Reading time: two minutes. I learned something about me today. My wife Carol, it seems, knows me better than I know myself. She noticed something and said, “Have you noticed that you stand taller and have a bounce in your step after you preach?” I only get the privilege about 20 times a year these days, and I do love it, but she spotted something I hadn’t. Intellectual health says, “I’d like to know you better!” Intellectual brokenness says, “I’ve got you all figured out!” Why would I think I know you well enough when I don’t even know my own self? Gladly, there’s a cure, and substantial healing is a real gift from the Spirit of the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit is love and the fruit of the Spirit is kindness. When we’re called to live together as fellow members of the body of Christ, we’re called to live in kindness and love. We confess to God and to one another our natural self-centeredness, and by His grace substantial healing begins. Love is a gift that broadens our focus from the tiny domain of self into the wide and wondrous world of others. Kindness compels me to ask, “How are you doing?” and to listen attentively, to build a relationship built on mutual trust, respect, honesty and intimate sharing of our lives. I can learn a great deal from books, but I learn what truly matters when you share your story, when I share mine, and when we learn about ourselves from one another. The Jo-Hari Window suggests that personal growth happens when you care enough to tell me that I have “bad breath.” When we build trust and openness, strained relationships are healed in a real and significant way, substantially. When we communicate well (see for example, above: “Did you know that when you…”) we grow. Intellectually. That’s wisdom. I’m learning about you and from you and I’m even learning about me. It’s no wonder the devil likes gossip, rumor-mongering, storytelling, dissension, factions and the like. It’s no wonder he hates it when we’re open, honest, respectful, loving and kind to one another. Intellectual wellbeing, knowing our own faults and others’, but responding in forgiveness and grace, binds us together. And together, in families, in team ministries, in churches, and in the Church, we hold power over the enemy and his destructive, divisive tactics. So we listen, we learn, we say “Ouch!” sometimes, but we love and move forward together, substantially healed and stronger because of each other. May the Spirit enter all your conversations! Thanks for reading. Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!