Smooth Sailing                in      Personal Relationships               and           Leadership       A manual to help...
A series of devotional manuals for children’s workers  “The Problems of a Children’s Worker - and God’s Solution”   “Obedi...
Table of ContentsForeword ...................................................................................................
Chapter 7: How Can You Control Your Tongue? .................................. 4 5      You Can Control Your Tongue .........
Chapter 16: Six Qualities For A Leader To Aim At .............................. 1 0 1  Be Humble ............................
God Shows The Problems To A Leader ............................................. 1 4 8    God Gives His Promises To A Lead...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership      vii                              FOREWORD     I consider it a...
viii Foreword
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership ix                         INTRODUCTION    This book consists of t...
x Introduction    I am thankful to Mr. Gene Warr for writing the foreword to this book.Mr. Warr is a businessman in Oklaho...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership xi    The problem of disunity can also be seen, more seriously, in...
xii Introductionthe strength and grace to overcome it and solve any problem which mightexist as a result of it. When you a...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership      xiiiappreciation for all the wise words I have both read and ...
xiv Introduction       time, follows the pastor or Sunday school superintendent. A       missionary leads the people who a...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 1      Section I:Personal Relationships
2   Section I — Chapter 1
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 3                           Chapter 1:                      The Bl...
4   Section I — Chapter 1            Biblically, ethically and morally it is right, correct and good to            dwell t...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 5    Above all, unity rises up as a sweet fragrance to God. He is ...
6   Section I — Chapter 1    The opposite is also true. If we are not unified, our work is hindered,and fewer, if any, boy...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 7     On the other hand unity is a source of blessing to everyone ...
8   Section I — Chapter 1        blessings attached to it? I feel that one of the main reasons must be        the unity th...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 9Can you give examples of people with whom you have completeunity,...
10 Section I — Chapter 2                               Chapter 2:                               First Steps         e need...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     11generally hidden from view. Yet with it we can build or dest...
12 Section I — Chapter 2     These verses indicate that we grieve the Holy Spirit primarily by theincorrect use of the ton...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     13      tongue (e.g. 17 v9; 25 v18).      James teaches that t...
14 Section I — Chapter 2       “Finally.” If my mind and my heart are full of, and focusing upon,       “things” such as P...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership       15                           Chapter 3:                     ...
16 Section I — Chapter 3you do.    This attitude can be demonstrated in different ways:-        By seeing the good things ...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     17       “Be ye followers (imitators) of me, as I also am of C...
18 Section I — Chapter 3       Your submission will make their work a joy.       They will help you.      The teaching of ...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership      19the same attitude.       In verse 6 we see what He left.   ...
20 Section I — Chapter 3   A Quiet Attitude Towards Opposition And Criticism     How should you react when people hurt you...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     21division and bitterness. The biblical attitude is quietness,...
22 Section I — Chapter 3v14).    The verse which follows explains that this will be a good testimony inthe world:    “that...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership         23       The biblical attitude to circumstances is content...
24 Section I — Chapter 4                            Chapter 4:                          Watch Your Ears     f you are goin...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership    25It often happens that when you have listened intently to a pe...
26 Section I — Chapter 4     Many of us have seen the well known picture of three monkeys. Oneof them covers his eyes, the...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership   27Have you ever asked yourself the question – why do they do so?...
28 Section I — Chapter 5                           Chapter 5:                        Watch Your Words      hapter 2 emphas...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     29    “to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle,...
30 Section I — Chapter 5writes:    “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hearslow to speak . . . (Jame...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership       31    An elderly woman was well liked by many in her communi...
32 Section I — Chapter 5     The Bible uses the word “froward” with regard to the use of ourtongue. For example:     “The ...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     33much. It pleases him who gives it, and also him who receives...
34 Section I — Chapter 5           Whether you know it or not,           Whether you mean or care;           Gentleness, k...
Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership     35Leviticus 19 v11; Psalm 52 v2-4; Acts 5 v1-11; Colossians 3 ...
36 Section I — Chapter 5real. Fellowship is marred. There is a need for honest confession andwhole-hearted forgiveness in ...
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  1. 1. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership A manual to help children’s workers in theirrelationships to others and to outline the responsibilities and joys of those in leadership positions BY SAM DOHERTY
  2. 2. A series of devotional manuals for children’s workers “The Problems of a Children’s Worker - and God’s Solution” “Obedience to the Heavenly Vision” “Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership” “50 Years and Still Learning” “Salvation by Faith Alone” “Truths for Teachers” “God’s Word for God’s Workers Vol 1” “God’s Word for God’s Workers Vol 2” Published by Child Evangelism Fellowship® Inc. Specialized Book Ministry Assisting Children’s Evangelists Worldwide PO Box 308, Lisburn, BT28 2YS, Northern Ireland, UK © September 1999 All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Table of ContentsForeword ............................................................................................................. viiIntroduction ......................................................................................................... ixSection I: Personal Relationships Chapter 1: The Blessing Of Unity ............................................................. 3 The Statement The Psalmist Makes ........................................................ 3 The Illustrations The Psalmist Uses ........................................................ 4 The Consequences The Psalmist Sees .................................................... 5 Chapter 2: First Steps ............................................................................... 1 0 Principles To Follow .............................................................................. 1 0 The Problem Of The Tongue ................................................................ 1 0 The Problem Of The Heart ................................................................... 1 3 Chapter 3: Watch Your Attitudes ............................................................ 1 5 A Loving Attitude To All ........................................................................ 1 5 A Submissive Attitude To Your Leaders ............................................... 1 7 An Unselfish Attitude To Others .......................................................... 1 8 A Quiet Attitude Towards Opposition And Criticism ........................ 2 0 A Contented Attitude Towards Circumstances ................................... 2 1 Chapter 4: Watch Your Ears .................................................................... 2 4 Be A Good Listener To People As They Share With You .................... 2 4 Be A Bad Listener To Those Who Gossip About Others .................... 2 5 Chapter 5: Watch Your Words ................................................................ 2 8 You Need To Watch Your Words To Others ........................................ 2 8 James’ Teaching On The Tongue ..................................................... 2 9 Be Slow To Speak ............................................................................. 3 0 Be In Control ..................................................................................... 3 1 Be Tacktful ......................................................................................... 3 4 Be Honest .......................................................................................... 3 4 Do No Exaggerate ............................................................................. 3 5 You Need To Watch Your Words About Others .................................. 3 5 Chapter 6: Do Not Speak Against God’s Servants ................................ 4 0 Miriam And Aaron Criticize Moses ...................................................... 4 0 God Hears Them ................................................................................... 4 1 God Speaks To Them ............................................................................. 4 1 God Disciplines Them .......................................................................... 4 2 Lessons To Learn .................................................................................... 4 3
  4. 4. Chapter 7: How Can You Control Your Tongue? .................................. 4 5 You Can Control Your Tongue .............................................................. 4 5 Your Tongue Can Bless ......................................................................... 4 7 Chapter 8: The Teaching Of Proverbs Concerning The Tongue .......... 5 3 Be Thoughtful Before You Speak ......................................................... 5 3 Be Careful While You Speak ................................................................ 5 5 Chapter 9: Watch Your Letters ................................................................ 5 8 Be Careful What You Write .................................................................. 5 8 Be Helpful When You Write ................................................................. 6 0 Chapter 10: Watch Your Temper ............................................................ 6 2 Be Slow To React ................................................................................... 6 2 Exercise Self-Control ............................................................................. 6 3 Chapter 11: Watch Your Humour .......................................................... 6 6 Be Careful .............................................................................................. 6 6 Avoid Hurtful Humour ......................................................................... 6 7 Avoid Irreverent Humour ..................................................................... 6 7 Avoid Suggestive Humour .................................................................... 6 7 Enjoy Helpful Humour ......................................................................... 6 8 Chapter 12: Watch Your Reactions ........................................................ 6 9 Wrong Reactions Cause Problems ...................................................... 6 9 Bible Commands To Obey ................................................................... 7 0 Bible Examples To Imitate .................................................................... 7 2 Chapter 13: Problem Situations And How To Solve Them .................. 7 6 Problem 1: You Have Done Wrong To Someone and You Are Convicted About It .......................................................... 7 6 Problem 2: You Feel That Someone Has Done Wrong To You .............................................................................. 7 9 Problem 3: You Feel That Something Is Wrong Between Another Person And Yourself—But You Don’t Know Why ........................... 8 2 Chapter 14: The Blessings Of Good Personal Relationships ............... 8 5 Blessed Are The Peacemakers ............................................................... 8 6Section II: Leadership Chapter 15: Follow The Leader ............................................................... 9 1 What Is Leadership? .............................................................................. 9 1 Are Leaders Born Or Made? ................................................................. 9 2 How Can Leadership Abilities Be Developed? .................................. 9 4 The Biblical Steps For Leadership ........................................................ 9 5 The Importance Of Leadership ............................................................ 9 7 Paul, One Of the Greatest Leaders Of All Time ................................. 9 7 The Apostles And Their Leadership Abilities ....................................... 9 8
  5. 5. Chapter 16: Six Qualities For A Leader To Aim At .............................. 1 0 1 Be Humble ........................................................................................... 1 0 1 Be Gentle ............................................................................................. 1 0 3 Be Trustful ............................................................................................ 1 0 4 Be Optimistic ....................................................................................... 1 0 6 Be Patient ............................................................................................. 1 0 7 Develop A Sense Of Humour ............................................................ 1 0 8 The Secret of Good Leadership ......................................................... 1 0 9Chapter 17: Six Responsibilities For A Leader To Assume ................. 1 1 1 A Leader Leads .................................................................................... 1 1 1 A Leader Feeds ..................................................................................... 1 1 2 A Leader Does What Is Right ............................................................. 1 1 4 A Leader Invests ................................................................................... 1 1 5 A Leader Perseveres ............................................................................. 1 1 6 A Leader Looks For A Successor ........................................................ 1 1 8Chapter 18: Six Lessons For A Leader To Learn ................................... 1 2 1 You Need To Guard Your Own Devotional Life .............................. 1 2 1 You Need To Be Clear About Your Guidance Into Your Leadership Position ........................................................ 1 2 2 You Need To Learn Not To Worry ..................................................... 1 2 3 You Need To Watch Your Attitudes .................................................... 1 2 4 You Need To Learn How To Delegate ............................................... 1 2 5 You Need To Learn To Relax And Rest .............................................. 1 2 7 Fifteen Points To Help A CEF Leader Plan His Work And Time ...... 1 2 8Chapter 19: Lessons In Long-Distance Leadership ............................. 1 3 0 What Should the Long-Distance Leader Understand? .................... 1 3 1 What Should The Long-Distance Leader Do? .................................. 1 3 2Chapter 20: Your Responsibilities To Your Leader ............................. 1 3 5 Respect Your Leader ............................................................................ 1 3 6 Listen To Your Leader .......................................................................... 1 3 6 Follow Your Leader ............................................................................. 1 3 6 Be Loyal To Your Leader ..................................................................... 1 3 7 Help Your Leader ................................................................................. 1 3 7 Appreciate Your Leader ...................................................................... 1 3 7 Guard And Protect Your Relationship With Your Leader ................ 1 3 8 Pray For Your Leader ........................................................................... 1 3 8 Postscript For CEF Directors ............................................................... 1 3 8Chapter 21: To Obey Or Not To Obey? .............................................. 1 4 0 The Biblical Principle ......................................................................... 1 4 0 The Explanation ................................................................................... 1 4 1 The Exceptions ..................................................................................... 1 4 2Chapter 22: A Biblical Example Of Leadership .................................. 1 4 5 God Prepares A Leader ....................................................................... 1 4 5 God Reveals His Plan To A Leader .................................................... 1 4 8
  6. 6. God Shows The Problems To A Leader ............................................. 1 4 8 God Gives His Promises To A Leader ................................................ 1 4 9 God Gives Two Precepts To A Leader ............................................... 1 5 0 A Picture Of A Leader At Work .......................................................... 1 5 1 The Personal Relationship Of A Leader To His Lord ....................... 1 5 3Chapter 23: Self-Examination For Leaders .......................................... 1 5 5 Four Tests For Leaders ......................................................................... 1 5 5 Twenty Questions For Leaders ........................................................... 1 5 6Chapter 24: Ten Lessons I Have Tried To Learn in Leadership ........... 1 5 8 To Be Loving And Appreciative ......................................................... 1 5 8 To Be Gentle ........................................................................................ 1 5 9 To Be Helpful ...................................................................................... 1 5 9 To Be Careful ....................................................................................... 1 6 0 To Be Trustful ....................................................................................... 1 6 0 To Be Loyal .......................................................................................... 1 6 0 To Be Flexible And Not Too Dogmatic ............................................. 1 6 1 To Be Slow With Regard To The Making Of Decisions ................... 1 6 2 To Be Optimistic ................................................................................. 1 6 2 To Be Relaxed ...................................................................................... 1 6 2
  7. 7. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership vii FOREWORD I consider it a great privilege to introduce the author and his latest (andin my opinion greatest) of his efforts to put in pen and ink the biblical basisfor godly relationships. Sam Doherty has spent much of his life praying for, and ministering to,children for Jesus’ sake. He is in the process of authoring 43 books forchildren and teachers, many of which have been already translated andprinted and distributed in many languages worldwide. This, his latest book, is biblically based and will, most surely, prove tobe a great help to both students and teachers who have love for Jesus, andhearts for children. Thank you, Sam, for your availability to our Father God and your heartinvolvement for children. God will use your books to help children andchildren’s workers long after you have gone to Glory. In the Name of Jesus and for His sake, Gene Warr Oklahoma City, USA (Christian businessman, evangelist and leader)
  8. 8. viii Foreword
  9. 9. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership ix INTRODUCTION This book consists of two separate yet closely related sections andsubjects: “Personal Relationships” “Leadership” These subjects have been included in one book for two reasons: These two subjects are very closely connected. One of the most important aspects of personal relationships is to understand how to relate to those who lead us. In addition, no one can be an effective leader if he/she has not mastered the art of relating well to other people. This is clearly illustrated by comparison to a great sailing ship. The crew needs to learn to work together; they need to learn how to work under the leadership of the captain; and the captain needs to learn how to lead them. All of this is also true of children’s workers. When all is in order everyone will enjoy the blessing of “smooth sailing.” So each of the two “ships” have been incorporated into this one book. It is much cheaper to print them and mail them together as one book—rather than as two books. Several years ago God, I believe, laid upon our hearts, and gave us a desire, to produce a series of books which would help children’s workers in their lives and ministries. At the same time, we felt that He wanted us to make these books available to those who work with children all over the world—FREE OF CHARGE. The costs of printing and mailing are high, but God has supplied all the finance needed thus far, and we believe that He will continue to do so. However, we feel that it is our responsibility to keep the costs as low as we can, and to do this we have brought these two books together into one book. I trust that you will find both sections to be really helpful for your lifeand ministry, and that you will know “smooth sailing” in the days which lieahead.
  10. 10. x Introduction I am thankful to Mr. Gene Warr for writing the foreword to this book.Mr. Warr is a businessman in Oklahoma City, USA, the friend and counsellorof many Christian workers and, for many years, an outstanding Christianleader and evangelist. He, and his wife, Irma, have been a continual sourceof help and encouragement to my wife and myself, and have also played akey role in the setting up and growth of the writing ministry to which thisbook is the latest addition. Personal Relationships The subject of personal relationships should be one of the most important,and most necessary, concerns wherever Christians live and/or work together.A correct understanding of this subject is vital in the Christian home, to thelocal church, to a missionary organisation, to a Bible school or to an Institute. None of us lives or works alone. You and I are continually in contact -often close contact—with others. If there is a problem in our relationshipwith someone else, the result can be disastrous both for us and for theother person; and it will be a great hindrance to our Christian service. One Christian leader said, “That which brings most friction anddismemberment to the Body of Christ is the simple ethical problem ofpersonal relationships.” The leader of one large and well known missionaryorganisation has blamed broken relationships for 60% of its missionaryfailures—either in unsuccessful adjustment to fellow workers, or inunsuccessful adjustment to mission authority. This problem of bad relationships can be found in Christian homes, inchurches, in Bible schools and Institutes, and in missionary organisations.In many ways the problem of incompatibility is even greater on the missionfield, or in a mission work at home, than in the fellowship of one’s homechurch. There are fewer possibilities “to escape” from the other person!Problems such as these can play havoc with ministry and with health, andcan also affect those who try to resolve the problems. A problem in personal relationships also existed even in the earlyChristian church. In Philippi, for example, a relationship problem existedbetween Euodias and Syntyche who were otherwise two zealous and ableworkers (Philippians 4 v2 and 3). They could not get on with each other.We don’t know the details; but there was obviously a problem of disunityand this affected the whole church. This problem of disunity is referred toagain in Philippians chapter 1 v27, chapter 2 v2 and chapter 3 v15.
  11. 11. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership xi The problem of disunity can also be seen, more seriously, in the churchat Corinth. This spirit of division and disunity is introduced in chapter 1 v9-13. It is more specifically dealt with in chapter 3 v3-9, and then in thewhole of chapter 12. The awful consequences of disunity at Corinth canbe seen in chapter 6 verses 1-8. Paul is at great pains in this epistle toemphasize on the one hand the carnality of disunity (1 Corinthians 3 v3)and on the other hand the blessing of unity (1 Corinthians 10 v14-17). You yourself have three levels of relationships which you need to watch,guard and control: Your relationship to your leader. He is the person who has been placed above you in your church, missionary organisation, or school. Your relationship to those who see you as their leader. Most, if not all of us, are leaders in some way—whether as a CEF director or as a Good News Club teacher or even as a parent. The subject of leadership and, to a lesser extent, the subject of how to “follow a leader” will be dealt with in much more detail in the second section of this book. Your relationship to those on the same level as yourself. These would include your co-worker and, for those who are married, your husband or wife. The vast majority of us are involved in all three of these relationshipsat the same time. We must be careful not to allow anything to enter intoany of them which would cause a problem, or create disunity. The greatestproblems in our work and in our ministry do not come from outside ourranks but from inside. Disunity and breakdowns in relationships do moreharm to us, and to our work, than anything else, and the devil knows this.So he tries to sow and nurture the seeds of dissension in Christian families,missionary organisations, churches and Bible schools. This is why the subject of personal relationships is so vital in our livesand ministries. As you and I read and study this section together I trustthat each of us will examine himself and ask the question—“Lord, is it I?”It is easy to see the faults of others; and to feel that this is the very teachingwhich they need! But all of us need to be more concerned with ourselvesthan with them; and we need to find out if there is anything in ourrelationships with others which needs to be changed or corrected. So letus ask God to show us any weakness we might have in our relationships.Then let us pray that, when we see this weakness, He will, in turn, give us
  12. 12. xii Introductionthe strength and grace to overcome it and solve any problem which mightexist as a result of it. When you and I do that, God will bless. When ourrelationships are right, we will enjoy God’s blessing on both our lives andour ministry. Do not be like the person who said: Faults in others I can see But praise the Lord there’s none in me! I have so many faults myself, Which I can seldom see, A defect in another’s life, Is very clear to me. Although I have so many faults I always like to find A bit of fault in anyone When I’m so far behind. It is better to be like the person who said: I used to censure everyone; I was a Pharisee, Until one day I got a shock - I got a glimpse of me! The Bible showed me my mistakes. (The mirror cannot lie). I could not justify myself Or find an alibi. So whenever I’m inclined Some other’s judge to be, I always go and take a look At him whom I call me. I find this is a splendid thing. Just try it and you’ll see: To keep from criticizing folks, Each day I look at ME. (Author unknown) This section of the book is the result of many years of teaching thesubject of personal relationships in the European CEF Leadership TrainingInstitute and to groups of CEF workers all over Europe. Much of what iscontained in this section has come from other books I have read, or fromspoken messages I have heard on the subject, and I want to express
  13. 13. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership xiiiappreciation for all the wise words I have both read and heard. But becausethe contents of this section have been assembled gradually, and over aperiod of time, and because there has been much adaptation of thosecontents, I have not been able, in a number of cases, to acknowledge thesources of the help I have received. Leadership Some of you may react to this second section of the book with thestatement “What, another book on leadership?” Many books—both spiritualand non spiritual—have been written on this subject. But I would suggestthat the chapters I have written on this subject are a little different. Whilethe contents apply to all Christian workers, they are directed primarilytowards children’s workers, and towards those who are involved in anyministry or organisation whose aim is to evangelize the children. The aimof these chapters on leadership is therefore to help you, my dear readerand children’s worker in your ministry. Some of you may be hesitant about reading these chapters onleadership. You may think that you are not a leader, and you may neversee yourself giving leadership to others. You may, instead, feel that you area follower, and that you want to be led by others. I would like to point out several facts to all who have such reactionsand reservations: Most Christians, perhaps all Christians, are leaders in some way. You may not see yourself as a great or gifted leader, but if you look closely at your life and ministry you will probably see that you are leading someone! It may be a child in your family, a group of children in your Sunday School class or Good News Club, a teenager who looks to you for advice and help, or someone with whom you work who has questions about the Christian faith. If you are in any of these situations, or any other similar situations, you are, to some extent, a leader - even though you are not, perhaps the dynamic figure which many people expect a leader to be. Personally, I doubt very much if you are only, and exclusively, a follower. Almost all of us are both leaders and followers. It is not a question of being one or the other. It is possible, and often necessary, to be both. A Sunday School teacher leads her children and, at the same
  14. 14. xiv Introduction time, follows the pastor or Sunday school superintendent. A missionary leads the people who are responsible to him, but he himself is directly responsible to his mission director. A full-time CEF worker who works in a local area is looked upon as leader by the teachers who attend his training class and by the young people who work as summer missionaries; but he is responsible to his committee and to his state or national director. I have also included in this section of the book some guidelines for followers—as well as for leaders. We all need to be as practical and as skilled in the art of following as we are in the art of leadership. I want to emphasize that I don’t see myself as an expert on the subjectof leadership. I have written these chapters because I feel that there aremany children’s workers who need help in this area and, because I thinkthat I may be able to give them some guidance, I myself am still in thelearning process! Much of what I have written has been culled from others whose booksI have read or to whom I have listened. Indeed so much helpful informationhas been gathered here and there down through the years that I oftendon’t know where it came from and so I am usually not able to pinpoint thesource. But I have also included many lessons which I have learned ortried to learn (or failed to learn) during almost 50 years in a leadershipposition in Child Evangelism Fellowship. My wife and I were the nationaldirectors of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Ireland for 14 years, and wewere then regional directors of European Child Evangelism Fellowship for29 years. During those years the work of CEF in Ireland and in Europegrew in a wonderful way. When we handed over the European leadershipto our successors in 1993 there were 375 full-time CEF workers in Europewhom we had been responsible to lead! And this number continues togrow! I trust that these chapters will help you to learn the lessons I havelearned and not to make some of the mistakes which I have made, and thatit will also communicate to you how you can become a better leader. Thechurch of Jesus Christ needs leaders today; the children and young peopleneed leaders; God is looking for and appointing leaders. I trust, dear reader, that you will be one of those leaders!
  15. 15. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 1 Section I:Personal Relationships
  16. 16. 2 Section I — Chapter 1
  17. 17. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 3 Chapter 1: The Blessing Of UnityU nity is not something which occurs automatically. It doesn’t just happen. It must be worked at and built up. We need to desire it,and set our minds on it, and do all we can to foster it. At the same time weneed to avoid saying or doing anything which would hinder it, or evendestroy it. Unity does not mean uniformity. We are all different one from theother—in temperament, background and, often, in nationality and/ordenomination. Nor does unity mean that we always have automatic andcomplete agreement on every subject. It is possible to see things differentlyand even to differ or disagree with each other, provided it is done in theright spirit, and without sharpness, tension or friction. Unity is: Oneness of goal and burden Oneness of heart and spirit Oneness of faith and conviction A willingness to accept, consider and listen to others with whom we don’t agree A willingness to accept and abide by the wishes of our leadership, or in some cases, by the wishes and decision of the majority; and to do so in the right spirit A willingness to work together with those who are in the same Mission or church, even if we don’t agree with them on every point It is a help to read carefully, study and conscientiously apply the wordsof Psalm 133. The Statement The Psalmist Makes “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren (and, ofcourse, sisters) to dwell (or work) together in unity” (Psalm 133 v1). The Psalmist describes unity among brethren and sisters in two ways: Unity is good.
  18. 18. 4 Section I — Chapter 1 Biblically, ethically and morally it is right, correct and good to dwell together in unity. Disunity is bad and wrong. Unity is pleasant. Unity feels good, and is enjoyable to look at and to experience. Disunity is unpleasant and distasteful. Some things are good but not pleasant. Some things are pleasant butnot good. But unity is both good and pleasant. In the German Bible the Hebrew word which is translated “unity”, inthe English Bible, is translated “harmony”. This translation is very interestingand indeed very helpful. In an orchestra there are many different instrumentswith different sounds, and they don’t all play the same notes; but whenthey play the same melody together there is harmony. The Illustrations The Psalmist Uses As a good teacher the Psalmist knows that illustrations help andencourage understanding. Therefore he compares unity to two things withwhich his readers were already well acquainted. Unity “is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garment” (Psalm 133 v2). Unity is like the precious ointment used by the priest. Unity smells good. Unity is fragrant. It smells good to those who are “inside the tent.” Unity is a preciousblessing, and a wonderful experience to us within the ranks of God’s people.Everything works well, and goes well. There is nothing to cause friction“in the machinery.” Unity smells good to those “who are outside.” There is nothing whichattracts outsiders more to us than the fragrance of unity; and there isnothing which repels them more from us than division and quarrelling. Thiswas why the Lord Jesus prayed in John 17 v21:“that they all may be one . . . that the world may believe that Thouhast sent Me.”
  19. 19. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 5 Above all, unity rises up as a sweet fragrance to God. He is wellpleased when we dwell and work together in unity. Unity is “as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion” (Psalm 133 v3a). Unity is like dew in a dry land. Unity feels good. Unity is fresh. In a very dry country the dew comes as a welcome agent of moistureand freshness. It helps the vegetation to grow and it makes the landscapegreen and beautiful. Unity brings freshness, growth and beauty to the lifeof the family, church or mission. The Consequences The Psalmist Sees In Psalm 133 verse 3b God promises two special results when there isunity. Where there is unity God promises His blessing. “For there (where there is unity) the Lord commanded the blessing.” He blesses the family which is united, the church which is united, andthe missionary organisation which is united. At the same time the converseis also true. God does not bless the family, church or missionary organisationwhich has brought disunity and division upon itself. I have witnessed thishappen on several occasions. Serious divisions have appeared betweenco-workers or between a leader and a worker, or between a worker andhis committee. The work seems to continue but the blessing is gone. Ihave also seen on many occasions the very opposite. The work is unified,there is harmony, there are no divisions and God is blessing. Where there is unity there is life for ever more— “For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever more.” Those who are unified do not, of course, “earn” eternal life. Eternallife is a gift from God to those who trust Jesus Christ. But when we areunified, and God is blessing our ministry, boys and girls are saved, and theyreceive eternal life. Unity is not only a blessing for us, but it brings blessingto others.
  20. 20. 6 Section I — Chapter 1 The opposite is also true. If we are not unified, our work is hindered,and fewer, if any, boys and girls will come to Christ. Be On Your Guard Paul writes: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to belikeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that yemay with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father ofour Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15 v5 and 6). God wants to see harmonious personal relationships in our every daylives; and He wants Christians to work together to glorify Him. We areinterdependent and not independent. We need each other for encouragement,exhortation, correction and the utilization of one another’s unique gifts withinthe body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12 v14-15 and 18; Romans 12 v3-6). The devil is fully aware of all that we have outlined in these pages. Allof this is clearly taught in the Word of God, and the devil knows the contentsof Psalm 133. He often finds it difficult to stop our ministry through oppositionand through attacks from the outside. But he knows that if he can encouragedivision inside our ranks, the work will be hindered or even stopped.Consequently, his main strategy today is to sow and water the seeds ofdiscord, and try to cause problems in our personal relationships. That which starts off as a small disagreement (one which could easilybe dissolved, or tolerated) may often lead to vocal and then written criticism.This criticism grows and in turn becomes bigger and bigger. All of thisinvolves much emotional energy, time and stress which could be betterspent in the work. Eventually, if not dealt with, it results in division - openor hidden. The work may continue but beneath the façade the problemssimmer and grow. And the result is barrenness, and loss of blessing, Thechildren are neglected and it is possible that eventually God may evenwithdraw both His Glory and His Presence and the result could be “Ichabod”(1 Samuel 4 v21). John Newton, the English pastor and author of many hymns, wrote toGeorge Whitefield, the evangelist, in 1757 as follows: “The longer I live the more I see of the vanity and the sinfulnessof unchristian disputes. They cut up the very vitals of religion. I grieveto think of how often I have lost my time and my temper in thisway.”
  21. 21. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 7 On the other hand unity is a source of blessing to everyone and a greattestimony to our Saviour. Several illustrations might help to show how God blesses unity: My wife and I had the privilege of starting the work of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Ireland in 1950. We were National Directors for 14 years. Our successors David and Mollie McQuilken were Directors for 30 years and their successors, in turn, Henry and Madeline Berry, have been the leaders since 1995. Throughout all those years there has never been any division or disunity in the work. There have of course been differences of viewpoint and, from time to time, disagreements. But where such differences existed, those responsible always came to a decision after much prayer and consultation, and then everybody rallied behind that decision in unity. Therefore there have never been any problems or splits in the work. As a consequence God has blessed the work of CEF in Ireland and today it is one of the strongest CEFs in the world. There are now over 100 full-time CEF workers from a little country of 1½ million. Almost half of these are CEF missionaries in other countries. CEF in Northern Ireland is reaching one child in every nine of the country’s population each year with the Gospel. From 1964 until 1993 we were CEF Regional Directors for Europe. During those 29 years there was never any disunity or division among our workers (apart from one short episode which soon came to an end when the four people concerned left the work). As a result of this unity God blessed the work in an unusual way; the number of full-time workers grew from 45 to 375 during these years; many children were reached and saved; and many new and exciting projects were commenced and developed - including a growing outreach to the multitudes of children in Communist Europe. I believe that all of this was, to a large extent, the result of a unity which God had given and which He blessed. All of us in Child Evangelism Fellowship have been thrilled to see the growth of our Mission all over the world in recent years. New countries have been entered, new missionaries have been appointed, many national workers have come into the work and, above all, many children have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. To what can we attribute this growth and the obvious
  22. 22. 8 Section I — Chapter 1 blessings attached to it? I feel that one of the main reasons must be the unity that exists in the work of our Mission worldwide. I have been in CEF work for 49 years. But there seems to be more unity now than ever before. This does not mean that there is complete uniformity. We come from many different countries, cultures and denominations and there are differences of viewpoint. That is normal. But underlying it all there is a deep unity of spirit and purpose which links us all together—and God is blessing!PLEASE READ PSALM 133 AGAIN, PRAYERFULLY ANDCAREFULLY, ASKING GOD TO HELP YOU TO SEE IF YOU HAVEDONE SOMETHING, OR ARE DOING SOMETHING WHICHCAUSES DISUNITY AND DIVISION. THEN IF HE DOES, ASK HIMFOR FORGIVENESS AND FOR THE STRENGTH AND GRACENEEDED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwelltogether in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran downupon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts ofhis garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon themountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, evenlife for evermore” (Psalm 133). QUESTIONS TO ANSWER/THINK ABOUT Does what I have outlined in this chapter agree with your own experience? Does unity bring blessing? Does division result in a loss of blessing? Can you yourself give any examples of either of these consequences? As you think back over the last year can you remember any time when you have done something which caused division and disunity—in your home, in your church, in your missionary organisation? What did you do about it? Do you agree with the distinction I have made between unity and uniformity?
  23. 23. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 9Can you give examples of people with whom you have completeunity, but with whom you have differences which you have agreedto accept. What are these differences? Are there, on the otherhand, some differences which would make unity impossible? Whatare they?
  24. 24. 10 Section I — Chapter 2 Chapter 2: First Steps e need to determine, and see clearly, the basis on which goodW personal relationships should be built, and we need to know howto find the principles and guidelines which will show us what to do andwhat not to do. Principles To Follow There are two sets of principles which will help us to understand thesubject of personal relationships and will then help us to ensure that ourrelationships with others are what God wants them to be: Biblical principles are the most important. The principles we find in the Word of God form the essential basis of good personal relationships. God has spoken and we need to know and understand what He has said. As you will see throughout the book there are many, many places in the Bible where this subject is dealt with, in detail. It is therefore necessary to understand what the Bible teaches on this subject. Consequently, we will quote many Bible verses and make frequent references to the Scriptures as we proceed. Common sense principles also play their part. No gimmicks are necessary; no great knowledge of psychology is essential. Much of what we need to know and do is obvious and clear to the simple enquiring mind. When there is a breakdown in relationships there are usually two mainagents involved. It is necessary at the very beginning of our study to identifythese agents and to understand the problems they can cause. We will dealwith each of them later in more detail. The Problem Of The Tongue The greatest problem in personal relationships always seems to be thetongue. It is amazing how much the Bible has to say about this little memberof the body. It is only several centimeters or inches in length and it is
  25. 25. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 11generally hidden from view. Yet with it we can build or destroy ourrelationships with others. Of all God’s creation man is the only creature endowed with the gift ofspeech. Animals cannot speak. Dogs bark; cows moo; pigs squeal; horsesneigh; ducks quack; but none of them can speak. But we, by way ofcomplete contrast, can not only think, but we can put our thoughts intowords, and express ourselves so as to be understood. The gift of speech is a marvelous gift; but because the average person(according to experts in the area of speech) speaks thirty thousand wordsa day we need to be reminded continually about the proper use of thetongue. Indeed, someone has estimated that the average person talks forabout 13 years of his or her whole life time. The words you and I use can change a life for good or ill. They candestroy hope, erase happiness, or assassinate character. But they can alsobe vehicles of blessing - conveying comfort, encouragement, joy andassurance. With words we may attract people to Christ or drive themaway. The words of some people bring blessing whilst those of others chillthe heart. So the words we speak should be carefully chosen. In Ephesians 5 v18 we are commanded “to be filled with the Spirit”.In the verses which follow the four results of being filled with the Spirit areoutlined: “Speaking to each other in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5 v19a) “Singing and make melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5 v19b) “Giving thanks always” (Ephesians 5 v20a) “Submitting yourselves one to another” (Ephesians 5 v21) The tongue is involved in at least three of these results if not all four. In Ephesians 4 v30 we are commanded “Grieve not the Holy Spirit”. The context of this command makes it clear how we grieve the HolySpirit: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (Ephesians 4 v29). “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you” (Ephesians 4 v31). “Be ye kind one to another” (Ephesians 4 v32).
  26. 26. 12 Section I — Chapter 2 These verses indicate that we grieve the Holy Spirit primarily by theincorrect use of the tongue, just as the correct use of the tongue shows weare filled with the Spirit. Angry words are the fuel which makes the flames of discord burnmore fiercely. Hasty bitter words can never be unsaid. Trivial, idle gossipcauses much unnecessary pain and heartache. Watch your step and watch your lip. Words as well as stones can trip, Stones can cut and bruise your shin, Words can hurt the heart within. Watch your lips well so that you Never let unkind words through. The Lord Jesus often spoke about the tongue and how it should or should not be used. He made it clear that our words would be judged. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12 v36 and 37). He stated that what really counts is not what goes into our mouth but what comes out of it. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matthew 15 v11). He also made it clear that our words help to show our resemblance (or lack of resemblance) to God. “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5 v44,45). Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, often spoke about the importance of silence (e.g. 17 v28, 26 v4), about the value of a well used tongue (e.g. 12 v25; 15 v23) and about the harm caused by a badly used
  27. 27. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 13 tongue (e.g. 17 v9; 25 v18). James teaches that the use of the tongue demonstrates if a person is saved or not. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1 v26). James also makes it clear that when a person is saved, the use of his tongue determines and demonstrates the level of his maturity and spirituality. “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3 v2). The Problem Of The Heart However, we must always remember that the tongue is controlled bythe heart. The tongue only says what is in the heart. What we say is theoverflow of what we think and how we feel. So the problems of the tongueare the result of the problems in the heart. The Lord Jesus makes this clear. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6 v45). Many years previously Solomon had said exactly the same: “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4 v23). It is interesting that in the last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, after writing in the early verses of the chapter about the division and disunity which existed in the church, Paul should write these precious words: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4 v8). Those words sum everything up. That’s why Paul uses the word
  28. 28. 14 Section I — Chapter 2 “Finally.” If my mind and my heart are full of, and focusing upon, “things” such as Paul outlines there will be no “overflow problem” and no breakdown in relationships. My tongue said a word it shouldn’t have said. It came from a thought rolling round in my head. My head put the blame on a different part. It said, “That came right out of your heart.” (Author unknown) Your relationship with others depends on the right and correct use ofyour tongue; but that, in turn, hinges on your heart attitudes towards others.Our next chapter will deal in detail with the subject of attitudes. Kind hearts are the garden. Kind thoughts are the roots. Kind words are the blossoms. Kind deeds are the fruits. (Author unknown) QUESTIONS TO ANSWER/THINK ABOUT Do you agree that most problems in personal relationships come out of the heart through the tongue? Think back to a problem situation you were in recently. What caused it? Can you remember any recent example of your heart-attitude flowing over onto your tongue and causing a problem?What should you have done to prevent this happening? Read through the Ten Commandments as outlined in Exodus 20 verses 3 to 17. How many of these involve, directly or indirectly, the correct use of the tongue, or warn against its incorrect use?
  29. 29. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 15 Chapter 3: Watch Your Attitudes ood relationships are based upon good attitudes. The Bible teachesG us that we need to have the right attitude to other people at alltimes if we are to live and work together in a way which pleases God. Andthis is also obvious from the viewpoint of common sense. Our attitudes are what we think about each other; and how we feeltowards each other. These attitudes are, in turn, the basis of what we sayand what we do in our relationships with each other. Someone has said, “The longer I live the more I realize the impact ofattitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is moreimportant than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances,than failures, than successes, than our position or work, than what otherpeople think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftednessor skill. It will make or break a mission, a church or a home. Attitude keepsus going or disables our progress. When our attitudes are right there are nobarriers too high, no valley too deep, no dreams too excessive, no challengetoo great for us. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regardingthe attitude we will embrace that day. We cannot change our past and wecannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannotchange the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one stringwe have and that is attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happensto me and 90% how I react to it.” There are five biblical attitudes which you and I need to aim at, cultivateand develop. We need to pray that God, the Holy Spirit, will, as we do so,encourage and nurture these more and more in our lives and in ourrelationships: A Loving Attitude To All This attitude is outlined clearly, and in much detail, in 1 Corinthianschapter 13. This attitude of love is not just a sentimental feeling. It is an attitude ofthe heart which is expressed by, and evidenced by, what you say and what
  30. 30. 16 Section I — Chapter 3you do. This attitude can be demonstrated in different ways:- By seeing the good things in other people It is so easy to see, and to be aware of, the bad things. This often means that the good things are not recognized. You should not focus on people’s weaknesses but on their strengths. By not being upset or irritated by those actions and attitudes in other people which could upset you Perfectionists can be easily upset by those who are careless and untidy. Those who move slowly can be irritated by those who go quickly. Those who rise up early in the morning can be irritated by those who rise up late. I understand that Hudson Taylor said on one occasion, “My greatest temptation is to lose my temper over the slackness and inefficiency so disappointing in those on whom I depended.” But you need to take people as they are, and to take in your stride their human limitations (if such they are). Others have the right to be what they are. You need firstly to be aware of your own faults, and then to be tolerant of others’ differences. By thinking of others’ needs and not just your own This is clearly illustrated by the Lord Jesus in John 13 verses 1-17 as He washed His disciples’ feet. It would seem that no one else was willing to do so; or perhaps it was just thoughtlessness on their part. So He did it. And He added in verse 17: “If ye know these things, happy (or blessed) are ye if ye do them.” You should always want the very best for others, and be continually looking for opportunities to help and encourage them. Can you do something to help? Can you avoid doing something which would harm or hurt? Can you give a word of encouragement and praise? Are you looking for such opportunities, or are you thoughtless like the disciples? By seeking the good of others, and by giving priority to their needs instead of your own Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11 v1:
  31. 31. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 17 “Be ye followers (imitators) of me, as I also am of Christ.” The context of that command is one of seeking the good and the salvation of others (1 Corinthians 10 v33). This was Jesus Christ’s desire and goal, and it was Paul’s also; and the Lord Jesus wants you and me to follow in the same footsteps. Earlier in the same epistle Paul had used almost the same words: “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers (imitators) of me” (1 Corinthians 4 v16). This verse was in the context of teaching and serving others (1 Corinthians 4 v14, 15 and 17). Even little acts which flow from a loving and a caring heart are a great help as you and I seek to serve others, and as we help and encourage those who have needs. It is often these little acts which demonstrate our love, and our heart attitude. I believe, with all my heart, that if you and I could develop this lovingattitude to all those with whom we work, and with whom we live, therewould be very few relationship problems. To love the whole world For me is no chore. My only real problem Is my neighbour next door. (Author unknown) A Submissive Attitude To Your Leaders Each of us is responsible to someone; most of us, perhaps all of us, liveor work under the leadership of another person. The Bible makes it very clear what your attitude to your leader shouldalways be. “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the older” (1 Peter5 v5). “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, thatthey may do it with joy, and not with grief” (Hebrews 13 v17). This latter verse teaches four truths: You should submit to your leaders. They are responsible for your welfare.
  32. 32. 18 Section I — Chapter 3 Your submission will make their work a joy. They will help you. The teaching of Romans 13 v1-6 is similar. Submission is a difficult concept for many to understand and practisein today’s world. We live in a world where authority is criticized and notrespected. This is even sometimes true in Christian circles. But you areresponsible always to accept, and to follow joyfully, the decisions made byyour leader, provided they are not morally or ethically wrong. You need, atall times, to cultivate a respect for, and loyalty to, your leaders even thoughthey are not perfect. (More information on the subject of submission to leadership can befound on pages 135 to 139). An Unselfish Attitude To Others There was, as we have seen, a problem in the church at Philippi, andPaul was very concerned about it. He refers to it in each chapter of hisletter to the church. He wants them to be united (chapter 1 v27), he warnsthem against disunity (chapter 2 v2-11), he encourages unity of purpose(chapter 3 v15), and he pinpoints the problem, and one of the reasons forthis disunity (chapter 4 v2). He wanted the aim of the church at Philippi to be ONENESS despite any differences of personality, age or background. These differences were much much fewer in number than the many things they had in common. He wanted their attitudes to display sacrifice, humility and unselfishness. When such attitudes exist there will always be a genuine sense of unity and oneness. And he wanted action. Unity does not happen automatically. It must be worked out. It is so easy for you and me to be selfish and self-centred in our thoughts,words and actions. I think about and speak about my work, my family, myfuture, my health. What will I gain or lose? How does this affect me? Thebiblical attitude is the opposite. God wants you and me to be unselfish. Paul explains this biblical attitude of unselfishness to the Philippians inthe first eleven verses of chapter 2. He shows that it is clearly demonstratedin the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and that we should seek to display
  33. 33. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 19the same attitude. In verse 6 we see what He left. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He had no selfish ambition. He was God. But He was willing to forfeit His privileges and position, and not to hold onto them, even though He had every right to do so. In verse 7 and 8a we see what He became. “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” He had no pride. The Bible, over and over again, shows us how wrong pride is - and its awful consequences (Proverbs 13 v10; Proverbs 28 v25). The Lord Jesus humbled Himself and became a man. What condescension! Try to imagine a man becoming a worm. But He stooped down much much lower than that (Psalm 22 v6; 2 Corinthians 8 v9). In verse 8b we see what He did. “And became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” He showed no selfishness. He became obedient unto death. He thought only of us and of our interests, and not of Himself. He is your example. Paul writes to the Philippian church and to us: “Let this mind (or attitude) be in you which was also in ChristJesus”(Philippians 2 v5). “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowlinessof mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2v3). The result of this will be the unity Paul speaks about in verse 2—“having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” If you have no selfish ambition, no pride and no selfishness, you willnever cause friction or division; you will have the right heart attitude towardsothers, and your tongue will be a means of blessing to them. I must not climb over people. I must not look down on people. I must not turn away from people.
  34. 34. 20 Section I — Chapter 3 A Quiet Attitude Towards Opposition And Criticism How should you react when people hurt you, or say harsh things toyou or about you? What should you do if people criticise you, ridicule youor oppose you? The world’s reaction is to fight back, and to “give” the other person asmuch as, or more than, he “gave” you. But the Lord Jesus shows you how you should react. Once again Hesets an example for all of us to follow; and displays the attitude you and Ishould have in such circumstances. “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye shouldfollow His steps: . . . when He was reviled He reviled not again . . . when He suffered He threatened not . . . but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1Peter 2 v21-23). These verses show His suffering, His silence and then His commitmentto His heavenly Father. He had the ability and the authority to “hit back”.He could have destroyed them with a word or a look. But He didn’t. Hetook everything they said, and did so quietly and without fighting back.Instead He left the issues and the results in the Hands of His HeavenlyFather. You must learn to be quiet, not to fight back and then to leave theissues and the results in God’s Hands. At the same time you need to examineyourself, and whatever criticism you have heard, so that you can see if it istrue or not true, and also find out for yourself if some change is needed. Don’t try to give as good as you get. When the spirit behind the criticismis wrong it can only be overcome by responding in a contrary spirit— If it is driven by contention – respond in peaceableness If it is driven by malice – respond in love If it is driven by meanness – respond in generosity If it is driven by pride – respond in humility If it is driven by arrogance – respond in teachableness If it is driven by deception – respond in truth If it is driven by mistrust – respond in faith The Bible teaches us that this quiet attitude should also be demonstratedwhen facing controversy and difference of opinion. The worldly attitude is
  35. 35. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 21division and bitterness. The biblical attitude is quietness, unity and harmony.But this needs work and effort. Differences of opinion are possible andeven normal. But you and I can give and take without sacrificing what webelieve, and we can do so without bitterness and with respect for the otherperson. You should continually ask yourself these questions: Do I see his point of view? Why does he see things differently? Can I help him in any way? Am I praying for him? Will it all matter in two/three years’ time? In eternity? God gives us a precious promise in the book of Isaiah: “In quietness (towards people and problems) and confidence (in God) shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30 v15). A Contented Attitude Towards Circumstances When things go wrong the world murmurs, complains, criticizes, pitiesitself and/or blames someone else. You are not to do that: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and weredestroyed of the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10 v10). You can be like the person who said, “I had no shoes and complaineduntil I met a man who had no feet.” There will be many difficulties and problems. There might be sickness,tiredness, discouragement, disappointment, misunderstandings and shortageof finance—or, even, bad weather or a car breakdown. But the Bibleteaches clearly that you should have a contented attitude in all thesecircumstances. So often we as Christians react to difficult circumstances in one oftwo ways (or in both): We blame someone else, and become bitter We feel sorry for ourselves and become miserable However, we read in the Bible: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Philippians 2
  36. 36. 22 Section I — Chapter 3v14). The verse which follows explains that this will be a good testimony inthe world: “that ye may be blameless and harmless ... without rebuke ...among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2 v15). Paul could write: “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content”(Philippians 4 v11). He was able to do this: “through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4 v13). What a testimony a contented attitude is to the world, and to our fellowworkers! May each of us show such an attitude in all circumstances. Set Of The Sail One ship goes east, another west, By the self same winds that blow. Tis the set of the sail And not the gale That determines the way they go. Like the winds of the sea Are the ways of time, As we voyage along through life. Tis the set of the soul That determines the goal And not the calm or the strife. (Author unknown) Conclusion It is interesting—and challenging—to see the difference between thebiblical attitudes which we have outlined and the worldly attitudes whichwe can see around us: The biblical attitude to others is love; the worldly attitude is indifference. The biblical attitude to leadership is submission; the worldly attitude is rebellion, criticism and independence. The biblical attitude to others is unselfishness; the worldly attitude is selfishness. The biblical attitude to opposition is quietness; the worldly attitude is to fight back.
  37. 37. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 23 The biblical attitude to circumstances is contentment; the worldly attitude is complaining. It is tragic that so often we as Christians have worldly attitudes ratherthan those which are biblical. Let us examine ourselves! Good Advice From John Wesley, the Founder of the Methodist church “Believe evil of no one, and put the best construction on everything. Speak evil of no one; keep your thoughts to yourself till you go to the person concerned. Be diligent; never while away time nor spend more time than is necessary in unprofitable talk or occupation. Converse sparingly and cautiously with the opposite sex. You have nothing to do but to .. spend and be spent in the work of the Lord. Be ashamed of nothing but sin .. not of cleaning your own boots or your neighbour’s, or such things. In all things act according not to your own will, but rather according to God’s will.” More Good Advice From John Wesley “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, As long as ever you can.” QUESTIONS TO ANSWER/THINK ABOUT As you examine the five types of attitudes outlined in this chapter is it possible that you have adopted a worldly attitude as opposed to a biblical attitude in any one area? Can you see any way to correct this in the future? Do you, right now, have any harsh thoughts about someone who you feel has harmed you or criticized you? What do you see the solution to be? What do you need to do? Give examples from the life of the Lord Jesus of how He displayed the biblical attitudes outlined in this chapter (one example for each attitude). Examine the list of the fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5 v22 and 23, and show how they are related to these five biblical attitudes.
  38. 38. 24 Section I — Chapter 4 Chapter 4: Watch Your Ears f you are going to have good relationships with others it is important toI know what you should hear, and to whom you listen. Someone hassaid, “We have two ears and only one mouth. Therefore what we hear istwice as important as what we say.” There are two simple rules to follow with regard to listening: Be A Good Listener To People As They Share With You “Wherefore my beloved brethren let every man be swift to hear”(James 1 v19). The command of James is not only that we should listen to, or hear,those who are speaking to us; but that we should be eager and quick to doso. Every Christian worker needs to be a good listener. Listening is animportant part of your ministry, whether listening to your leader, or to thoseyou are leading, or to your friends and co-workers. Someone has said, “How few Christians possess the gift of being wiselysilent.” A compliment paid to someone was, “He could be silent in sevendifferent languages.” Watchman Nee writes: “A servant of the Lord must acquire the habitof listening to what people say. Not just listening in a casual fashion, butwith attention. This is not easy. Our ears must be trained to hear.” He writes again, “Bad listeners will never be good workers. Somethink that the main essential is to be able to speak. No—it is to be able tolisten.” How can you help people if you have only learned to use your mouthand not your ears? I always find it irritating when the person I am speaking to is obviouslynot really listening to me. His eyes are wandering; or his eyes, while fixedon mine, are glazed; or he is obviously only thinking of what he is going tosay (as soon as he gets a chance to do so!). You must be sure that you do not listen like that to others.
  39. 39. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 25It often happens that when you have listened intently to a person for 20or 30 minutes, and without saying anything, that that person will say,“Thank you for being such a help.” Even though you said nothing, youhelped by just listening! Listening in the right way communicates to theperson concerned that you do care and that you understand. There willbe times when you won’t know what to say, and in such a case it is betternot to say anything. A sympathetic nod may often be enough. Or to respond“I will pray for you” or just “Thanks for sharing that with me.” There is a time to speak but there is also a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes3 v7). A wise old owl lived in an oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that bird? This does not mean, of course, that you should only listen, and nevertalk. There are times when you should, and you need to, talk. But you needto remember how important it is to be—A GOOD LISTENER. A young man typed five rules on a card and stuck it upon his mirror sohe would be reminded daily of what he had resolved to do: Do more than think - ponder Do more than hear - listen Do more than listen - understand Do more than talk - say something Do more than read - absorb Be A Bad Listener To Those Who Gossip About Others D.E. Hoste, the successor to Hudson Taylor as director of the ChinaInland Mission, said, “In these last 50 years the thing which has causedmost harm and sorrow and division in the Lord’s work is telling stories andtale-bearing.” We will come back to this subject later, but note what the Bible says: “He that repeateth a matter separateth very friends” (Proverbs 17v9). “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; so where there is notalebearer, the strife ceaseth” (Proverbs 26 v20).
  40. 40. 26 Section I — Chapter 4 Many of us have seen the well known picture of three monkeys. Oneof them covers his eyes, the second covers his mouth, and the third has hishands over his ears. “See no evil.” “Speak no evil.” “Hear no evil.” There are times when we need to imitate this third monkey.You and Icould well pray David’s prayer in Psalm 141 v3 in a slightly different way: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my ears.” It is said that Augustine, the famous theologian of the 5th century, hada plaque on the wall of his dining-room which read: “Whoever speaks an unkind word about an absent brother is notwelcome at this table.” What should you do when people come to you with gossip, and storieswhich are critical of, and derogatory to, other people? You should stop the gossiper, and not listen to him. You should rebuke the gossiper—gently and with love. Remind him that such stories can cause much harm. He will now be less likely to gossip to you again. Remember also that silence on your part, or, worse, a knowing look, or, still worse, a nod of agreement, will indicate your approval and encourage him to continue. You should not pass on anything you hear. Let it stop with you. You should remember that the person who gossips to you about someone else will probably gossip to someone else about you! You should ask yourself these questions. Why does he come to me with these stories? Is it because he knows that I like to hear them? Do you? If you follow these guidelines he will not come again! QUESTIONS TO ANSWER/THINK ABOUT Have you developed the ability to listen carefully and with attention to other people? If not, what can you do to develop this ability? What have you done when other Christians have shared gossip with you? What do you plan to do the next time they do? Do other people often bring gossip and stories to you?
  41. 41. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 27Have you ever asked yourself the question – why do they do so? Whatis the answer?
  42. 42. 28 Section I — Chapter 5 Chapter 5: Watch Your Words hapter 2 emphasized that the most significant factor in the area ofC personal relationships, and the one which causes more problemsthan anything else is the tongue. In almost every breakdown in relationshipsthe tongue invariably plays a crucial and vital role. Extreme vigilance istherefore necessary with regard to how you use your tongue. Watchman Nee writes, “We can repent our faults and be forgiven, butwe cannot retrieve what we have released. An unbridled tongue is themost serious defect of character possible in the life and ministry of aChristian because the careless words the tongue utters release a deadlystream that flows on and on spreading death wherever it goes.” He writes again, “When we stand before the judgment seat we maydiscover that the damage done by light loose talk exceeds that done inmany other ways. It works great havoc in other lives as well as our own.Words that have once escaped our lips cannot be recovered. They may goon and on from mouth to ear spreading damage as they go.” The words that we speak can cause harm, or bring blessing, in twoways: Through the words we speak to each other. Through the words we speak about each other. You and I need to be very careful that we do not cause any harm ineither of these ways. You Need To Watch Your Words To Others This is the main problem. Words can wound; and we often hurt eachother too much. We say things to co-workers, to those we lead, to ourleaders, or to our family, that we should never have said. Criticism, sarcasm,ill-advised humour, or a wrong tone of voice can cause great harm. Paul writes: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, thatye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4 v6). And he commands us:
  43. 43. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 29 “to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showingall meekness unto all men” (Titus 3 v2). You might think to yourself after you have hurt someone, “I wish Ihadn’t said that.” But it is too late. You have said it, and it cannot be takenback. The time to solve “tongue problems” is before they happen ratherthan afterwards. Prevention is much better than cure. You need to understand the power of the tongue—both for evil or forgood.James’ Teaching On The Tongue James deals with this subject in great detail in the third chapter of hisepistle. He gives six pictures of the tongue in verses 3 to 12:The Tongue Directs The tongue is like a bit in a horse’s mouth. It is small but it controlswhere the horse goes (verse 3). The tongue is like the rudder of a ship which is so small in comparisonto the size of the ship. Yet when it turns the ship turns (verse 4).The Tongue Destroys The tongue is like a fire. The tongue can destroy people and theirtestimonies in the same way as fire can burn down a house (verse 6). Dr. Warren Wiersbe, the well known author and conference speaker,writes: “If the heart is filled with hatred Satan will light the fire. But ifthe heart is filled with love, God will light the fire.” The tongue is like a wild animal which can do so much damage whenuncontrolled (verses 7 and 8). Someone has said, “The tongue is but three inches long, yet it cankill a man six feet high!”The Tongue Delights But the tongue is also like a fountain. How pleasant is the sweet waterof a fountain in a dry country. It brings freshness and growth (verse 11). And the tongue is like a tree in a dry country. It provides fruit for foodand refreshment, and shade and shelter for rest and comfort (verse 12). In the light of the fact that the tongue can direct and destroy, James
  44. 44. 30 Section I — Chapter 5writes: “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hearslow to speak . . . (James 1 v19). It is interesting that this command immediately follows doctrinalteaching about God in verse 17, and about the regenerating work of theHoly Spirit in verse 18. And it is preceded by the word “wherefore” whichlinks it to the preceding doctrinal teaching. Doctrine and duty are closelylinked. Belief and behaviour go together, and should never be separated.Be Slow To Speak The main problem we have with our tongues is that we speak tooquickly, and that we react too hastily and without thought, reflection orprayer. We need, of course, to be slow to speak about ourselves. So oftenwe speak about what we have, what we do. “I,” “me” and “my” are ourthree favourite words, and we speak too much about “us.” This might giveus a greater earthly reward and more thanks from men, but we lose theheavenly word of commendation which is promised in Matthew 6 v1-6;16-18 to those who give their alms, pray and fast in secret. If such activitiesare engaged in publicly to gain the praise of people they may well succeedin doing so. But they will not be rewarded by our Heavenly Father. We should always beware of talking too much about ourselves andour work; and we should especially shun at all times boasting of any kind. But I believe that James wants especially to emphasize that we shouldbe slow to speak to others or about others and that we should have ourtongues under strict control at all times. “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer (or a good manthinks before he speaks): but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evilthings” (or the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought)(Proverbs 15 v28). “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he thatrefraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10 v19). “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and hethat shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (Proverbs17 v28). “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul fromtroubles” (Proverbs 21 v23).
  45. 45. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 31 An elderly woman was well liked by many in her community. Someoneasked her what her secret was and she replied, “Well, sir, I am alwayscareful to taste my words before I let them pass my teeth.” That’s goodadvice!Be In Control The control of the tongue is, according to James, a barometer whichmeasures the maturity and spiritual development of a Christian. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect (or mature)man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3 v2). A hospital attendant with the British forces in North Africa duringWorld War 2 tells this story: “Every morning the doctor and I visited and spoke with the patients. The doctor always used the same two sentences: ‘How are you?’ ‘Show me your tongue.’ I noticed that the doctor was more interested in the state of the patient’s tongue than in the answer he received to the first question, ‘How are you?’ I have come to the conclusion that the same is true of our relationship with God. We may offer to God an answer to the first question which is our own estimate of our spiritual condition. But God like the doctor judges mainly from our tongue.” Sometimes you may try to excuse what you say by calling it constructivecriticism (when it is, often, destructive); or by claiming that you are dealingwith principles and not people (when it is usually both) or by saying there isnothing personal in what you say; or by covering it over with humour orsarcasm. But people are sensitive, and it is so easy to hurt them when youdo not control your tongue. Charles Spurgeon, the well known 19th centuryEnglish pastor, wrote: “Some men’s tongues bite more than their teeth.” “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongueof the wise is health” (Proverbs 12 v18). Just as a broadsword wounds with a wide swing, or an épée woundswith sharp thrusts, so in different ways the tongue can wound and causeconsiderable damage. Washington Irvine, the novelist, wrote: “A sharptongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.” “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openethwide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13 v3).
  46. 46. 32 Section I — Chapter 5 The Bible uses the word “froward” with regard to the use of ourtongue. For example: “The mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness” (Proverbs 10v32b). Froward speech consists of words which are filled with strife andcontention. A person who is froward likes to get into an argument overtrivial issues; he insists that he is right and opposes every idea which doesn’tagree with his own thinking. “A fool’s lips enter into contention and his mouth calleth forstrokes” (Proverbs 18 v6). There is nothing wrong with a friendly discussion nor even a debate inwhich both sides of an issue are considered. But when voices are raisedand tempers run high and a spirit of contention prevails it is best to stop thediscussion quickly. If people get heated over a subject the discussion shouldbe postponed by suggesting that everyone concerned goes away to thinkand pray about this matter. A person who is contentious and easily flies “off the handle” simplymoves from one storm centre to another leaving broken hearts behind. Hissharp, cutting remarks add fuel to the flames and stir up strife.Be Gentle Paul gives you and me a very clear and vital command - which couldwell be your key verse with regard to personal relationships: “The servant of the Lord must not strive (it is never right for us tofight or quarrel); but be gentle unto all men” (2 Timothy 2 v24). His exhortation to you and me is to be gentle. This means to begentle to everybody and not just to those who are nice to us. What does it mean to be gentle? The only other place where thisGreek word is used in the New Testament is in Paul’s letter to the churchat Thessalonica. Paul describes himself and his ministry: “We were gentle among you, even as a nurse (or nursing mother)cherisheth her children” (1 Thessalonians 2 v7). What better and clearer picture of gentleness is there than that of amother with her little new-born infant. That should be the picture of us inour relationships with others. We need to be GENTLE with everyone andat all times. Someone has said, “Nothing is ever lost by courtesy (or bygentleness). It is the cheapest of the pleasures. It costs nothing but gives
  47. 47. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 33much. It pleases him who gives it, and also him who receives it. Likemercy it is twice blessed.” Another person has truly said, “The bigger soulyou are, the gentler you will be with little people.” This gentleness is what Paul refers to when he writes to the Colossians: “Let your speech be always with grace” (Colossians 4 v6). We need always to be gracious in our speech to others, and be sureour words are the result of our concern and love for them: “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb; sweet to the soul, andhealth to the bones” (Proverbs 16 v24). William Shakespeare, the world famous English dramatist, wrote inthe Merchant of Venice ”The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppethas the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath; it is twicebless’d; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” Of course there are times when rebuke is necessary but, even then,that rebuke should be given with love and gentleness. It is not just whatyou say that alienates people; it is how you say it. It is possible to be rightin what you say, but wrong in the way you say it. That then makes itwrong! “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the youngermen as brethren” (1 Timothy 5 v1). “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,restore such a one in the spirit of meekness” (Galatians 6 v1). Remember too that gentleness is not just what you say. It also includesthe tone of your voice and even the expression on your face. It is not so much what you say, As the manner in which you say it; It is not so much the language you use, As the tone in which you convey it. “Come here!” I sharply said, And the baby cowered and wept, “Come here!” I cooed; he looked and smiled, And straight to my lap he crept. The words may be mild and fair, And the tones may pierce like a dart; The words may be soft as the summer air, And the tones may break the heart.
  48. 48. 34 Section I — Chapter 5 Whether you know it or not, Whether you mean or care; Gentleness, kindness, love and hate, Envy and anger are there. Then would you quarrels avoid, And in peace and love rejoice; Keep anger not only out of your words, But keep it out of your voice. (Author unknown)Be Tactful Tact is a quick perception and appreciation of what is fit, proper andright to say, and what not to say, in any situation. It especially involves a fine sense of how to avoid giving offense. Thesame thing can be said either in a tactful and/or in an untactful manner. One shoe salesman said to his client, “I am sorry, Madam, but yourfoot is too large for this shoe.” The other salesman who was in a similarsituation said, “I’m sorry, Madam, but this shoe is too small for your foot.”Both were correct in what they said but which one was tactful? Tactlessness is usually the result of speaking without thought. Try toput yourself in the other person’s place and think carefully before youmake a judgment or express an opinion. An imaginary (and quite humorous) prayer reads like this: Dear Heavenly Father, So far today I have done alright. I haven’t gossiped. I haven’t lost my temper. I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or indulgent. I haven’t been rude or tactless. I haven’t spoken too quickly or said anything I shouldn’t have said. And I’m very thankful for all of that. But in a few minutes, Heavenly Father, I am going to get out of bed! And from then on I am going to need a lot more help. Amen.Be Honest A Christian should never be guilty of telling lies. A lie is deceit or anyattempt to deceive in word, act, or attitude. You and I can deceive throughsilence, cheating, or exaggeration; by distortion of the truth, by the creationof a false impression, or by the breaking of a promise. Honesty is the clear teaching of the Word of God (Exodus 20 v16;
  49. 49. Smooth Sailing in Personal Relationships and Leadership 35Leviticus 19 v11; Psalm 52 v2-4; Acts 5 v1-11; Colossians 3 v9 and 1Peter 3 v10). Dishonesty, in any form, is sin against God, harmful to yourselfand often results in a breakdown in relationships. It is not easy to be frank and honest on all occasions but that is noexcuse for “double talk” when we say one thing to a person’s face andanother behind his back. A direct question demands a direct answer onmost occasions. It is cowardice to shrink from speaking honestly tosomeone; and it is double talk to say to others what you have refrainedfrom saying to the person concerned. Although honesty is sometimes difficultand may not be appreciated at first, the right thinking person will appreciateit eventually. However, you must always be gentle at the same time as youare honest. Honesty and gentleness should complement each other notcontradict each other. Sometimes it is not appropriate or necessary to reveal all we know.But we should never lie. Sometimes we may have to say “I’m sorry but Iam not able to share that information at this time.”Do Not Exaggerate Exaggeration is really a form of lying, and is based upon a desire toimpress others by trying to be sensational, or interesting or evenmanipulative. It leads to a lack of trust and confidence on the part ofothers and introduces a suspicion into relationships which can eventuallycause problems. Sometimes we exaggerate to make ourselves appear better than weare. Other times we do it to give a better impression of our work andministry. Sometimes we do it so people will listen to us and think that whatwe are saying is important. But whatever the reason or motivation weneed to recognize that exaggerations are often nothing but lies, or at leastattempts to deceive people by distorting the facts. You Need To Watch Your Words About Others We have already referred to the danger of listening to gossip. But it isan even greater danger to be the one who gossips. Someone has said; “With churches, committees, councils, fellowships,and Christian groups of every kind, there is a disgraceful amount of evil-speaking one of another. Often things seem to go on as before. The workplods on. Apparently there is a measure of blessing. But partnership is not
  50. 50. 36 Section I — Chapter 5real. Fellowship is marred. There is a need for honest confession andwhole-hearted forgiveness in the whole area of Christian relationships.” The Bible makes it clear that gossip—or evil speaking about anotherperson—is wrong. “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile”(Psalm 34 v13). “The words of a talebearer are as wounds and they go downinto the innermost parts” (Proverbs 18 v8). There are three kinds of gossip: Malicious gossip or slander when a person deliberately tries to hurt another person and his reputation. Sometimes this gossip is true; often it is false. Rationalized gossip. It can have similar content to the first type and can have the same results, but the motive is different. The gossiper persuades himself that what he relates is for the other person’s good, or that it is just for helpful information. In doing this he tries to excuse himself. Innocent gossip. This is probably the most common kind. It is the result of thoughtlessness, insensitivity, lack of wisdom and desire to talk. But it can cause as much harm as the other types of gossip. Slander is a false report maliciously circulated with the goal of ruininganother person’s reputation. The slanderer relates things which would farbetter be left unsaid. Slander involves passing along doubtful information, exaggerating faults,and even perhaps telling truth (but without love). It is obvious what theBible says on this subject. “He that uttereth a slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10 v18b). Gossip or slander about another Christian probably causes more harmthan almost anything else in the sphere of personal relationships. The Biblemakes it very clear what God thinks of gossip, slander and evil-speaking. “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are anabomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and handsthat shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness thatspeaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren ”(Proverbs 6 v16-19).

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