Tag Archives: relationships

If You Are Too Busy for God…

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Mark 6:31

Do you remember the last time you heard a busy signal on the telephone? I had to think long and hard about that. It’s been a while. Phones don’t work the same as they did just a few years ago.

Nowadays, when someone calls me, and I’m on the other line, it goes straight to my voicemail. When you call a business, you rarely ever get a person when you call, but you never get a busy signal.  You’re forced to talk to an Automated System that sounds like a person, but turns out to be less helpful.  Many of our young people will go the rest of their lives and never hear that “busy signal” when the party they are trying to reach is unreachable.

I remember sitting beside our home’s phone for hours on end, dialing the same number over and over and over again, in protracted and earnest attempts at finding out what was showing at the Stephenville Cinemark Cinema 6. Only the kids who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s will know the frustration of trying to find out showtimes by calling the theatre’s published number, only to get the busy signal with each and every attempt. It makes me feel old just thinking about the hours I wasted in my teenage years trying to get to the recording of shows and showtimes!

When we call out to God in prayer, we NEVER get a busy signal, and our prayers NEVER go to voicemail. They go straight to the heart of God. He listens because He loves us! He doesn’t put us on hold because He’s too busy for us. He is infinitely and intimately present to us.

Wow…what a thought?

But is the same true when God seeks to get out attention?

Check out this portion of Sunday’s sermon on Sabbath HERE. Are we ever too busy for God?

 

We need to make sure we are giving God the attention in our lives that He deserves. Building and maintaining a Holy Attention Span requires work, but it’s worth it.

When we are too busy for God, then we are just too busy, period.

One of my favorite works on making room in life for God and for family is Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives. Dr. Richard Swenson writes from his own experience as a medical doctor about the epidemic of marginless living. He escaped the rat race that was killing him, and now shows others how to do the same.

Sabbath is about creating margin in our lives to be able to relate to God and to those who are most important to us.

Won’t you look at your schedule for the remainder of this week, and see if you have enough space on your calendar to hear from God? The time we give to God in holy attentiveness is time that benefits, and gives purpose to, everything else we do.



Margin…is having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month, and sanity left at the end of adolescence.
Richard A. Swenson, M.D.

Honestly Speaking

There are few things that can hurt a team more than deceit.  When I say team here, you can broadly interpret it as family or congregation, class or company.  Anytime two or more people are working toward a common goal, trust is required to make progress.

Here are a few ideas about the importance of honesty.

Honesty Fuels the Relational Health of a Team.

The amount of trust present in a team is directly proportionate to the health of the relationships among team members.  Trust grows as each team member deals honestly and fairly with the team as a whole, and with her individual team members.  Honest interactions build up an emotional bank account the team can draw upon in difficult times.  A robust emotional bank account is a sign of vibrant relational health.  The greater the stress that attacks a team from the outside, the greater the need for a full emotional bank account among team members on the inside.

You can think of is this way, every time you deal honesty and show trustworthiness toward members of your family, your church or your company, you place a unit of trust in everyone’s heart your decision effects.  A long track record of trust deposits will not only give your team greater confidence in you, but will allow them to have sufficient grace for you at times when you don’t pull through.

These trust deposits should never be presumed upon for blatant wrongdoings.  Honesty is a matter of the heart.  When you tread upon someone’s trust, you are treading upon their heart as well.

Honesty Keeps the Lines of Communication Open

Honesty is crucial for effective communication.  Anytime I am skeptical about a speaker’s trustworthiness, I receive their words with skepticism.  Skepticism is a gatekeeper that guards the heart.  If I don’t have sufficient reason to believe you, not only am I not going to receive your words, but I’m not going to offer mine to you.  Dishonesty breaks down communication both coming and going.

Without honesty, communication remains superficial, and in an area where little bonding can take place.  As trust deepens through a history of honesty, team members can feel confident in sharing their dreams and ambitions, as well as their doubts and fears.  It’s at this deep level of communicating that relational bonds are forged.  Honesty chisels out those profound lines of communication that unite team members at a heart level.

Honest Promotes Effectiveness

Whether your team consists of you and your wife, or you are a part of thousand-member congregation, honesty helps your team to be what it needs to be and go where it needs to go.  As we noted above, honesty lends itself to the relational health of any team.  A healthy team is able to focus on the tasks it was created for.  Where there is no health, there is no progress.

Mistrust in a team is like fever in a body.  I know when I have a fever, I don’t feel like doing anything.  My body, internally, is working double time to try to rid itself of the pathogens.  Until my body has done the internal work, I’m not able to apply myself to the external things I want to accomplish.

The same principle is at work in the life of a team.  Until trust is established, progress comes slowly, if at all.  Once trust is in place, a team can take on its goals with greater effectiveness.

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  NAS  Ephesians 4:25

 Where have you witnessed the damage caused by broken trust?

How important would you say honesty is to a healthy relationship?

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