Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“97 percent of life’s issues are minor.”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 154). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

We are dealing here with criticism and the need to replace it with love.  And the love chapter in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 13 can be summarized in the following statements: On the majors— action. On the minors— acceptance. In all things— love.  And James says, “97 percent of life’s issues are minor.”

He goes on to say, “By minors we mean personal preference, personality differences... It’s essential that followers of Christ be the most accepting, nonprejudiced, nonfaultfinding, noncritical people on the face of the earth. Again, 97 percent of life’s issues are minor: little irritations; the differences between me and you; and she-thinks-like-this-but-I-don’t-see-it-that-way, and he’s-a-little-different-kind-of-a-person-than-me, and no-way-did-he-handle-that-totally-properly.”

Now as he says, “Each of these is not an issue of right and wrong. We are different people, and we handle things differently. Most of the things that are breaking down marriages, that are breaking down friendships, and that are causing you problems with the person that you work for are not major— they’re minor things! In those contexts, love learns to accept the person with his failures. Love doesn’t deny the irritation; it simply recognizes that the one I love is far more important than my own desire to live an irritant-free life. On the majors— action. But on the minors— most things— acceptance.”

Such a good thing to remember and do. 


Don’t you see how that would make a major difference in our lives?

Monday, August 22, 2016

“There come times in every relationship when the issues are serious.”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 150). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

You may then ask, what do I do when there is a serious issue?

James says, “Failure to take action will produce big fallout. In those instances, love does not sit passively by. I love him, so I won’t upset him. Wrong! Love takes action on things that are major. You say, ‘What’s major?’”

James gives three guidelines to determine what are major things where love means taking action:

“1. Is this a critical path? If failure to take action will produce major fallout, biblical love is on the move. If it’s a major doctrinal error, a case of marital unfaithfulness, a criminal act, or an abusive behavior, please don’t collect stories for ten years and sit passively by. Step up! Get involved! Say something! Love takes action. If the person you love is involved in sin that could destroy him or someone else, it’s a critical path— it’s major— and therefore love will get involved.”

Then, “2. Is the problem chronic? If you see the same thing happening over and over, it doesn’t have to be big to get your love into gear. The Song of Solomon says it’s the ‘little foxes that spoil the vines’ (2: 15 NKJV). ‘Smaller things’ call for action, too, if they’re part of a chronic pattern. If you have observed a behavior repeated many times, it invites a loving response. A gentle word of correction can bear great fruit in the loved one’s life. To say to someone, ‘Is it possible that you have a problem with gossip?’ that is loving a person. So if you’re close enough to observe chronic patterns, you have to get involved. You have to step up. On the majors, love takes action.”

And, “3. Does your proximity imply responsibility? The third guideline after critical path and chronic problem is the factor of close proximity. How close are you to the situation? There are some things that we can live with in our neighbors and our friends, but we can’t live with in our spouse and our kids. Right? Your closeness to the situation may involve responsibility. For example, if I saw a friend making a purchase that I thought was unwise and wondered if he could afford it, I probably wouldn’t say anything, because that’s not really my business. But if I saw my wife doing that— or more likely, if my wife saw me doing that— it would be very appropriate for her to say, ‘We’re not buying that! We can’t afford that! That’s just going to give us problems down the road.’”


I hope this helps you if you are in a serious issue time with someone and you wonder if  in love, you should say something?

Friday, August 19, 2016

“Biblical love is both truth and affection put together and kept together.”

A thought by James MacDonald (2015-06-18) from his book, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (p. 149). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Did you realize that?  Did you know that Biblical love is both truth and affection put together?

James says, “An imbalance of biblical love has often infected the church. On one hand is radical fundamentalism that emphasizes all truth and is legalistic and screaming, ‘This is what the Word says, boy!’ That’s not what Jesus did. On the other hand, we have a liberal Christianity that says, ‘Bag the Bible; we have Jesus! We have His heart for the hurting, and we’re going out to make a difference in this world.’ Jesus didn’t do that either.”

He goes on, “Neither one of those is what Christ intended. It appears we need a balance between these two: truth and acts of mercy; acts of mercy and truth. Anything less is not biblical love. For instance, Jerry isn’t sure how to show love yet speak truth. He described his dilemma: ‘My friend has a drinking problem. I can tell it by his breath. I can see it in his eyes. I know it by his actions. I know that he is hurting himself and his family. So what do I do? If I go and speak truth to him, he might reject me. So I’m just going to love him and care for him. But that’s not really right either, because if I just leave him and I know that he is hurting himself, something inside me tells me that’s not loving.’”  And that is true.

James then says, “I’m going to tell you: It’s not about balancing truth and love. We can’t replace criticism with a tightrope walk between truth and love. We need a paradigm shift. Do you know what a paradigm shift is? A paradigm shift occurs when you have been looking at something one way for such a long time that you think that’s the only way it is. All of a sudden, you walk around the other side of the issue, and you’re like, ‘Agh! It’s totally not like what I thought it was! It’s completely different.’”  

We need to make that complete shift in how we look at truth and love. We’re not supposed to be balancing love and truth as though they are separate things. What 1 Corinthians 13 is teaching— and you won’t hear this very often at a wedding— is that truth is part of love and that you’re not really loving if speaking truth is not part of the equation. All truth and no love is brutality. The rest of 1 Corinthians 13 can be summarized in the following statements: On the majors— action. On the minors— acceptance. In all things— love.”

It is not an either or, it is both.   That’s how Jesus loves and how He wants us to love.


Don’t you see how this would make a difference in our world, in our church and in our family?