In my 50 years of preaching the one problem I’ve found that is pretty consistent in all churches regardless of size, culture, or local customs is the challenge of maintaining good relationships.
Specifically, how do you deal with a personal offense from a brother or sister in Christ?
Recently a reader wrote to ask my perspective on Matthew 18. This post is in response to her questions. Continue reading
A couple was having some marital problems and sought counseling. After interviewing both together the Counselor separated them to discuss the issues individually.
When alone with the husband he asked, “What do you feel is the biggest problem in your marriage?”
“Well, every time we get into an argument,” the husband responded, “my wife gets historical.” Continue reading
Without forgiveness we cannot worship God acceptably. Obviously this is true in terms of our relationship with God, but it is also true regarding our fellow-man. Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15) Continue reading
Last week in a post from 1Corinthians 13:5, we wrote about “(Love) keeps no record of wrongs.”
In response, one of our regular readers, Stephen, commented, “forgiving someone isn’t a license for them to keep on running over you (continue hurting you through their actions).” He then mentioned the analogy of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown and asked that I write about this issue.
It was a classic every football season for several years in the Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown practicing his place kicking and Lucy holding the football.
Russell Sedelmaier had cleaned Ivon and Eileen Harris’ home once a week for five years. He had the keys to their home. They trusted him. He was a man described by those who knew him as “easy-going, even friendly.” And while Sedelmaier had his share of trouble, hard luck, and minor skirmishes with the law, no one saw this coming. Certainly not the Harrises. Continue reading
Earnest Hemingway, in The Capital of the World, tells a popular Spanish story about a father and his son named “Paco.”
Paco was rebellious. Disobedient. Defiant. And irresponsible. Unwilling to follow his father’s rules, he preferred his own way of living. One evening in the heat of an argument, Paco hurled some hurtful and hateful words at his father. Packed up his few possessions. Stomped out the door, slamming it behind him. And traveled to Madrid. Hoping to never see his father again. Continue reading
Did you hear about the man who was sitting in a coffee shop, across from a woman who was engrossed in her newspaper. One of the headlines blared: “12 Brazilian Soldiers Killed.” She sighed and shook her head at the sad news.
Then, turning to the man, she quizzically asked, “How many is a Brazilian?” Continue reading