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Jump-Start Your Day

Saturday, November 24th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

AGREE, DON'T ARGUE

"Agree...quickly..." (Matthew 5:25)

 

We're going to AA today, Argue-holics Anonymous. The first A is for AGREE. All relationships are built on points of agreement. "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) The golden rule in conflict resolution is that we have to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. Jesus said to "agree with your adversary quickly...lest he deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison" (text). Many homes have become similar prisons because proud and bitter spouses won't own up to the charges. Husbands and wives are supposed to be accomplices, not adversaries, as this verse implies, but if parties are unwilling to admit fault then what should be soul-mate becomes stalemate, then eventually cellmate. But contrarily where there is agreement there is great power (read Matthew 18:19).

 

The second A is for APOLOGIZE. Billy Graham's late wife said that marriage is "the union of two forgivers". As we are to "agree quickly" so we must also apologize quickly. Paul commanded, "Let not the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). Anger has to leave Dodge by sundown. That simply means that nothing destroys sleep like an upset spirit. Apologize. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed" (James 5:16). "I'm sorry" is always easier to digest than "I'm right". It is easier to pull a wagon than push it. Try the gentle persuasion approach instead of demanding rights and submission.

 

The next A is for ASK. "You have not because you ask not" (James 4:2). Your spouse is not a professional mind reader. Even if you've been together for decades and think he or she should have a clue by now don't bank on it. We are dealing with distracted flawed people here. Wise negotiators put things down in writing or at least they make sure that their interests are made clear. If God expects us to be specific in our petitions why should it be any different with lesser personalities? In marriage you probably won't get all that you ask for but at least clarity is a starting point. Because someone is afraid to voice their needs years go by that could have been different.

 

Two more A words here in our Family AA session before closing, first AFFIRM. The soul can't survive on sporadic avowals of love or commitment. Don't leave them guessing. If someone never says, "I love you" then the reasonable deduction would be what? Affirmation doesn't always require words. A bouquet of carnations or roses clinched in two extended hands with a coy semi-smile speaks volumes. Love is not confirmed if not affirmed. The final A word is ACT. The problem with soul-mate stalemate (or as Wiersbe calls it, wedlock deadlock) is that both parties sit on opposite sides of the room, heads turned away from each other. That is selfish, more accurately, childish. Self-will reacts, maturity acts. It takes the lead and says if someone has to make a move then I will be first. Better to break the ice than to break a vase! (This is an AA session...sometimes things get a little crazy.) We can act our way into an attitude. The way to love is to begin loving. Don't wait for a limo to pull up. Vacuum the family car and improve what you have. If you want to live the movie then dress up in the costume. I'm not talking about putting on an act, as though everything is okay, but acting as God would have you to act until faith becomes sight. Now let's do our AA confession, "God grant me the serenity to..."


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