? Do you even have a desire to hear God speak? Are you mentally, physically and spiritually prepared for an experience with God? Are you ready, quick and prompt, or are you hesitating, procrastinating, dragging, slothful, lazy in your approach to God? Have you made yourself suitable and available for God’s immediate use when He talks to you and tells you what He wants you to do? Listen to Samuel again: “The Lord then stood beside Samuel and called out as He had done before, “Samuel, Samuel!”  “I’m listening,” Samuel answered. “What do You want me to do?” (vs.10 CEV) Is that your response to God? Or do you end your prayer with, “God, here’s what I want You to do!” There's a difference you know?

People of God, you give your ear to many people throughout the day: Your spouse; your children; your family; your friends; your coworkers; your bosses; your church family; the news; sports; even the latest gossip …so are you giving your ear to God as much as you're giving to everything and everyone else? Does He have your undivided attention? Do you take time to hear His voice?

Just imagine the great things God wants to say to you, but you won’t listen. You have a one-way calling system…you talk to God, He listens to you, you hang up! But what happens when you install a new, two-way calling system?

God is about to tell Samuel about something Big He’s getting ready to do in Israel, and when it is heard, it will shock people, shake people and get everyone’s attention! And all Samuel has to do is listen carefully! Samuel is getting insider information because he’s attentive enough to listen…are you? I mean, this is about to be some exciting news! Likewise, God wants to show you some amazing things, but you have to stop talking long enough to hear Him say them! Samuel let’s God know, “I’m listening, I’m paying attention, speak Lord, talk to me, share with me the great things You’re about to do!” Have you positioned yourself in like manner?

LISTEN: When you pray about something, allow some silent time at the beginning and at the end. Allow a space where God can call to you. You won't always hear an audible voice like Samuel; that's not needed so much today when God lives inside His children through the Holy Spirit. But He'll speak to you as you meditate on a verse of Scripture. He'll light up your situation suddenly with a personal application of those words or maybe as you're praying. I tend to trust the ideas or the insights that come into my heart/mind while I'm talking to God about an issue, when I've turned off everything else, not looking at my cell phone, not responding to texts, not listening to the radio, not watching TV, nothing else around, and I'm just listening to God solo - to let Him say something to my soul. I can trust pretty much what I hear then, and so can you.

As children of God, we need to listen for what God tells us to do concerning our family, health, finances, schooling, church, personal salvation, deliverance. You need to hear what He has to tell you about raising sons and daughters, about loving your own, one wife or husband. You need to hear what He has to tell you about being effective in your church, your community or even as you rise on the corporate ladder. You need to hear what He has to tell you to tell another brother or sister, as iron still sharpens iron. You have to hear what He has to tell you about leading and following; spear-heading; working solo and as a part of the team. You have to hear what God needs to tell you about your ministry, anointing, and gifts. You have to hear God’s instructions concerning your every assignment, the ones to take and the ones to leave alone. You have to hear God clearly say, ‘she’s the one!’ You have to hear God say, ‘save this; spend that; invest there.’

You will never be a person with an effective vision who has impaired hearing to God’s voice!

You Need To Hear God When He Tells You, ‘Sign That Contract; Get Out Of That Contract; Lay Hands On That Building; Go To That Dealership; That’s The School; That’s The Job; Go To This Doctor; See That Specialist; Start Now; Stop Now; Wait Now; Not Now.’

John 10:27, “…My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow Me…” (MSG) Do you recognize God’s voice? Do you know God’s voice? Do you follow God’s voice? The word ‘recognize’ is defined as, ‘to identify; to acknowledge the validity and legality of; to show official appreciation of.” Its Latin Origin ‘recognoscere’, from ‘cognoscere’ literally means ‘to learn.’ You need to learn how to recognize God’s voice, and the best way to do that is to make it a daily habit of listening to it!

Listen, communication with God has to become as vital to you as breathing. Not just talking to Him, but listening to Him. What does He want you to do? Where does He want you to go? Who does He want you to take? When are you supposed to go? How are you supposed to go? God desires to give you guidance and direction, but you have to listen first! Imagine if you listened to God the way you listen to your GPS on your cell phone or the Navigator in your vehicle when you’re trying to figure out where you’re going or where you are. You pay attention to every detail, you turn down the radio just in case there’s an unforeseen turn up ahead…but when God speaks, we have selective hearing! Many would still have their homes; cars; money and virginity...had they waited to hear God speak.

Listen: I know the frustration of just receiving information without being able to send any, and so does God. If your heaven-link phone has only been calling out, why not try Samuel's prayer every new day, "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening." It's important that God receives calls from you; it's much more important that you get those calls from God!

“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.” (Andy Murray)

“Prayer is not the answer. God is the answer. Prayer is the vehicle by which we reach God.” (Greg Laurie)

J.P. Olson

Join us tonight in our Tuesday Night Bible Study. The Bible Study conference call has become a gathering place to meet in God's presence on Tuesday evenings, where we are fed the Word of God. It helps to sustain us through the week for our weak days.  You are welcome to join us. Jackie Trought has been our Bible Study teacher for the month of March. I tell you if you missed any of her teachings you should try and join us tonight where she teaches as well as ignite the fire with the Word of God. (CST) Tues. 7:00 PM- 8:00 PM. Call toll free 1-302-202-1106, access conference code, 738510 for U.S. & Canada or Call 800-780-8834  Access Code: 2065345.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

God May Be Trying To Get You To Slow Down Or To Stop Right Now; So He Can Show You Some Things That You Are Never Going To See If You're Constantly On The Run From One Project To The Next.

In Psalm 46:10, the Bible says this, "Be still, and know that I am God…" (ESV). Another translation says it like this, “That’s enough! Now know that I am God!” (CEB). 

God May Be Trying To Get You To Slow Down Or To Stop Right Now So He Can Show You Some Things That You Are Never Going To See If You're Constantly On The Run From One Project To The Next, One Fight To The Next, One Battle To The Next! Jeremiah 33:2-3, “…Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” (MSG) But how can God show you Anything, when your focus is always on Everything else?!

It could be that you've been running ahead of the Lord's timing, or you've been pursuing what you want instead of what He wants. Which is why Isaiah quotes the Lord as saying, "This is the Lord’s message for His Rebellious People: ‘You Follow Your Own Plans Instead of Mine…" (Isaiah 30:1 CEV). Those are sobering words. Because often we can't see that we're trying so desperately to make something work that wasn't God's idea or plan in the first place for us! Remember, He clearly stated, “…I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:10-11 MSG) 

Many of us are still Driving along not realizing that we're Directionally Challenged and Heading For a Crash!

Maybe you've been neglecting the regular timeout that God calls a "Sabbath"; you're all Accelerator and no Brakes, you're violating God's created order of taking regular rest! You’re daily bypassing all the signs that are God’s messages to you for your safety: ‘Stop, Do Not Enter, Yield, Dead End, One-Way, Wrong Way, U-Turn, Speed Limit, Caution, Bump, Bend, No Passing Zone, Bridge, Slippery Road, Falling Rocks, Road Work Ahead, Detour, Under Construction, Don’t Walk, Slow Down, Hazard, and even Hospital, just in case you decide to ignore all the other signs!”

Even Jesus made time to eat, sleep and weep, so why are you speeding through life as though you are super-human and do not require necessary human breaks! Even Jesus exhibited balance, are we to do any less? “Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG)

His help is available, however, you have to ask for it! Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? COME TO ME. GET AWAY WITH ME and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. WALK WITH ME and WORK WITH ME—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. KEEP COMPANY WITH ME and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)

That’s Jesus Talking to YOU! “…COME TO ME…GET AWAY WITH ME...WALK WITH ME...WORK WITH ME...KEEP COMPANY WITH ME...” He’s Inviting YOU to a Better Way of Life…So, Why Haven’t You Accepted His Invitation Yet?! To Not Respond to a RSVP Request is Still Rude! After all, R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, "répondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "please reply." The person sending the invitation would like you to tell him or her whether you accept or decline the invitation. Today is your day to Accept!

It's possible that God's been trying to say some very important things to you, things that would bring sense to your swirling world, but you can't hear Him because you're running so fast, in so many directions, with so many people, to so many places, on so many projects, to do far too much! Whatever the reason for your non-stop pace, I know there has to be someone listening right now to whom God is saying, "It's time to take a break…it’s time to hit 'pause.' It’s time for Time Off, Time Out and Time Away!" Don't ignore His call to "be still and know that He is God."

Because truth is, if we don't choose to slow down, He will as the 23rd Psalm says, "…MAKE us lie down in green pastures..." (NIV) Another translation says, “You have BEDDED me down in lush meadows…” (MSG). One of the definitions of “Bedded” is defined as “to lay flat”. And that’s exactly what God will do, lay you out flat on your back if you’re not careful to get proper rest of your own accord! Now, I know we’ve all read Psalm 23 and we’ve been tremendously encouraged over the years. But by no means ignore what the Scripture says, “He MAKES me lie down…” And that word “make” has many definitions, but the one to highlight is, “to force”. And truth is, many times the only way I took my Time Off, Time Out and Time Away was by God's Force! It wasn’t until I was flat on my back sick that I received the much needed rest I should’ve been getting all along. And I had to learn how to even force myself to take better care of myself! Because I didn’t want God to ‘MAKE me lie down flat’ anymore. So I had to start taking a hard look at all the things I was involved in and see where I needed to make some better arrangements and adjustments for my life. 

God asks us to pause, or ultimately makes us pause, not to punish us, but to refit us. He's wanting to slow you down for work that needs to be done, for refueling that you desperately need, for retooling, or for redirecting you back into the center of His will. And He's actually wired us to do what His Son did at the beginning of His unbelievably busy days here on earth - to spend quiet time with Him. To hit 'pause' each new day so we can hear our Master's voice before we hear any other, appropriate our Master's resources, experience our Master's healing touch, and receive our Master's orders for the day.
Which is why it’s so vital that you take, Time Off, Time Out and Time Away!

1.. TIME OFF – Is defined as ‘time for rest or recreation away from one’s usual work or studies.’ This is two-fold, you need to take time off to Rest and time to Recreate! I’ve always been amazed at how the body heals itself, especially through rest. Blood pressure regulates, your heartbeat calms, your breathing is stable, you’re less stressed. Your bones aren’t aching, popping, snapping and locking, because they are receiving the reprieve they so desperately need, especially from us women who like to wear high heels day in and day out. Now, be prepared because your rest includes, ignoring your phone, text, emails, social media, and the like. It’s reconnecting with peace, serenity, tranquility. It’s also watching your favorite shows, listening to your favorite music, sitting in your favorite chair. It’s avoiding at all cost what’s going on at work, at church, at school, or anywhere else. It’s sitting still, going to bed early, not to mention getting more than 3 hours of sleep! But it’s also about recreation! And no this is not a sin! So, go to the movies, go to the mall, take a dancing class, a pottery class, a painting class. Go to the museum, visit a garden, take up a fun sport. Change your hair color, change your wardrobe. Enjoy your life! Recreation allows you to Re-Create! You see, when your mind gets the break it’s over-due for, fresh juices get to flowing and ideas, passions, dreams and visions that you would have never imagined begin to formulate. So, don’t take this time for granted! Rest and Recreate!  

2.. TIME OUT – This is often viewed in a negative way as how some children are disciplined. Well, as children of God, this is a great way to help ourselves! Time out is supposed to give children time to reflect on what they did wrong and to understand the need for discipline for it. Like it or not, some stuff in our lives that should not be, will remain if we leave it unchecked. Therefore, do yourself a favor and take some time to give yourself a Time Out! Ask God to show you the areas, activities and addictions that may need addressing. Take this time to acknowledge any wrongs and to atone and make amends where needed. Take this time to self-exam your behavior, attitude, actions, thoughts, imagination, sins. Take this time to ask the Holy Spirit to shine a search-light on your soul and expose to you any areas of darkness that need to be discovered and brought to light. Therefore, put yourself in Time Out before Your Father does.

3.. TIME AWAY –When you take Time Away, learn to disconnect altogether! If you’re at the movies, out to dinner, or on vacation, be there and don’t take social media with you! The word ‘away’ is defined as ‘at a distance from a particular, place, person or thing.’ And that’s what you need to do, create distance when you disconnect! One of my bad habits is bringing my cellphone to the dinner table! I’ve since learned how disrespectful, inappropriate and distracting such a bad habit can be. Since then, I’ve learned to plug up my phone away from me and turn off the ringer, and even turn it face down so I won’t even notice the little blue light or the screen displaying a phone call, attempting to catch my attention. I’ve learned to engage in meaningful conversation at the dinner table. It took me a little while, but I’m learning to disconnect and I hope you’ll learn likewise...Jesus did: Luke 5:16reads, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (NIV). Two words to take note of are: “Often” defined as “frequently; in many instances; repetitively; commonly; normally; usually”. And the word, Withdraw” defined as “to remove or take away; discontinue or retract; to leave or cause to leave a place; to cease to participate in an activity or be a member of a team or organization; depart to another place in search of quiet or privacy. In a nutshell: Even JESUS, often, frequently, in many instances, repetitively, commonly, normally and usually…Withdrew…removed Himself away, discontinued contact, left places, ceased participating in activities, and departed for quiet and privacy! So who are you to do any less than Jesus?!

People of God, don’t allow situations, circumstances, or people (including you) to make you think everything is an emergency and you are the only emergency personnel at work! You need a break to! It's not Selfish, it's Self-Care! Our text says this: Job 37:14, “Pause a moment, Job, and listen; consider the wonderful things God does.” (GNT). Today, I admonish every single reader, Pause a Moment, Listen and Consider the Wonderful Things God Does for You and Those Whom You Love! Daily Take Selah Moments, Weekly Take Sabbath Moments! The World will not stop because you do! Truth is, sometimes it's not a Break-Through we need most, it's simply a Break! Love You Enough to Take Time Off, Time Out and Time Away! We Have Need of You...But YOU Have Need of You All the More! Be Encouraged!

J.P. Olson

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Listen, Like It Or Not, But Some Of The Brothers And Sisters Who Are Hurting, Have Hurt You! Hurt People, Hurt People. But Does That Mean You Respond The Same Way?

Luke 18:38-39, “He yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” Those ahead of Jesus told the man to shut up, but he only yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!” (MSG)

It may be that some past battles help explain what's behind the actions and attitudes of someone you're having a hard time dealing with. You simply cannot understand why their attitude is the way it is; why are they so angry, bitter, mean, and moody and the like. Well, let’s see what we can discover from the Bible.

Jesus had the wonderful ability to look beyond the Deeds of a person to their Needs instead. It's an outlook He wants you and me to have as well. Luke 18:35-43 says this: "As He was approaching Jericho [on His way to Jerusalem], it happened that a blind man was sitting besides the road begging.  Now when he heard a crowd going by, he began to ask what this was [about].  They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”  So he shouted out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!”  Those who were leading the way were sternly telling him to keep quiet; but he screamed all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that the blind man be led to Him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me regain my sight!”  Jesus said to him, “Regain your sight; your [personal trust and confident] faith [in Me] has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus, glorifying and praising and honoring God. And all the people, when they saw it, praised God." (AMP)

Now to the folks in Jericho that day, that blind man was a noisy, stubborn nuisance. They want to make a good impression on Jesus, and here's this man screaming in an outrageous manner. The people see nuisance. Jesus sees need. He knows that behind those screams is a man with a desperate need. And the man everybody else is trying to shut up Jesus stops for, responds and reaches out to.

What I find amazing is that no one thought to ask him anything. Jesus was the only one who asked the man, “what do you want from Me?” Everyone else was simply concerned about the man screaming, but they weren’t concerned to find out why he was? And many of us are just like that. There are people who are in the church that are gravely misunderstood. However, instead of judging, gossiping, ridiculing or shunning them, why not be a real brother or sister and simply ask him, “what’s wrong? Why are you hurting? What happened? What can I do to help? Help me understand so I can help you.”

That should be the response to seeing another person in pain. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get to the person’s needs, because you have to get past their speech, attitude, or even their negativity and flaming temper. But at the end of the day, you have your moments too as a person in pain. Be it physical, mental, emotional, financial, or spiritual, you too battle hardships. So, why not fight with your brother or sister, instead of fighting against them?

Listen up, understand that just like us, our brothers and sisters have a past. Some have had absent fathers or mothers; some weren’t encouraged; some have suffered grave losses; some have health challenges that are attacking their faith; some are trying week-to-week just to make it and put food on the table; some have been looking for a job for a good while now, only to still be unemployed (and surely bills don’t decide to be nice to you and suddenly stop coming just because you have no funds); some didn’t have the right men in their lives to support and teach them; some have been told practically from birth, you will never be nothing; some have insecurities and low self-esteem (believe it or not, but people struggle with these issues too); some can’t figure out how to raise their children in this crazy day and age; some are trying to breathe just one more breath of life into a marriage that’s one breath away from death; some are still trying to heal from family and church hurt that happened years ago; some look in the mirror and don’t like what/who they see; some have tried businesses and failed; some haven’t finished school and it’s limiting their promotion and increase on the job; some have finished school and can’t figure out where is the job they promised my education would grant me; some are trying to quit cigarettes and put the bottle down for the last time; some are trying to find just one reason to wake up just one more day.

In other words, people are reacting the way they are for a reason! Now that you know that, it’s time to respond accordingly.
Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times. A brother is born to share troubles.” (NLV)

There's probably someone in your world that needs that kind of understanding from you right now. And be prepared and forewarned, it may be someone who has hurt you deeply, mistreated you, used you, or even attacked you. You may be increasingly annoyed or irritated or angry with someone whose attitude or actions or approach really rub you the wrong way. But there's a good chance there's pain underneath the way they are. Past battles that have almost programmed them to respond in a way that they think will protect them from more pain. So when your brothers or sisters start reacting negatively, show them positivity. After all, how can dark drive out dark?

In other words, you can’t respond with retaliation against your brother or sister for their reactions. You need to help them, not hurt them further. Be the salt that flavors him and the light that removes the dim feelings from their life.

Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. If salt loses its taste, how can it be made to taste like salt again? It is no good. It is thrown away and people walk on it.  You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that is on a mountain.  Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house.  Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.” (NLV)

This is what people need you to be for them. Salt and Light.  Add things to their life that help them to become better today than they were yesterday, and to be better tomorrow than they’ll be today. They don’t need anyone else to point fingers at them; to judge them; to belittle them; to shun them; to wash their hands of them; to discard and discourage them; to criticize them. No, they need a person who can undergird them to win the battle. They need brothers and sisters that will hold their hands up in the battles of life, when they’re ready to drop them, surrender and retreat.

Exodus 17:12, “Finally, Moses was so tired that Aaron and Hur got a rock for him to sit on. Then they stood beside him and supported his arms in the same position until sunset.” (CEV)

Truth is, sometimes when people are bleeding emotionally, mentally, spiritually, they bleed on us. But we’re not the ones wounded, they are. So why not help them heal?

When you try understanding the needs behind their deeds, you can finally respond as Jesus told us to: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27-28). The Message Bible says it like this: “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” (MSG)

Listen, Like It Or Not, But Some Of The Brothers And Sisters Who Are Hurting, Have Hurt You! Hurt People, Hurt People. But Does That Mean You Respond The Same Way? Absolutely not, says the Scripture. You don’t show them, themselves, you show them a better version, by acting like it. That person you struggle with doesn't need any more wounds. No, they need someone who will, in Jesus' love, help heal those wounds.

J.P. Olson