Tag Archives: Ephesians 4:29

3 Ways to Replace Complaining with Gratitude

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“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29

Joyce Meyer is a no-nonsense, honest and outspoken minister and New York Times best-selling author. At times, her “tell-it-like-it-is” personality can be difficult to swallow, however, her ability to communicate important and tough-love wisdom are what we appreciate most about her. In her book Battlefield of the Mind, she teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that we all think every day as well as how to focus the mind in the way God thinks. Comfortingly she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth and freedom from negative thoughts. Here are her tips:

  1. Think Before You Speak – Every word you speak has impact and according to Proverbs 18:21, “our words have the power of life or death in them.” It’s easy to complain but when we complain, we open the door to more negativity rather than gratitude. Because we get what we put out, when we complain, we get complaints and negativity back, and when we speak kindly and with gratitude and thanks, we get love, gratitude and thanks back. Complaining may feel good, but it doesn’t solve anything.
  2. Look for Treasure in Every Trial – Complaining comes from an ungrateful and prideful attitude of the heart. It causes us to feel that we shouldn’t be inconvenienced or have bad things happen to us. Let’s face it, we’re used to instant gratification, getting what we want and we don’t want to experience discomfort or for anything to be hard. This causes us to have a selfish and immature perspective of difficult situations and say things we shouldn’t. I’ve learned there is a better approach, which is to look for the treasure in every trial, which in the midst of trial is where we have the opportunity to press into God, grow and change for the better.
  3. No Pain, No Gain – Gaining spiritual, emotional and mental maturity hurts, because it always proceeds a trial. Make it your goal to resist the temptation to complain and instead be grateful and give thanks.

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You can find Joyce Meyer’s website here. These tips were originally published in Life Beautiful Magazine.

Entering a Gossip-Free Month

Loving Yourself & Others, Part I

Speak Positively

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Ephesians 4:29

Point to Ponder:
Are your conversations about others wholesome and beneficial?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Have you ever gone shopping and purchased something that was impractical, impulsive and too expensive? Then, as soon as you arrived home you hastily ripped off the tag, tossed the receipt, and fully expected “it” to make you feel happy and satisfied…but within less than 24-hours, you realized that “thing” that you are now stuck with is something you don’t want, can’t return and as a result, have buyer’s remorse?!  This is how I feel after I’ve shamefully engaged in gossip. Upon the initial engagement of gossiping, it can feel harmless and even fun, but afterwards I always have ‘gossip remorse’ and wish I could take it all back. However, the damage to my heart and to the heart of the person I’ve talked about is already done. It’s gross, nasty and immature, and makes me want to soak myself in bleach and ask for forgiveness.

As you are aware, Valentine’s Day is on February 14th.  While I think Valentine’s is sweet and I do participate in the sweetness of it, I also think it’s a silly scheme to make us spend money on superficial love items that men feel obligated to buy women. And for women who aren’t in a relationship, it’s just a depressing day. Furthermore, it’s like New Years Eve or the prom, it’s over-rated and more disappointing than fun because it’s glamorized and expectations are unrealistic and too high. I promise I’m not jaded (even though my first Valentine’s with Russell came with diamond earrings, and now I get roses because those were his mom’s favorite flower — even though I have communicated to him that they are my least favorite flower…). Instead, I’m just proposing we use the month of February for a purpose that will provide real long-term emotional and spiritual fulfillment to ourselves and others, which is loving ourselves and all people by avoiding gossip, not engaging in gossip and when in a circle of gossip, courageously suggesting that the conversation end.

In addition to the month of Valentine’s, February is also American Heart Month. Heart month is intended to raise awareness of the prevalence of heart disease awareness, which remains to be the #1 killer of women. When I think of heart disease, my tendency is to think one-dimensionally: diet and exercise.  However, stress of any kind affects the whole body and heart, and there’s no doubt that gossip absolutely has an effect on two hearts: the person gossiping and the person who is being gossiped about. I love visuals, which is why I love the picture above. We may not be able to make someone change their diet or exercise, but we can choose to hold both of our hearts responsibly, with kindness and compassion.

I really do feel like Ephesians 4:29 (the verse above) advises perfectly.  Just think how good we will feel and the goodness ripple effect that will take place as a result of us not engaging in unwholesome talk, and only talking about what is useful for building others up according to their needs so that it may benefit those that are listening. This also includes people we don’t even know but like to talk about anyway — like celebrities. We’ll be counter-culture, total misfits and oh what a good month this will be!

Action Item:
Avoid all gossip and instead choose words that are useful for building others up and will benefit those that are listening.

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Relationships

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
-Ephesians 4:29

By Neissa Springmann

By Neissa Springmann

Just last night I watched a new and terrific show on OWN called “Iyanla….Fix My Life.” Iyanla Fanzant is an author and inspirational speaker and many years ago I read her book called Yesterday I Cried. It was a wonderful read and her relationship and life wisdom was extraordinary! As for her television show, it too was terrific and I learned some things I plan to use in my marriage and relationships. Iyanla advised that rather than avoid the issue and therefore avoid conflict, you must be honest and “call a thang a thang.” She suggested that too often we suppress and hide our feelings and emotions rather than lovingly getting them out in the open. So, moving forward my goal is to lovingly “call a thang a thang” so it can be dealt with and we can move on.

Below are 5 steps to effective, non-personal and non-emotional communication that will send us on our way to healthy relationships.        Here’s to investing in healthy relationships!  ~Neissa

Communicating with Emotional Integrity

Did You Know…
…that if you respond to stress or conflict with an ingrained pattern that includes avoidance, anger, denial, etc., it can get in the way of effective communication, distancing you even further from your spouse, friend, co-worker, family member, etc.

How can I apply this to my life?  Use the 5  steps below in order to communicate with emotional integrity…

  1. Give or receive input- Be open to receiving input from your partner. You have to be willing to test and be tested. You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking, but everything you do say has to be accurate. If your partner asks you if you’re upset, and you are, you have to be willing to say, “Yes.” It’s important that both partners know they are going to be told the truth.
  2. Reflect content and feelings- After receiving input from your partner, verify that what you are hearing is what your partner is actually saying. You’ve got to say, “What I hear from you content-wise is…” Then, to make sure you understand what he/she is feeling, you can say something like, “The feeling I’m getting from you is resentment/anger/hurt, etc.”
  3. Accept feedback and respond– If you are the person who is giving the input, you have to clarify things if your partner isn’t hearing what you are honestly trying to say. If you are the person receiving the input, you can respond once you know what you are responding to. Now that you are clear on what your partner is really saying, you can accept the feedback.
  4. Stay in the moment– Stay with the issues at hand. Do not discuss past history at any time during this process.
  5. Do not leave– Do not leave the discussion until it is completed. To keep it from dragging on, you can negotiate a time limit beforehand so that both of you know how long the conversation will last.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

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