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We’re A Community Of Well-Meaning Fixers

“We’re a community of well-meaning fixers. We therefore lead more with our mouth than with our ears. We never get around to thinking story. We’re too busy fixing whatever we see, with little or no awareness of the ugliness staining our attitudes and our real impact on others.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, SoulTalk, Chapter 12, “Reach into the Soul through a Person’s Story,” pg 163

Questions for Reflection:
• This week, when you’ve heard difficult news or someone shared about a personal struggle, have you responded first with words or by listening with genuine curiosity?
• What drives your choice of response?
• What do you really most want to offer those around you in the midst of troubling times?
• How would seeking to hear the story God is telling relieve the human demand to generate quick solutions?

Trusting God’s Goodness During Hard Times

“If Jesus promised to grant neither an untroubled life nor an untroubled soul, are we then to resign ourselves to the dismal thought that there is no longing within us that He guarantees to satisfy before we die? Or is there a consolable longing buried in our depths, placed there by the Holy Spirit, that can be brought to Jesus with confidence that He is eager to provide its satisfaction? If so, it would be important to understand that its satisfaction could keep us trusting God’s goodness during hard times.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, When God’s Ways Make No Sense, Chapter 13, “The Consolable Longing,” pg 163

Questions for Reflection:
• How do you typically respond to God when He doesn’t answer prayer the way that you hoped?
• Are your internal response to Him and your external response consistent? If not, why not?
• What does it look like to live with genuine hope in God’s goodness (Psalm 27:13) when He doesn’t do what you wanted?
• Take some time today to ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of the longing He’s desiring to satisfy.

Hoarding Treasures

“When blessings, even noble ones, become our chief treasure, we hoard them. We may seem generous and giving, but we never sacrifice what matters most. Christians who store treasures other than God in the barn of their souls do not worship God. They can’t. Their core worship is directed elsewhere.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off, Chapter 13, “The Pressure’s Off,” pg 127

Questions for Reflection:
• Do you consider yourself a generous person? (Don’t limit your thoughts about this question to money alone.)
• As you consider both how your time, energy, and resources are actually spent and why you choose to distribute them as you do, do your choices reveal a genuinely giving spirit or a hidden agenda that is rooted in worship of something other than God?
• In Mark 10:13-45, Jesus describes what following Him looks like in a person’s life. Take some time today to read this passage and to ask the Holy Spirit to draw you nearer to Jesus as both a worshipper and a follower.

What Has Had Most Of Your Attention This Week?

“Either we live to store up things for ourselves, or we live to become rich toward God. We cannot do both. No one can live the Old Way and the New Way at the same time.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off, Chapter 13, “The Pressures’s Off,” pg 127

Questions for Reflection:
• What has had most of your attention this week?
• Since Jesus indicated that our hearts belong to what we treasure most, what have your thoughts, decisions and personal interactions revealed about your priorities?
• Does your view of others reflect His heart?
• Spend some time today asking the Holy Spirit to give you a clearer vision of your opportunity to live for eternal treasure.

We Open The Door

“From relational prayer flows true petitionary prayer. Out of both come worship and praise, and confession and lament. As we own our faults and struggle with pain, we open the door, not to fewer temptations and more pleasant circumstances but to knowing God better, to receiving His tender mercies and limitless compassion. We get to know Him better.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Chapter 10, “A New Paradigm for Prayer,” pg 70

Questions for Reflection:
• What’s your current dialogue with God like?
• Is it flowing from authentic relating with God or driven by pressure to perform, need, habit, or some other dynamic?
• Take some time to quiet your heart today and to offer whatever is most genuinely rising within you, whether it be worship and praise, anger and confusion, confession and lament, or thirst for more of Him.

Don’t Pretend About Anything

“Christians are not to pretend about anything. Whether we lust, worry, covet, resent, or hate, we are to acknowledge the reality of who we are at any given moment. Fully admitting to ourselves and to God that we are angry, or whatever, and permitting our bodies to feel the physical concomitants of strong emotion is not sin. To do otherwise is foolish.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Encouragement: The Unexpected Power of Building Others Up, Chapter 7, “When Do We Tell Somebody Else How We Feel?” pg 75

Questions for Reflection:
• What internal struggle do you have the most difficult time being honest about with God?
• What would you have to let go of to offer Him that truth?
• Does that resistance come because of what the truth means about you or about your need of Him?
• As you offer yourself without pretense to Him, what has He offered of Himself to you?

Pretending We Are Not Angry Is No Solution

“Just before the apostle Paul instructs us to watch how we speak, he tells us to ‘speak truth’ to each other and to deal with anger quickly in a way that promotes reconciliation (Ephesians 4:25-26). A person feeling anger is on the edge of the precipice on sin. When we are angry, it is easy to sin by dumping our emotions on others without concern for their impact. But to avoid the sin of unchecked expression by pretending to ourselves that we are not angry is no solution.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Encouragement: The Unexpected Power of Building Others Up, Chapter 7, “When Do We Tell Somebody Else How We Feel?” pg 75

Questions for Reflection:
• When angry, are you more prone to dump your emotions unchecked or stuff/deny them?
• Why? What internal process justifies that preferred course of action in your mind?
• When you are wrestling with anger that cannot be easily resolved, how do you both deal honestly with God and others?
• What does it look like to open yourself to the possibility of ultimate reconciliation, if genuinely available, while also committing to deal realistically with the situation?