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The Bug Letter

Compassion Empathy Love (Human)

Source: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bug2.htm

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2017-07-01

Scripture: Colossians 3:12 ; Matthew 9:36

Author: Charles Krieg
10

ILLUSTRATION

They tell the story of a man who was on a business trip and stayed in a hotel that had a bug problem. There were bugs all over his room. He complained about this to the management and later wrote a letter of complaint to the main office of the hotel chain. 

Sometime later he received a letter signed by the President of the company. It said: “We are humiliated that a man of your integrity, a man of your reputation, a man of your importance in the community should have had this experience in one of our hotels. We are deeply sorry.” 

This made the man feel somewhat better about the situation until, as he was folding the letter to put it away, he noticed a little piece of paper at the bottom of the envelope, obviously not supposed to have been included. It was in the President’s handwriting and it read: “Send this guy the ‘bug letter.’”

[This is but one version of this story. Follow the link above for a history of this legend.]

APPLICATION

Unfortunately, this is the way we sometimes treat other people.  We send them the ”bug letter,” the form letter. We give them the old cliches: We ask them: “How are you?” when we don’t really care. We say “have a nice day," or "I'm so sorry,” when really we couldn’t care less. 

The Lord said that we should be compassionate. We must truly care about others. Each day we come into contact with people who will have one thing in common: they're struggling with something. They will tell us about loved ones who are sick, loved ones who have died, loved ones who have problems. They will share with us their sufferings, their heartaches, their fears. Perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said, “You should never tell people your problems because 80 percent of them won’t care, and the other 20 percent will think you deserve them!” 

Let us not send them the “bug letter.”  Let us listen carefully and mean it when we say we care. Jesus never sent anyone a “bug letter.”  We shouldn’t either.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12). 

Division Is Never Good

Unity Love (Human) Fellowship

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2017-03-17

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:10 ; Matthew 12:25

Author: Corey Sawyers
4

ILLUSTRATION

I have always loved math. It is concrete. It has rules. Unlike grammar, there are not hundreds of exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions. 2 + 2 is always 4. Yet even in math, there is a negative (no pun intended). Adding and subtracting are basic and needed. Multiplication is fun and exciting. Division, however, is not so good. That is especially true in the church. In the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for addition in the church. Adding to God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:18). But there are still so many good additions to be made in the church. It was - and is - always a blessing to have members added to the body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24). Adding to our faith is necessary and good (II Peter 1:5ff). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good. 

There is a place for subtraction in the church. Taking away from God's word is wrong (Rev. 22:19). But there are still so many good subtractions made in the church. Through Christ, we can have our sins subtracted (Rom. 11:27; I John 3:5). The veil that separated us from God has been taken away (II Cor. 3:16). The Old Covenant was taken away for a better one (Heb. 10:9). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

There is a place for multiplication in the church. It is great when the word of God is multiplied (Acts 12:24). It is great that a knowledge of that word multiplies grace and peace (II Pet. 1:2). It is great that God can take what little we can offer and multiply it to great things (II Cor. 9:10). Through Christ, mercy, peace, and love are multiplied (Jude 2). Yet, in the church, division is never, ever good.

APPLICATION

No, in the church, division is never, ever good. Division is caused because people will not accept nor submit to Christ (Lk. 12:51; Jn. 7:43; 9:16; 10:19; Acts 14:4). Division within the church - no matter the reason for which one might try to justify it - is always condemned (I Cor. 1:10). A divided house cannot stand (Mt. 12:25). Division keeps brethren from worshipping together (I Cor. 11:18). It causes brethren not to care for each other (I Cor. 12:25). 

Christ has not been divided (I Cor. 1:13). Yet there are a great many who seek to divide His body. They come in the name of skin color, politics, social standing, nationality, occupation, background, etc. In reality the ones who cause divisions are "worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit" (Jude 9). They teach us to be so swelled up with pride that we can never put ourself in another's shoes and see from their standpoint. Instead of following the example of Christ (I Pet. 2:21), we allow division to cause us to commit sin against one another. We play fast and loose with facts and deceive. We return revile for revile. We utter threats. We forget to entrust ourselves to Him who judges righteously (I Peter 2:22-23). You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Evil forces work to divide our country and our communities. No, it is not worse than it has ever been - man has been divided since Cain and Able. That we are allowing it to fester in the church, though, is truly sad. This is also not new. From the Jew-Gentile struggles of the First Century to the segregated congregations of the 20th and 21st Centuries, we keep trying to bring division into the Lord's Church. Still, in the church, division is never, ever good.

Let's stop arguing. Let's stop finger pointing. Let's stop being brought down into the muck of the world. My allegiance to my race, my state, my country, my family, my political party, my occupation, my school - even my allegiance to myself - should have been put aside when I pledged my allegiance to Christ. May we set the example of Christ in order to ADD to His body. May we SUBTRACT the hate, prejudice, arguments, and improper allegiances in our lives. May we MULTIPLY God's Word, peace, love, mercy, and grace wherever we go. And may it never be said of us - not for one second - we were guilty of bringing DIVISION into the church. You see, in the church, division is never, ever good.

The Five Stages Of Love

Valentine's Day Marriage Love (Human)

Source: Bright Side, "There are five stages of love, but many people get stuck at the third," retrieved 2-10-17

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-07

Scripture: Proverbs 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

ILLUSTRATION

Have you ever been confused by the demise of the relationship of what seemed to be the perfect couple? The folks at Bright Side have set forth what they believe to be the answer for why this happens. They suggest the problem is that many couples, who are genuinely in love, fail to keep their relationship together through all five stages of love, often only reaching the third.  For a couple to persevere, it is suggested that they work through all five of the following stages:

FALLING IN LOVE

Falling in love is the stage when you find yourself living through a cloud of happiness hormones. This is the time when you project all of your desires and hopes onto your partner. Your partner rapidly becomes the ideal person for you; they simply have no flaws of any kind. You believe he or she will always be able to fulfill your every wish, and you believe every word they say. You so believe in the power of true love right now that no skeptical voices can make you stop and think more cautiously.

BECOMING A COUPLE

At this stage, love becomes stronger ... and your presence begins to have an effect on all aspects of your partner’s life. This is a time of unity and joy. At some point, after many months or years, this period may witness the appearance of children, which can only strengthen the bond between you. You feel protected and desired. And you believe that you’ve definitely found the person for you — that your relationship was decided by fate.

DISILLUSIONMENT

This is the period when your hopes begin to be dashed. It’s when you start to get the impression that your feelings may one day dissipate, never to return. That your partner is becoming so totally predictable, and their behavior annoys you in so many ways. You start to feel like you want a break from them or even tell yourself that they’re not the one for you. The further thought occurs that there’s no point in torturing yourself and your partner in a relationship that’s run out of steam.

CREATING REAL, LASTING LOVE

If you close your eyes and try your hardest to carry on despite your reluctance, you might get through the third stage and come to the following one. Your mind is freed from those illusions which you projected onto your partner in the earlier stages. The person standing in front of you is not the one you imagined being with, but a real person. You accept — and more importantly — understand their shortcomings. Now is the time to heal and to move on to the final stage.

USING THE POWER OF TWO TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Now that you realize that you’ve learned to overcome your disagreements and found a deep, strong, long-lasting connection, you’ll reach a further liberating conclusion: that the two of you have the power to change something in this world. You’re not just going along together through this life for the sake of it, but you live in a partnership for the sake of a bigger cause. It might be that you work together, write together, create something together — it could be anything. But it’s when you start to function as a whole, having transcended all the previous stages, that you can say with 100% certainty that "this is the person for me."

APPLICATION

From a secular point of view, this is a pretty good overview of how romantic love fades and what to do about it. To take full advantage of the wisdom found here, add the mutual experience of God’s love to the relationship as early as possible. It will empower and deepen the love that’s already there, provide extra incentive for the healing and forgiveness needed in stages 3 and 4, and become a built-in “higher purpose” as the couple discovers how they are uniquely equipped to join forces and take God’s love to the world.

"Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.  Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19, NLT). 

Love Moves Mountains

Love (Human) Motivation God's Love

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-10-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
15

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Marriage Is Like A Ten Ton Mac Truck

Marriage Maturity Love (Human)

Contributed By: Keith Jones | Date Posted: 2015-10-22

Scripture: John 8:32

Author: Tim Keller
8

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Love Quotes

Love Quotes Love (Human) Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
8

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Foster Mother Calls It Quits After 162 Children

Motherhood Parenting Love (Human)

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2014-05-07

Scripture: Proverbs 31:31

Author: Rod Crowell
6

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Give Up Love for Lent

Lent Easter Love (Human)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-30

Scripture: 1 John 3:18

Author: Amy Kunkle
3

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Sadly Love Won't Keep the Capt and Tennille Together

Love (Human) Divorce Commitment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-01-27

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
9

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Love Through Our Actions

Recovery (Substance Abuse) Love (Human) Gratitude

Contributed By: Bruce Kay | Date Posted: 2013-12-18

Scripture: 1 John 3:18

Author: Rodney Holmstrom, Celebrate Recovery National Assi
4

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