"Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out." - Colossians 4:6 MSG
Thoughts for Today
Once we let our hidden feelings and struggles surface and acknowledge them to God and to ourselves, the next step is to learn how to express them appropriately to the significant people in our lives. One key for doing this is to understand the difference between expressing our feelings through "you-messages" and expressing them through "I-messages."
Developing this communication skill is important in all areas of our lives, but especially when we express our feelings to our loved ones about the emotional subject of their life-controlling problems.
Consider this …
You-messages tend to increase conflict and cause the other person to become defensive. These messages can cause the other person to feel put down, rejected, resistant or unimportant. Examples: "You have a problem with …" "You just don't care!" "Can't you …"
On the other hand, when we express ourselves with I-messages, we take responsibility for our own feelings. Examples: "I feel very angry because …" "I feel rejected when …" "I'm feeling hurt because …"
Developing I-message skills can help us be gracious in our speech. More about this tomorrow.
Lord, I am ready to express my honest feelings. Help me to do it graciously. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This group is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem.
- It emphasizes the need we all have for each other.
- It helps people focus on Christ rather than on the problem.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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