Bible

Why God wants us in relationships.

faith christiansen smeets mark of the desert

 

Here are a few notes to help us through understanding why it is so vital to be in healthy relationship with God our Father, but also one another. Please use these verses to help grow and inspire your relationships. 

So Why does God want us in relationships? 

Because if we are not in relationships, we will grow wild. -Ephesians 4:16

Because "iron sharpens iron." -Proverbs 27:17

Because we need to give and receive encouragement. -Proverbs 17:17, Ecclesiastes 4:10

Because humans need comfort. -2 Corinthians 1:3-7, Lamentations 1

Because we need meaning and purpose. -Exodus 9:16, 2 Corinthians 5:5

Because there is strength in numbers. -Ecclesiastes 4:11-12

Because we need connection to guard against loneliness. -Genesis 2:18, 1 John 1:3

Because we need support. -Exodus 17:8-13, Matthew 26:36-41

Because relationships serve as a reflection of ourselves. -John 8:32

Because it is healing. -James 5:16

We hope you will reflect on these verses and be encouraged to build relationships with others that reflect who God is and who God truly wants you to be. Your own best version can be found in healthy, Godly relationships. 

Have a wonderful week. 

 

 

Apologies...

Healthy apologies continue to instill trust in those we wish to have relationship with, it not only heals the hurt we are apologizing for, it creates more trust and resiliency within the relationship. It creates more positive history in the relationship, and deepens authenticity and feelings of safety and acceptance. As a result there is a relaxing within the relationship as acceptance increases, thus leading to a decrease in defensiveness, hiding, fear, and offense. The heart of apologizing is admission of wrong doing and progressing past it. 

While there is not the regular use of "apology" in the Bible, it does say much about healing, having unity of mind, restoration, and admission of sin: which are true forms of "apologizing". 

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12, ESV)

"Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." (2 Corinthians 13:11, ESV)

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21, ESV)

More about forgiveness is noted than apologies. Maybe it's because forgiving is a part of understanding how to apologize. 

Our show on apologizing is on the site and so are many other shows that help us develop a healthy abundant life. 

Let us know your thoughts! Leave comments below. 

Trust: Constructs

The Three Constructs of Trust - Definition

According to Dr. Duane C. Tway, Jr. in his 1993 dissertation, A Construct of Trust: Tway defines trust as, "the state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something"; He developed a model of trust that includes three components. He calls trust a construct because it is constructed of these three components:

"the capacity for trusting, the perception of competence, and the perception of intentions."

Thinking about trust as made up of the interaction and existence of these three components makes trust easier to understand.

1. The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.

2. The perception of competence is made up of your perception of your ability and the ability of others with whom you work to perform competently at whatever is needed in your current situation.

3. The perception of intentions, as defined by Tway, is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually-serving rather than self-serving motives.


One of the most valuable things I teach my patients is the issue of trust. I teach them how to trust, who to trust, when to trust, how much to trust, how to keep on trusting, as well as being a trustworthy person.

We all know how it feels when trust is broken, and/ or if we have broken another’s trust, so more than anything I want to my patients to have the opportunity once again to be a trusting person as well as to trust others once more. 

Yet, what happens when we don’t trust, when we won’t take the risk and trust God or another person?

Without trust one cannot truly receive/feel love or authentically give love. Why? Because we'll withhold, second guess, be paranoid, suspicious all as a way to protect oneself, not realizing this only sabotages the effects of healthy trust. When one is not able to healthfully trust, they cannot truly feel hopeful, or confident. They will constantly second guess, and doubt. It will inhibit relationships, a sense of belonging, resulting in the feeling that one is “not truly wanted” or liked. They will struggle with fulfillment, connectedness, and feeling content. When one struggles with trust, life becomes more nondimensional. Therefore, the person lives to avoid pain, always feeling as if they are surviving, resulting in pleasure seeking behavior. This is surviving not thriving.

Hear more on our show this Sunday airing at 12pm MST on FaithTalk 1360 KPXQ in Metro Phoenix or online. 

We are His seeds.

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. (Luke 17:33 NIV, NLT)

Let's use the life of a seed as an analogy for our own lives. Like a seed, there’s an intent/a purpose in us, too, of an original creation waiting to come out. What we shouldn’t do and cannot do is protect the seed. We should not nurture it into staying exactly as it is, or even ease its growth unnecessarily. Nor should we abandon the seed or starve it. It might be buried deeply, waiting out its natural cycle before it germinates, but it still needs water and nourishment.

Instead, let the seed burst forth with new life and do what it was created to do. The important thing to remember, though, is that the seed must die, or change, before it can live; it must break out of the outward shell that is holding it captive. Compare the metaphors of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and a tadpole into a frog. 

Shedding: Change, Change, Change. Growth, growth, growth.

Let’s take a closer look at change. Changes come in three types. And each type treats you differently. Here they are:

1. A change you initiate: this may include an intentional job change, a marriage (or possibly divorce), an addition to the family, a move, a pursuit of higher education.

2. A change that’s predictable, but unavoidable: aging (including puberty), a progression through a job or education, new neighbors.

3. A change that’s unforeseen and out of our hands: an illness, a natural disaster, job loss, winning the lottery.

God has a greater good that will result from great loss (Romans 8:28) and change... if we allow for the grief and loss process, even if we don’t know when the greater good may appear. In truth, sometimes we need these things removed, and we need to be sequestered by God to allow the maturing process to take place so that we can grow and develop uninterrupted in understanding the workings of the Holy Spirit. We will then eventually take our places as the spiritually mature people God has intended us to be. Closely tied to this is the death of a good thing, and possibly a thing that shouldn’t have died. Be that as it may, it has died for one reason or another. God can still do an even better thing in our lives. We’ll see this a bit later with Job’s story: he had no clue whether he would even survive his ordeal, let alone that it could be used to bring him more good in his life than he’d ever had before.

Each change we face in our lives can be described as positive or negative, predictable or not, and avoidable or not; but still it’s a death—something dies with every change. What’s every loss has a gain every gain has a loss. The loss of a seed with a birth of a tree.

God has designed it this way. Glory be to God for his perfect design. 

 

Friendship: Job and Suffering.

Job Painting

 

Job 2:11-13 The Message (MSG)

Job's Three Friends

"Three of Job's friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.

When they first caught sight of him, they couldn't believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground.

Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering."

Note: they could only do it for 7 days. When humans do not understand they generally become judgmental and controlling. If they don't have answers the start filling in the blanks themselves. They begin problem-solving because they feel helpless and the pain this person is feeling is now affecting them. It is now affecting my serenity my peace and I want it to stop. Many times you will see other’s defense mechanisms come into ply over your pain. I.e. avoidance, control, aggression, manipulation, etc. which we see in Job's wife. The trial in another person's life is not only teaching, molding, and shaping them; but it is also showing me the other side of suffering this is God's side. He hears our cries and stays with us, he works with their own free will but doesn't control us. He doesn't leave us in the midst of our pain, and doesn't steal our pain from us. He allows for the mystery of suffering to do it’s work and doesn’t get mad, judge, or abandon us in the process. Even if we are not doing it well.

There are two sides of healthy development in relationship:

1. Dealing with my process of trial, hardship, suffering and success.

2. Dealing with another’s success, or hardship, suffering, pain.

Which side are you on today? Maybe both. With whom and how are you doing in becoming more Christlike? Are you using defense mechanisms and being codependent, or Christlike?

Job 4:1 we see Job’s friend Eliphaz not being able to hold onto grace. He couldn’t be present with Job’s suffering, because He couldn’t understand it, it wasn’t “his” way. He had to “do” something. So he became a human with human ideas to do something (Like he was in Chapter 2 of Job). His defense mechanism was “intellectualizing. In contrast, we have Job’s friend Bildad the Shuhite in Chapter 8:1 who had to find something to blame: Job’s children must have been sinning. He then lectured Job with a lot of wisdom, that is cognitively sound, and can be used, but was misplaced in Job’s case. Zophar on the other hand, just told Job to repent and then everything would be fine. His tendency was to “minimize” what Job was going through. Just hurry and repent and it will all be ok. Job finally says:

“Can’t you guys just give me a break?”

“I’m dying here!”

Generally, we do not want advice, or lectures, or idea’s. We really want direct/immediate relief from the pain we are in. We can’t fix it, but we can give some relief. You can be a human “pain killer’ for a moment, Sympathy (not pity) goes a long way. Most of us just want someone to care about what we are going through, not judge our process and to real ize we are probably doing the best we can. If we could do better, wouldn’t we?

Let’s be the friend that Job really needed. The ones who enter into his pain, protest and pray with him.

Generosity: Are you generous?

Let's make generosity simple, because it truly is...give what you have. If you have money-give it. If you have time-give it. If you can give approval, spread it around. If you can offer acceptance-offer it. If you can smile, you should. Say Thank you. Have patience. Be generous with your compliments. Its nothing more than giving...

The most powerful forms of generosity are usually practiced in our closest, most intimate relationships. It is here where we love generously, get over transgressions quickly, provide patience, accept someone where they are, pray for them instead of complain about them...we find mercy and compassion for their condition whatever it may be and we do it freely and willingly. While we are doing all things generously in our intimate relationships, we must remember to not use generosity as a tool of control, entitlement or reciprocation. Generosity is a Godly act and is act of love. Love them as God loves: without strings attached. Without expecting anything in return. 

Additionally, for those whom you are most generous and most concerned about in your "generosity circle", trust God is doing good work in them. Trust that God is for more concerned, more aware, and more committed to their behavior than you could ever be-be sure to address the plank in your own eye before addressing the splinter in theirs. Generosity is not about control or behavior modification, it is freely given out of love and service. 

We are discussing generosity in depth these next two weeks on Conversations with Cinthia. The first show in this series is airing this Sunday at 4PM MST on Faith Talk 1360. 

 

Forgiveness: Part 2 It's Too Risky Not To

We know from science and Biblical law that the unforgiveness of others will develop into cancer and poisonous applications both literally and figuratively. Forgoing the forgiveness of others is a form of torture where we are lamenting and perhaps recreating offenses over and over instead of healing and moving forward mentally and spiritually. It is an extremely unhealthy preoccupation. It says in Matthew 18:23-25 that you (the one who does not forgive) will be turned to the torturers! Not only are we torturing ourselves but we will be turned thrown to them either way. Do we want to endure this cycle for our own pride? Our own sense of entitlement to lord over others? For our own pleasure? Is it really worth it? Is it working? Are you healing? 

Again, with the risk being so high physically, spiritually, and mentally is it worth the constant replay? Is begrudging someone feel like a win? Instead of the anguish, let us forgive as we have been forgiven and avoid the reality unforgiveness can cause. 

How do we then forgive? It is not always easy and perhaps we do not "want" to, but we must. WE simply must. It really can be done in 3 steps: 

1. We make the choice. We choose to forgive as we have been forgiven. If the "feeling" doesn't come, choose anyway. God promises to heal you and your heart. 

2. We depend on God to help us do it. He is always listening to our cries for help. 

3. We obey the Bible. 

Do this and you will be well. Do this and you will have peace. Listen to the show for more on this issue and a more in depth discussion.