James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
I wanted to start with this verse because it leads into our 5th STOP SIGN.
Today is the end of our series, but I hope you’ve read and applied each stop sign to your life!
Our last stop sign is “Stop volunteering advice and listen.”
Now, there is nothing wrong with giving advice, but we tend to do this more than the most critical part – listening.
After all, no one cares how much we know until they know how much we care.
People tend to receive more when they know it comes from someone who truly cares for them.
How do you show someone you care? Show your heart by listening and going one step further with follow-up questions.
It’s safe to say it’s obvious when someone isn’t intentional in their conversation with you. Their attention is everywhere but toward you and what you are saying. They are relaying that they don’t care by not giving you their full attention.
Then some are so eager to advise about the situation when all that person needs is to pour out their heart.
We don’t always have to say something back! And that should be relieving for you.
Instead of being quick to speak, as you genuinely listen to that person, be listening to the Holy Spirit to see if there is anything, He wants you to say. Don’t listen to listen but take that person’s burden upon yourself and begin interceding on their behalf concerning the situation.
Ask yourself this week. Do my family and friends know me as a listener?
If not, my challenge for you is:
Be intentional – when someone approaches you, say I am here and let them spill. If advice is asked, rely on the Holy Spirit to tell you what to say. Our words only do so much, but one word from God can change a life.
Make time to listen – maybe you are a busy person. It is still critical to make time for that person, especially your family. A person’s number one need is to feel seen and heard. Maybe this requires you to re-prioritize.
Hug them and pray for them – a hug can go a long way sometimes, but also don’t just pray then for them but in your personal time too!
I pray this helps you in some way. I look forward to hearing testimonies from this series!
Have you ever been let down? I know I have, and I know that I’ve let others down as well.
The STOP Sign series I’ve been sharing with you is pushed to change your heart, mind, and actions completely. That’s why, today, I want you to STOP MAKING PROMISES YOU CAN NOT KEEP.
We often do this out of guilt for saying no, feeling obligated, or fear of rejection, but I got good news for you. It’s okay to say no.
To say no is setting healthy boundaries in your personal life.
We are not Superman. Sometimes we need rest and personal time.
When you make a promise, you cannot keep you over-promise and underperform, leading to you feeling bad or disappointed in yourself and letting others down.
My challenge for you through this week’s stop sign is to “underpromise and overperform.”
Read that again!
“Underpromise and overperform,” not “overpromise and underperform.”
Doing this builds you a good reputation as someone who always fulfills what they said they would do.
Matthew 5:37 says, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
The word is clear: To be faithful to do what you said you would do. Take note that the verse used the word “no.” Whether “yes” or “no,” stick to your word.
This will lead to victory in accomplishing the things you want and say you’ll do as you joyfully fulfill them.
Matthew 5:33-37 says, “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Last week, I told you to “Stop making it all about you.” If you missed it, you can read it here. I promise it’s worth it!
If you remember, I said that often when we make everything about ourselves, it leads to selfish living. A symptom of this is constantly complaining.
So, today’s stop sign is to STOP COMPLAINING!
To stop complaining is easier said than done. I have had to work on this personally. I tend to complain about things before seeing the bright side.
When I’m in the spirit of complaining, I accomplish very little because I focus on the wrong things.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Last time I checked, complaining has never led to something helpful. It always destroys the atmosphere, thinking, and attitudes. Your thinking and attitude and the one listening to you are also affected.
I want to share a nugget with you to quickly fix the complaining issue.
This is a trick I use…
Here’s the nugget, “Never talk to someone about a problem who does not have the solution to fix.”
You see. I’m not saying you can’t talk to others about the hard things in life, I’m saying there is a difference between focusing on the negative and seeking solutions.
To talk to someone about a problem with no solution is simply having a pity party, but to seek wisdom about the problem is moving you toward a solution.
You are now becoming a problem solver.
My challenge for you this week is to go a day without complaining. Then a week, then a month.
You will begin to see your life change fruitfully!
We live in a society where Christians can fall into the culture of the world, and what is the culture of the world?
“IT’S ALL ABOUT ME.”
Today, we begin our 5-week series called STOP SIGNS – we will look at five things that can hinder us from victory and rob us of joy.
Anyone can fall into an “all about me” mentality.
Many people fall into this because they view themselves as “broken,” and without realizing it, they begin to lead selfish lives.
So, if you want to live a life of victory and joy, the first stop sign is to STOP making it all about you!
Why? Because victory is about Jesus. And victory comes from the joy of knowing Jesus.
Our purpose is to love and worship Him and love our neighbors as ourselves. If you serve others, you break out of an “all about me” life.
When we live people and God-oriented lives, we live a life of giving and helping others, resulting in us receiving joy in both our and their lives.
I used to hear all the time, when you are down, go help someone else because you will find out that:
Your attention is no longer on you and what is causing you to be upset.
Joy comes from helping others.
And I find that true as I apply it personally in my life.
This week evaluate yourself to see if you have been making it all about YOU lately. If so, find a way to serve the people around you. When you do, you will find joy coming into your life.
And tune in next week to hear the next STOP SIGN to receive victory and joy.
Remember Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”