We have a great post from Tim and Tasha Levert on suggestion boxes and learning how to love the complainers in our lives. Read on, Insiders!
A few months ago, we got an email from a complaining parent. Shocking, we know. It’s funny how an email like that can ruin a perfectly good day.
In response to the email, we thought it would be a good idea to make a suggestion box for the office. We grabbed a marker, wrote “place all suggestions here” on a small piece of card stock, and taped it to the paper shredder. It felt amazing, until our administrator shredded our clever note.
Relationships are often messy, and communication can become complicated. Have you ever said something that you regretted? You may have felt great right after you said the words or hit the “send” button, but then you realized later that you weren’t loving God or others well by your words.
Often in our relationships, we ask, “How well are you loving me?” Healthy relationships ask an important question, “How well am I loving you?”
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – the love chapter. Read it again, but this time turn each idea into a question. We like The Message version for this little activity.
* Do I “never give up”?
* Do I “care more for others than for self”?
* Do I “want what I don’t have”?
* Do I “strut”?
* Do I “have a swelled head”?
* Do I “force myself on others”?
* Am I always “me first”?
* Do I “fly off the handle”?
* Do I “keep score of the sins of others” (spouse, kids, in-laws, pastor, administrator)?
* Do I “revel when others grovel”?
* Do I “take pleasure in the flowering of truth”?
* Do I “put up with anything”?
* Do I “trust God always”?
* Do I “always look for the best”?
* Do I “never look back”?
* Will I “keep going to the end”?
Asking these questions humbles us. It helps us remember that our first responsibility is to live and reveal the kingdom of God, regardless of how others treat us. And it makes us wonder if we shouldn’t try harder to get along with the complainers in our lives.