A good reminder from Greg Koukl of Stand To Reason.
“Give ‘em Heaven.” That’s the way I close every broadcast. It’s good advice; that’s why I give it. Every time I do, though, I feel a tinge of guilt.
Is this something I do, I think to myself, or is it just a catchy slogan? Would others say this was true of me?
Sure, at public events I’m fine. But what about when there’s no professional motivation to put my best foot forward? What about with strangers I encounter? Or my friends and coworkers? Or my wife and children? Would they say they get a little bit of Heaven every time they get a little bit of me?
Sadly, I think not. Worse, the more intimate the relationship, the less Heaven in evidence, I’m afraid. Though it should be just the opposite, strangers get the best I have; those closest often get the scraps. Does this ever happen with you?
Paul said we should discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7), so I’m setting about to improve my habits. Here’s what I’ve been doing to guarantee I bring more Heaven to my relationships. You might find my plan helpful for you, too. I have Scripture to light my way.
Have you ever been wounded by a curt reply or condescending statement? This verse has helped me ignore slights I might otherwise have reacted to: “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Prov. 19:11).
When I’ve been snubbed or rebuffed—especially if I didn’t deserve it—the impulse to lash back in self defense is, for me, almost overwhelming. When I remind myself of this bit of wisdom, though (I have it memorized), it’s almost as if God is saying, “It’s okay Greg. If you let it slide, you’ll shine for Me.” As I let that truth sink in, my trepidation simply melts away.
Most importantly—family. Here’s my passage: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15).
Ouch. Complaining is one of my biggest flaws, especially around the house. I now try to be especially alert to the first things I say to others when I get up in the morning and to my behavior in the first 30 minutes after I get home from a hard day’s work. My mouth and my manners will set the tone for everything that follows. Sow to the wind, I’ll reap the whirlwind (that’s in the Bible, too). Sow peace, though, and there’s a better chance of harvesting harmony.
You can find different verses that suit your particular needs. Paul offers a good summary in Rom. 12:18: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
A little discipline here will guarantee you’re actually giving ’em Heaven and not just talking about it. Practice these things and you’ll bring more Heaven to Earth.