Monday, April 13, 2015
Zachariah, Chapter 8, verse 14-15
14 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Just as I intended to harm you when your ancestors angered me—says the LORD of hosts—and I did not relent, 15 so again in these days I intend to favor Jerusalem and the house of Judah; do not fear!
Here we see God’s mercy is always greater than His justice. Be daring for we are favored and great is His mercy to us.
Christ shows us the Father in His forgiveness. Christ would not relent for as you read the gospels it is clear Christ teaches forgiveness and tells us to ask for the strength to forgive other people. Christ in his first sermon made it abundantly clear we need forgiveness and in His death His last words were about forgiveness. God shows us in this verse to not keep score. How often we tabulate all the wrongs others have done to us. We hold grudges; we plot and wait for vengeance. Christ shows us the depth of His love by forgiving even his executioners.
The late Stephen Covey created a metaphor called the Emotional Bank Account. In the same way we use a bank account to save up money and withdraw it when we need it our emotional bank account works similarly but instead of money we deposit TRUST.
Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):
1) Understanding the Individual. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.
2) Keeping Commitments. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments.
3) Clarifying Expectations. We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating our expectations can help create a higher level of trust. When we ask for what we want, and we get it, we can then trust a little more.
4) Attending to the Little Things. Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive our attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust.
5) Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity is the moral floor upon which trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us.
6) Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. We will make mistakes; it’s part of life. But when you see you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how we make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done. When your trust level is high, because you’ve made lots of deposits, communication is almost effortless. You can be yourself, and others understand and appreciate you. Then, when you make mistakes or offend someone unexpectedly, you draw on that reserve and the relationship still maintains a solid level of trust.
Conversely, when you are discourteous, disrespect others, interrupt others, speak sarcastically or ignore others, your emotional bank account becomes overdrawn because you have jeopardized the trust level.
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