Trapped by Offence – Part 1

trap-4-290While a husband was lying down, his wife came up and removed his glasses. She said, “Without your glasses on, you look great. Just like the young man I married.” He replied, “Without my glasses on, you look pretty good too!” Even when we’re a little more sensitive than this, it is easy to offend. It is also easy to be offended, and offence can rob us of valuable relationships and even ultimately rob God of … us! Proverbs 18:19 says that offended people are harder to win than a walled city. Offended people build their own walls after one attack too many has had them decide to avoid further intrusions. So, how can offence be overcome? Continue reading

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Liar, Liar – Part 2

pinnochioSpeaking honestly involves the need to speak the truth as an act of love toward others, when we might sometimes prefer to withhold it. However, it naturally carries the responsibility of refraining from overt dishonesty. Accusations of lying abound in times of conflict, but if we try to see the best in people, then we create less tension for ourselves as we consider our interpretations of others’ behaviour. Continue reading

Better Communication – Part 2

communicateYesterday, we began to look at some principles of good communication that can foster greater mutuality at the expense of individuality. None of us thinks we are selfish, but even protecting our own rights is partly wrong if we lack the humility to consider that others are people. People each have rights which include being wired differently, with different interests and different priorities. Here’s two more keys which are essential to good communication, certainly in marriage, but also in other relationships threatened by conflict. Continue reading

Better Communication – Part 1

communicateCommunication styles are at the heart of much conflict in relationships. At the extremes are quiet introverts who process internally and reveal little and the talkers who provide extra factual details and feelings as they process outwardly. Opposites attract in relationships, partly because the courtship stage involves more willing conformity to our natural, but complementary, communication style. In other words, one person typically talks and the other listens! This promotes mutual attraction for a time, but this is not usually sustained indefinitely without a build-up of pressure. Here are a few tips for communicating more effectively in light of these communication differences in our relationships. Continue reading

Group Think – Part 3

groupOne example of the Group Think we have been discussing, and one which is a little broader than what might be derived from our everyday interactions, is that of how popular beliefs are encouraged. For example, the British personality, Stephen Fry, has recently been promoted through video footage of his strongly-worded anti-God sentiments that have gone viral on the internet. However, he has simply resorted to belligerence and emotionalism as if these in themselves form a sufficient argument. Continue reading

Group Think – Part 2

groupYesterday, we started looking at the phenomenon of Group Think. Here, people tend to have their feelings and perceptions validated by friends or team members. However, this becomes unhealthy when it exacerbates what may be a small problem with a person or issue, or where emotion overrides (and maybe contradicts) the associated facts of what is being discussed. Continue reading