by Cathy Weymouth
From today’s SOAP Devotional Readings, Ecc. 7-9; Eph 4, I noticed the emphasis on living in peace. I pray you are encouraged by what I am learning personally.
Scripture – Ecc 7:9, Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Eph 4:2,3, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Observation – Both Solomon and Paul have words of wisdom for us concerning peace in relationships. But this is often much easier said than done! How is it possible to not be quickly provoked and to bear with one another in love? I am learning that one secret is accepting people, rather than wishing that they were different.
Application – My counselor shared some real wisdom with me (he has much to say too!). Often it is in our interpretation of an events that we can get thrown into negative emotions. He explained this series of events: A Triggering Event –> Interpretation –> Emotions –> Action Urge–> Action (1). An event can lead to negative emotions which leads to negative action – all based on our interpretation. There are two points of intervention: We can circumvent carrying out destructive actions by first asking if there is another way to interpret the event. Also, we can choose to go forth with our negative action urges or we can choose a positive action instead.
Prayer – Father, this is hard stuff. It is easy to become angry when things are not going well. Help me/us to stop and consider – are we expecting someone to be different than they are? Is there another way that we can interpret this event and prevent the negative emotions in the first place? Help! Relationships are a challenge, for sure. But we want to live in peace. And with You, all things are possible.
1. From Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha Linehan
SOAP is a Bible Reading and Journaling approach taught by Wayne Cordeiro in the book, The Divine Mentor. Find the book and inspiration on his website, http://www.divinementor.com/