Check-in with somebody + create community
- Call family members or friends (check-in to see how they are doing)
- Create a package or make some food and drop it off on somebody’s porch.
- Find a book and read it with a group of people + talk about it over zoom
- Set up a time with a group of people + connect over zoom
- Send an encouraging text
Devotion: Cultivating Emotional Maturity
In Matthew 7:18 we read that ‘A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’
By changing the inner attitudes of your mind your outer behavior shifts and you become able to maintain relationships far more effectively. Imagine yourself as a tree. All that is above ground level reflects your outward behavior—what is seen by others and yourself. The roots of the tree are your inner beliefs, judgments, and vows said to you or that you have said over yourself that activate your triggers and affect your behavior.
Inner beliefs often flow from childhood rules like ‘There is no such thing as can’t’, or ‘Speak only when spoken to’. To change your negative behavior you must understand what lies at the root, cut it off and replace it with a positive behavior so that a positive ‘fruit’ can flourish. Shift ‘Failure is not an option’ to ‘Failure is a chance to learn and grow’.
Our deeply rooted vows are a defense mechanism we employ as a response to negative words, experiences, or situations to protect ourselves from being hurt. They go something like, ‘I’ll never… .’ Such judgments are critical and condemning and reflect a refusal or an inability to forgive, or to ‘trust no one’.
Have a go at drawing your own tree of behaviors, identifying your inner beliefs, deep-rooted vows, and judgments that feed your behavior. Pray into this and ask God what He wants to highlight to bring you to greater freedom. Talk this through with trusted friends who will both encourage and challenge you to liberate yourself from your negative ‘fruit tree’ and construct a more positive one.
Credit to: Cultivating Emotional Maturity by Malcolm Down
Journal Prompt: What tends to be your emotional response to being hurt? Disagreed with? Offending someone?
If you aren’t familiar with journaling, go to week one for some tips.
Use our weekly Monday playlist, put on some instrumental music, or use whatever worship music you would like. Spend some time just worshiping. Get out of your chair, move out of your normal space. Whether it is by yourself or with the people you live with, have a time of worship, and cultivate a time just between you and God.