Who’s Influencing Who

Posted in Character, Friendship, Relationships by PCraig on July 30, 2015

Who you hang around is so huge. I mean I’ve seen people that normally make good decisions do some stupid things because of who they listened to.  From dating the wrong people, quitting jobs without another job, starting businesses that were bad ideas, and countless others; it’s sad to watch.

The Apostle Paul puts it like this, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
No matter how strong you think you are, Paul says don’t tempt yourself to trouble by hanging with the troubled.  That doesn’t mean you don’t reach out and try to help people, but you just can’t overly involved, especially if you feel you could be affected.
The problem is that many think they are strong and will pull the other person up.  But, Paul warns us that most often that is not how it works.  Rather than the better individual lifting the other, they are instead pulled down to a lower level.
My point is to be very selective, cautious and wise on choosing who you hang with or allow to hang around you. I know you think you’re the exception, but the apostle Paul would argue that holding to that belief is not wise.  Who is influencing you?
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Kill It

Posted in Attitude, Humility, Relationships, Submission by PCraig on July 23, 2015

Here’s what won’t get conflict resolved or less conflict in your life: becoming more selfish.  It’s true that conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be fatal.

Should the toilet paper go over or under? Must we squeeze the toothpaste in the middle or from the bottom?  Which paper towels should we buy, full sheets or half?  Why do these become big issues?  The reason is often that there is already an unresolved tension that we either refuse to deal with or have learned to ignore.  It isn’t going away, so you might as well deal with it.

The key to dealing with differences and resolving conflict in a positive manner is our selfishness.  We have to give up our right to be right, to win the argument and be in control.

Proverbs 13:10 “Pride leads to arguments. Be humble, take advice, and become wise.” Don’t let pride keep you from peace, love and joy in your home, workspace or friendships.  Kill your pride before it kills your connections.

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Increase My Faith

Posted in Faith, Personal Growth by PCraig on July 16, 2015

The early followers of Jesus would occasionally make requests of Him.  Probably one of my favorites is when they requested, “Increase our faith!”  This appeal is found in Luke 17:5 on the heals of a conversation on forgiveness in which Jesus suggests that if someone comes back to you seven times a day to be forgiven, then you do it.

Now, I don’t know how it works with you, but if someone sins against me seven times in one day and asks forgiveness each time, I need Him to increase my faith too.  Jesus goes on to explain how faith works like a seed and can actually grow.

So, here’s my point, you may not have the faith you wish you had, but instead of being discouraged, let it grow.   If you do, then a year from now, your faith will be bigger and greater than it is today.  Begin to water it, fertilize it, and weed it, then just like growing crops in a garden; your faith will get stronger day by day.

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Don’t Worry Anymore

Posted in Culture, Fear, Perspective, Stress, Worry by PCraig on July 8, 2015

Do you worry too much?  How much is too much?  Who’s definition will we go by?

Personally, I think we live in a stressed-out culture.  I’ve never felt like more people were nervous, anxious, fearful, concerned, angry, up tight and on-edge than today.  Studies have shown that people are more stressed today than in the past 25 years, especially women (according to NY Daily News).

Compare this with the words of our leader, Jesus, who said, “Do not worry about your life” (Luke 12:22).  So, how do some of us go from worrying about basically everything, to worrying about hardly anything?

I think the key is found in what Jesus says in the next few verses.  The principle is this, take a look around and notice the stress level of the birds.  They don’t worry about what to eat, what they will wear, or where they will live.  God has provided everything they need.  If He has done this for birds, then you don’t have to worry because you are MORE valuable than birds!

Finally, He says; if you can’t change little things with worry, then why worry about the rest.  It’s true, worry doesn’t have the power to make anything better, but it can sure make things worse.  I’ve never had anyone come in my office and share, “Pastor, I was having a rough time, but then I began worrying and wow, how things improved!”  

I can’t wait to talk more about this topic this weekend in our series Get Smart on Stress.  If you live around Avon, then invite someone!

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