We know gossip is bad, but do we really know what it is? Even then, it's such an easy thing to do, whether on purpose or on accident, how can we possibly stop doing it? What if there is something deeper than just fixing our words that's the key to stopping gossip? What if our words aren't actually a mouth problem at all?
Some of us lie to make ourselves look better. Some lie to protect other people. Some lie to keep the peace. Whatever it is, the reality is we all lie for one reason or another. The problem is every lie we tell comes from the father of lies, our spiritual enemy, the devil. As long as we're speaking his langugage we're in dangerous water, but it doesn't have to be that way. This week we learn how to combat lying and follow God's plan with our words.
The words we speak have the power to destroy or to build, and we live in a society that by default criticizing. To be an intentional force to build up those around us, we have to follow the example set by Jesus in speaking hope to those around us.
We live in a complaint-centered world, but complaining holds tremendous power not just over us, but over the people around us as well. When we complain we put ourselves at the center of our story, rather than God, and take our eyes off His promise and to our problems. And in the worst of cases it not only impacts our own eyes, but can even contribute to the people around us taking their eyes off God's promises as well.
You can only fully experience the Father's love when you are in the Father's house. We were made to be in a spiritual family. We have been adopted by God as his children. Are you a part of the family? Does your heart beat for the house? When the family comes together, united on a mission, the world changes. Be a part of the family. Experience all God has for you. Welcome home.
As we finish up our "Uphill Habits" series we're going to look at the second guardrail you need in your life to keep you on the right path to the life God has for you. Of all the habits, this is the one that is the catalyst for the rest to take off. If we get this right everything becomes easier, more enjoyable, and more successful. Get it wrong, and you're one wrong step away from disaster.
Once we apply Habit #1 and #2 we have the roadmap and the vehicle to get to our desired destination: the abundant, extraordinary, uncommon life God created us for. But the best map and the best vehicle on their own aren't enough to guarantee we finish the trip in one piece. We need some guardrails to help us stay on course and keep us from the cliffs that threaten the journey. This week we learn the first of the two guardrails you need to experience the life change you've always wanted.
Last week we learned that the key to 2018 lies in putting first things first. But where do we go from there? Even if we begin to put God first in our lives, it's not a magic bullet that immediately changes everything? What's the next step? How do we begin to experience the life and freedom every day God intends? That's where Habit #2 comes in. The only first step is to put God first, but Habit #2 begins to unlock the life of peace and hope we all long for.
We all want to be better people, but so often the change we want to see in our lives eludes us. We make resolutions and promises to ourselves that THIS is the year that will be different. So why do we fall short? Maybe it's because we have uphill hopes, but downhill habits. This week we begin a journey to switch it, and give ourselves the uphill habits that will change us forever.
'Tis the season... for stress, chaos, and pain. Although it's supposed to be filled with peace and joy the reality is Christmas is often the opposite of that. So, if Jesus is supposed to be the Prince of Peace why is the season we celebrate his birth so different than that? And how can we find peace in the chaos? It's Jesus' mother, Mary, that can help us learn how.