10-14-15 Speak Scripturally
If we have difficulty knowing what to say, we may just find ourselves saying things that are not helpful, or may even be hurtful. As ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ, our words ought to be those that Jesus would say if He were in our place. He has promised to teach us what to say. Therefore, understanding that God is in sovereign control of all things, with His purpose of conformity to Christ, our life-view must stay in tune with His.
Often we are tempted to tell stories of those we know in similar difficulties. We may find ourselves telling them that we are sorry for their difficulty. But we must remember that an ambassador speaks the mind of the Sovereign he represents, not himself.. Therefore, our language must imitate the heart of Christ in every situation.
So, where do we start? When we first hear of various trials in the lives of others, we can think through the three aspects of their daily lives. As we identify the three carefully, we can progress through them to assess the issues.
First, we think of the physical - anything tangible that our five senses identify. Health, marital status, financial circumstances, interpersonal relationship realities....all are elements of the physical. These are, of course, under the sovereign control of our LORD. This area is most freely shared with others in the individual's support arena.
Secondly, we think of the observable emotional responses exhibited in the midst of the physical situations which they face. These responses will be identifiable and definable in either an accurate or an inaccurate demonstration of Christlikeness. This area is often kept more private and is frequently shared less freely with everyone.
Thirdly, we think of the defining spiritual reason for the observable response. It is, according to Proverbs 4:23, the inner man's heart status. Yieldedness to the Holy Spirit of God (and rejection of the flesh) will be seen as an accurate reflection of Christ. Conversely, yieldedness to the flesh (and rejection of Holy Spirit control) will be seen as an inaccurate reflection of Christ. Although the internal heart is evidenced in the external behaviors, there is a critical need for discernment and sensitivity if they are to be discussed.
Being aware of these separate, yet intertwined aspects, we will only know "where to start" as we understand how to assess or evaluate the responses that are evidenced.
To assess, we must start from the outside in. That simply means that we need to ask sensitive questions to get a clearer picture of the difficulty they face, in the physical. During that time, if we will look and listen carefully, we will be able to identify their emotional responses. (For example, fear, anxiety, anger or discouragement vs. confidence in God and peace of heart). Then, in the spiritual, we can share God's promises from His Word of His never allowing trials greater than can be borne, but rather a divine way of escape.We can also share God's promise to demonstrate His strength and to draw us closer to Him.
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