Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand — shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 MSG
Thoughts for Today
Appropriate self-disclosure can be a useful tool in a helping relationship.
Sharing your own personal experiences and insight may help your friend understand how to deal with a life-controlling problem. Keep the conversation positive, telling about your mistakes but focusing on how God helped you and the things you learned through the process. A word of caution — don't overuse self-disclosure by talking too much, shifting the focus of the conversation toward you and away from the person you want to help.
It is also important that while sharing with others, you do not talk down to them, making them feel as though you are treating them like a child or an inferior person. Your self-disclosure should have a clear goal of providing insight your friend does not appear to have and moving him or her toward healing. Try to stay at the level of insight relevant to the person's need.
Consider this ...
Freedom from a life-controlling problem is a process. Pray that God will help you disclose all that will assist your friend in that process, but not so much as to produce confusion. And pray that God will use what you say to help set your loved one free.
Father, help me be generous with my life and share with my friend those things that will hasten deliverance and healing. I pray that my self-disclosure will be an encouragement to my friend to open up to you. In Jesus' name ...
These thoughts adapted from ...
Understanding the Times offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture. The qualities described in this week's devotions are derived from Gary Sweeten's work in Apples of Gold I and II. We appreciate his contribution.
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