Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Saturday, March 28
“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Col 4:6 NLT
BUILDING TRUST AND INTIMACY IN COMMUNICATION (3)
Building trust and intimacy in communication requires: (1) Working to build trust. Trust is not a “right,” it’s a privilege you earn by proving you’re trustworthy. We pay little attention to politicians who say, “You can count on me,” unless their track record supports it. Christ’s standard for trust was “believe because of the work you have seen me do” (Jn 14:11 NLT). We know from social psychology research that speaking gently and slowly can deepen the listener’s openness and respect for you. The tone of your voice matters a lot. The University of Houston did a conclusive study that found if you lower your voice and speak slowly, your listener will respond with greater openness and trust. This research has helped oncologists present bad news to patients in a more supportive way. When doctors reduced their speaking rate and pitch, patients perceived them as more caring and sympathetic. The Bible calls this “a soft answer” (Pr 15:1), and it will work for you too. (2) Training your brain to really listen. Listening is hard work, because we habitually focus on ourselves and our interests through constant self-talk. Studies show that the average person cuts in before the speaker finishes. Even doctors who are trained to listen for important medical information tend to cut patients off within twenty-three seconds—long before they have been fully heard. Train yourself to stay focused on the other person, their words, facial expressions, and body language. Within just a few weeks you can train yourself to become the kind of communicator people will trust.
Sunday, March 29
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus.”
Ro 10:9 NKJV
MAKE JESUS “LORD” OF YOUR LIFE
There are two parts to being a Christian. First, you must accept Jesus as your Savior. Second, and much more difficult, you must make Jesus your Lord—“the undisputed boss!” There is just enough ego in each of us to want to be in control, and that part of us must be crucified daily. Crucifixion is one of the most painful deaths you can experience, because you die slowly and excruciatingly. And as long as your ego has breath left in it, it will rise up and fight for control. When you make Jesus Lord of your life, you give up control in three areas: (1) Jesus, not you, decides where you will go. (2) Jesus, not you, decides the price you’ll have to pay. (3) Jesus, not you, decides the person you’ll become. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Mt 13:45-46 NKJV). Note the words “all that he had.” If you want to know the cost of making Jesus Lord of your life, it will cost you all you have. This man valued the pearl so highly that he considered it worth any price he had to pay. So here’s the question: What value do you place on your relationship with Christ? This man believed that the return would be greater than the investment. Do you believe that? Salvation is free, but making Jesus Lord of your life demands that you surrender your all to Him. Are you ready for that? Are you willing?