• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Lately, I have been reading the book, Crucial Conversations; a work that appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s not a book written from a God centered focus, but there are certainly a number of insights that are worth “mining” for use in life and ministry.

In the early part of the book, the authors talk about how it is easier to receive constructive criticism from a friend than from just any person.  A large part of the reason for this openness is due to the fact you feel “safe” with a friend; there is a context of trust that allows you to hear difficult things from that friend.

Many of the conversations we have are derailed by this lack of feeling “safe”.  Crucial conversations can be disrupted by the fact that a safety net or context is missing.  “Safety” or trust is something difficult to gain, but easy to lose in our modern context.  So, creating this safe context or this atmosphere of trust is a vital task to engaging others in meaningful, life transforming conversation.

Here’s where I was struck by the authors’ approach.  Rather than talking about how you should earn trust or how others can regain our trust, they aimed right for the heart, our hearts.  The best way, they surmise, to create this safety net is to first work on us.  I couldn’t help but make the link to the Gospel.  Once we are certain, convinced in our hearts that God deeply loves us, despite our faults, this will impact the way we approach others.   Convinced that we are “safe” in approaching our Father, we will extend a safety net more easily to others.

I’m asking myself today: how strong is my safety net?


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