We all deal with conflict in our close relationships. Surprisingly, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they’ll be called children of God.” Most people misunderstand this beatitude and look for the blessing in making peace rather than in being a loved child of God. Bill and Kristi share their stress and pain from a conflict and show how the Prince of Peace helped them repair it.
Dumping on people it’s not helpful! Effective listening enables people to feel cared for and to take personal personal responsibility — it doesn’t “fragilize” them. We discuss an example in parenting. Bill’s Bible study and reflective meditation from Habakkuk helps us be strengthened in faith through venting emotion wisely.
A pastor shares, “I thought it was wrong to vent emotions. I didn’t want to name negative emotions and make them more real so I just kept them inside.” Repressing emotions puts them in your body and diminishes your capacity to love and lead well. Kristi helps Bill process his feelings about Brennan Manning’s memoir confessions of ongoing alcoholism and deceit during his ministry.
What’s God doing when hurricane’s hit? How do we deal with hardships? We go to Jesus together. We validate the emotions and offer empathy. We may need to re-think our perspective and faith and do some training to learn how to live and react to trials from within the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God.
Like some ministry leaders today Nicodemus was stuck in his head and emotionally reluctant. Jesus offers masterful empathy to help him re-think — and re-feel! — his life to be “born from above” in the Kingdom of God. Here’s an insightful Bible study on John 3:1-17 put into the format of a refreshing empathy-based conversation.
A woman asks, “How can I help my husband share his feelings?” We all have family members or friends who are reluctant to share emotions. Maybe you are too! Here’s how to invite people to be emotionally vulnerable and draw them into the grace of Christ. In a replay of a conversation from the past, Kristi uses empathy to draw out Bill when he was an emotionally reluctant husband.
A pastor is caught in a church “worship war”. Speakers are criticized. Kristi is judged for teaching men in church. Bill is caught in the crossfires of mediating a church leader conflict. Probably you feel pressure to please people too. Empathy, the Word of God, and affirmation of Christ’s call give us courage to please the Lord in all things.
Probably we all have hidden emotions. Some of us feel emotionally lost, locked up, even numb. A listener who was abused as a child and shut down her feelings asks for pointers on re-learning how to feel. We help her and you not to judge yourself but to seek grace from God, through prayer and supportive people.