Sunday Morning – 6/21/2020

Announcements

Quarterly Business Meeting

We will be having our Q3 meeting on the last Sunday of this month.

Elder and Deacons will meet on 6/22/2020 @ 09:00.

Cranfest has been canceled.

Please add any agenda items you have on our contact form.

Thanks.

Song – Waymaker

Giving

Luke 6:38 (CSB)
38 Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Scripture

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:33 (CSB)

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.

Discover How You Can Overcome The Toxic Results Of Negative Thinking – Change Your Mindset To Change Your Environment.

DEFILEMENT IS FROM WITHIN
10 Summoning the crowd, he told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth—this defiles a person.”
12 Then the disciples came up and told him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Then Peter said, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 “Do you still lack understanding?” he asked. 17 “Don’t you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander. 20 These are the things that defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”
Matthew 15:10–20 (CSB)

Stress can create negative communication. Communication that hurts, divides, and destroys relationships. It happens in families, workplaces, and organizations.

You have heard of all of these before. Most likely you have participated in them as well.

They are rumor, gossip, and complaining. These types of communication are NOT harmless.

They are NOT healthy ways to deal with our frustrations. Instead, they undermine morale and remove hope.

They spread faster and farther than the coronavirus. Affecting many more people than expected.

perpetual motion balls 4 positive 1 negative

Michael Hyatt describes a time of rapid growth in a company he led. Even with enlisting extra help, the work wasn’t getting done. The stress of it all turned into complaining and created an attitude of we-versus-they.

Instead of the team members bringing these concerns to leadership, they assumed leaders should just know. It was a classic breakdown of communication.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.
– Cool Hand Luke

Basing our judgments on false assumptions is called miscommunication. It creates a negative atmosphere that can be felt. But these false beliefs are not based in reality.

Hyatt relays that the employees began to feel like they weren’t valued. This feeling prompted speculation and gossip about the leaders intent.

It created what he refers to as a “toxic stew”, comprised of the ingredients of complaining, gossip and rumors. Then when it simmers down you have cynicism and mistrust.

In the end the manager of that team resigned and several team members were fired. So what can we learn from this?

Communication is powerful for both good and evil. What will you choose? The role of the accuser or the advocate? Choose wisely. [see John 8:42-47]

There is nothing new under the sun. The universe runs through cycles and seasons. There are design patterns throughout.

How Do We Create This Stew?

Here is the pattern for the toxic stew. Stress that turns into complaining that turns into unexpressed assumptions that turn into gossip that turns into rumors that turn into cynicism.

I’m not telling you this so you can create your own “stew”. I’m describing this so you can remove the ingredients, so that you don’t get the caustic results.

Stress

Stress is a necessary part of our lives. If you want to grow muscle you have to apply stress or resistance to them.

Because of this, they grow strong. This is a good stress.

But it also has different effects. You get tired, especially if you over train and don’t get rest.

Complaining

Complaining gets added to the mix. It seems so harmless. “They’re just venting”, some will say.

What lies under the complaint? It most likely revolves around some loss of control.

This is seen in the overall feeling of helplessness, maybe even victimhood. This sounds the alarm of a negative attitude, as someone else is to blame. And so it begins to spread.

Unexpressed Assumptions.

There are some that just don’t communicate well. I have been guilty of this in the past.

I’m not the greatest at communication, YET (love that word). I am better than I used to be, but I am not all I will be. I am being transformed. [see Romans 12:1-2]

The non-communicator assumes everyone should just… know. The assumption is what kills and destroys.

Gossip

When we don’t understand the things around us we create our own narrative. We make our own story to fit the facts we know.

That doesn’t make it the TRUTH. However, those who are gossiping, believe it is true. The stew begins to sour.

Rumors

Let’s add in a few rumors. We continue to build the rationale with all the odds and ends of information we can find to deduce a conclusion.

This creates various theories that compete with one another. And the miscommunication grows.

Cynicism

Cynicism is the final result of this caustic stew. This belief sees all people as selfish and untrustworthy.

While gossip soured the mix, we now have distrust, blame, suspicion, resentment, fear, ridicule, and dishonesty. Without intervention, these negative seasonings will force people to feel the need to self-protect. How can we get a fresh start? [see Galatians 5:19-21]

What Can We Do About It?

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16–21 (CSB)

Communicate Proactively

There is a solution that can preempt your stew from boiling over. When you use it, the complaints will end.

Clear communication will be the new norm. The solution for negativity is proactive communication.

What does this mean? Communicating proactively means taking the initiative to communicate toward positive results.

You can be the catalyst for change no matter your position in the group, family or organization. There are several strategies you can employ to help in this: Don’t be a joiner, challenge negativity, communicate directly, model gratitude, and be prompt.

Let’s take a look at these strategies.

Don’t Be A Joiner

In order to survive we, as humans, clue in to negative information. This helps us to detect threats in the environment and course correct to avoid them.

The downside is that we are alert to the negative and not so much to the good. That’s why gossip, rumor and complaints catch our attention.

We must be self-aware of this internally so we can redirect ourselves. What is coming out of us?

Self-pity, complaints, and gossip stem from a lack of control. If you think you have agency you will take action.

When you are tempted to complain or murmur, ask yourself, “Am I really helpless here?” You might not be able to change the circumstances. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have choices.

How can you bring positive results into the situation? The most effective way to stop the spread of negative speech is not to join in. This will flatten the curve of its spread.

Challenge Negativity

Negativity must be challenged when you see it. Gone unchallenged it will thrive. That is how bullies get away with intimidating children or coworkers.

Ignoring the problem is not helpful. Silence is the unspoken approval of the behavior.
To put a lid on negativity, here are some examples.

  • “Yes, that’s the problem all right. Let’s talk about what we can do to solve it.”
  • “There’s no way we can know that for sure, so let’s not speculate.”
  • “Have you fact-checked that? It might just be a rumor.”

Communicate Directly

Direct communication with the person is always best. However, it may not always be possible.

The best rule is to not talk about someone but to talk with them. When you are running into issues with someone the only way to bring resolution is to work directly with them.

When you are receiving the complaints, gossip, or rumors, redirect them to the source.

  • “Are you sure she’s aware of the problem? Have you talked to her directly?”
  • “I don’t feel comfortable talking about Jason in his absence. Shall we ask him to join us?”
  • “How do you know that’s true? Have you asked your manager about it?”

A pot stirer doesn’t want to find a soulution and will most likely decline. If they agree the redirection worked.

Model Gratitude

Let’s start by defining what gratitude is.

gratitude /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

Gratitude is being thankful to the point that you show kindness and appreciation. It is a positive attitude that aligns with Micah 6:8.

You cannot be thankful and negative at the same time. They are two different focuses.

Most negative thoughts come through an attitude of entitlement. Instead of people being thankful for what they have, they are envious and resentful of what others have. They are experiencing feelings of inferiority, being ignored, or that they are treated unfairly.

One way to work through this is to voice your gratitude. Speaking about what is good rather than bad is key.

I’m not talking about positive thinking. I’m not saying that there are not negative things to deal with.

I’m saying that you have to give thanks and celebrate all that is good. For the things that aren’t, communicate directly to the people who can help.

“Gratitude is the antidote for negative thinking.”
– Michael Hyatt

Gratitude shifts your thinking and lightens your mood. It helps you see the possibilities instead of narrowing your view to only the problem.

Like negativity, gratitude is contagious and brings with it a fragrant aroma to all who are around.

Start your conversations by asking what is going well? As you fill your bucket of gratitude you have something you can share.

It doesn’t just have to be your good news. Armed with gratitude you can counter negative statements.

Build Trust

Most people don’t take part in negative communication because they’re malicious. It’s just easier to go along with gossip and complaining than to resist it.

You have the agency to defuse negativity before it sets your world on fire. By communicating proactively you can affect the atmosphere. You can encourage, increase morale, and bring unity.

Imagine how much more we could get done if together we focused on the right things. Think about what it would mean for the mission of Christ if we talked to each other, instead of about each other.

The world would see more love in us as a people. They would know that we were Jesus disciples.

What would it feel like to work every day in a culture of gratitude?

Next Steps

Remember these five strategies.

  • Don’t join in and add to the negativity.
  • Challenge the negativity.
  • Communicate directly.
  • Model gratitude.
  • Build trust.

What’s going on in your heart today? Listen to what is coming out of your mouth.

If what you’re hearing are the ingredients for the “toxic stew”, stop. Challenge the negativity and change your focus to gratitude.

If there is a problem, communicate directly with the person or the person that can help. By proactively communicating you can increase in love and understanding and change the atmosphere.

We have been made new creatures in Christ.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:22–26 (CSB)

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