Welcome Back to our Summer Study, Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian. “The Power of Exchange.” What a powerful phrase. I recently was out and about doing one of my favorite activities: shopping. I was in a rush and grabbed a really cute shirt but failed to try it on before buying it. When I got home, of course, it didn’t fit quite right. It didn’t flatter my shape at all. I felt very uncomfortable in it. My daughter and my husband both had those awkward looks on their faces when I asked each of them how it looked. Long story short, I needed to exchange it for a larger size. Once I did, I was free to move and free to be confident wearing it without worrying about if it would rip, or if I could eat, LOL (Laughing Out Loud).
This reminds me of our lesson this week. Exchanging the negative thoughts in our minds, and the negative feelings in our hearts, and the negative place holders in our hearts with positive thoughts, with the joy of Jesus, and centering our hearts on Christ impacts our relationships with others. Just as I felt more comfortable to move about and interact in my new appropriate sized shirt, we will be more comfortable interacting with others when our hearts are filled with Christ and His love and His life changing words.
My new shirt changed my feelings about my appearance, just as when we renew our minds and put on the love of Christ and He becomes the primary place holder in our hearts. Putting on new attitudes and actions also impacts our conversations. By giving grace as God has given it to us, our words become kinder, more compassionate, more patient, and more uplifting. We must work to move away from holding grudges and counting the infractions that others have done to us. These are things that hinder our growth and cause us to block God’s blessings. To become one who gives grace, we must remember how God grants us His grace each and every day, even though we don’t deserve. Trust me, remembering this will cause you to grant everyone you see grace. LOL I know full well how amazing God’s grace has been in my life, and I want to give it to others when I can. It is a process because we have feelings and when others hurt us with their words and actions, it is natural that we would not want to be kind to them. But God calls us to spread His love to others and see others as He does.
This week I fell for the lies that satan tells us about ourselves and our relationship with God. I was feeling very hopeless and down on myself. My faith was tested in a particular situation where I couldn’t see a way out, and I was not trusting or believing that God could do it from lies that I was listening too. But praise be to God that I realized that God can do anything but fail. He is the almighty and powerful God who intercedes in situations on my behalf, and on your behalf each and every day. I began to pray and ask God to help me put my thoughts back in line with His thinking and to help me stop believing lies. Will you turn to God for help when you began to think and believe lies that satan tries to destroy us with?
I want to continue to experience God’s overflowing love, grace and mercy and I want each to overflow from my heart to my lips to others. I want to filter my words so that they are ones that are from God and demonstrate my position as a daughter of the most High King. Praying that you will also!
YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group for study and fellowship.
- Study and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Ephesians 4:22-24
- Exchange some negative beliefs and attitudes with positive ones this week
- Read Week 4 in your workbook
- Visit the Conversation Peace website for more resources
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)
- On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being easy and 5 being very difficult) how difficult is it for you to reject satan’s lies and accept God’s truth? Why do you think this presents such a challenge for you? (page 70)
- Mary Kassian defines a “grace-giver” as one who looks with favor on those who least deserve it from us. She defines a “debt-counter” as one who counts the hurts that others commit against us that they haven’t apologized or made up for. Are you a “grace-giver” or a “debt-counter?” What habits cultivate being a “grace-giver?” (page 75)
- Do you have an attitude of gratitude: Are you grateful for what is given or resentful for what is withheld? How does this impact your relationships with others?
- What are two words you use to express thankfulness?
- PERSONAL ACTIVITY: Try this fun activity a few times this week: Use these two positive words in your interactions with others this week: pleasant and welcome. Write in your journal each instance and how it impacted your conversation. How did you feel using the words?Be Blessed,