Do you know how to get gold out of a gold mine?
I don’t know all the technological advances of how it is done today, but the short answer is,
We dig for it.
We go down deep.
We take a light and search carefully and
hoping not to miss a single piece.
If I suggested that the way we get gold out of a gold mine is by throwing stones over the opening of the mine,
you’d say I was crazy, and you’d be right!
Blocking the entrance to the mine will impede your ability to find the gold in the mine.
As crazy as this sounds, people do this in relationships every day.
They do it to their spouses, to their children, to their parents, to their friends, and to people out in public.
Or could it be “we” instead of “they“?
How closely have we looked lately to shine the light on the gold in the hearts of those we love? Maybe they are in a difficult time of their life, and it is harder to see than it used to be.
When this happens, do we roll up our sleeves and attempt to help them get through the trial they are facing?
Or do we assume the worst, get angry, and start throwing verbal stones?
Is it any wonder that they clam up and refuse to communicate?
When some people throw verbal stones at me, I have a tendency to perceive them as a danger, so, no gold for you, baby!
But in an argument with those I don’t feel so threatened by, when the other person clams up, I’m less likely to understand, because that would mean I have to admit that:
- I’m not being kind,
- that I’m doing something that does not please God,
- that I am not working toward peace,
- that I am WRONG!
Hoo boy! Isn’t that hard? But oh, so necessary!
So, how do we go about taking those stones back off the entrance to the gold mine after we’ve thrown them there?
Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful; maybe you can think of more.
- Humble yourself before God and ask Him to expose your attitude for what it really is in His sight.
- Tell God you are sorry, and ask Him for the courage and the strength to go clean up the mess you’ve been a part of.
- Ask God to help you see the other person the way He sees them.
- Ask God for healing of your own hurts, because you may have a partner that throws some of those stones back at you.
- Pray for the one you’ve offended.
- Go in humility to the one you have offended. Don’t just say you’re sorry. Admit specifically to the things God has shown you that you have done, including your attitude, then ask them to please forgive you.
- Don’t ask them to apologize for the stones they threw back at you. The goal is to find the gold again, not to continue a stone-throwing fest.
- Think of the things that you like about the person and tell them you like those things.
- Make it a habit to find new things about them that are good, and hold those things up to the light by honoring them with words of praise.
Just as surely as the grass is greener on the side of the fence where it is watered the most, so the gold mine will yield the most gold to the one who searches diligently to find it.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you had stones thrown over the gold mine of your own heart? Have you been guilty of throwing verbal stones on someone else’s gold mine? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
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