In this two-part series, Sharon Norris Elliott sat down with Rhonda Robinson to talk about her new book, A Woman God Can Bless.
RR: A couple of things that I’d like to touch on to pick up on from our last interview, you brought to mind what Jesus said. I am paraphrasing, but, as a believer, you love your family. But what about those people who aren’t lovable or that you don’t love? How do you treat them? Because even people that don’t know Christ will treat people that they love well. But what about everyone else? We tend to treat strangers very nicely, but the people that we know and love, we’re not quite as careful with their feelings. They can just deal with it. We can easily take them for granted. So, either way you go, that scripture and what you’re talking about is very necessary to change our ways.
Sharon Norris Elliott: Right. And in my book, A Woman God Can Bless I deal with prejudice and gossip, you know, things, some of the hard things that we come up against. Because it’s easy, it’s easy. A bad habit may be in how you’ve been speaking. But the person, or the people, are very lovable and forgiving. It’s easy to change, but you’re right.
When we come up against the hard things, the people who we don’t like, or we haven’t, we feel, we have a justifiable reason, right? Maybe they have treated us badly or things of that nature. Still, my words are not supposed to be words that tear down. You really can refuse to get into that argument.
We can refuse to get into that fight.
That’s the idea, and there are ways. For example, I talk about, with my husband, I don’t argue with my husband. I know that sounds like, what— what’s wrong with you? My point is, it’s not worth it. He’s quicker than me on his feet. I know, what I want to say. But I’m better at writing it out.
For example, I think it through, I can write it out. So when it starts to get heated, I just stop talking and I don’t do it with an attitude. Or rolling my eyes. And you know, it’s not like now I’m going to give you the silent treatment. It’s not that kind of thing. I just stop talking. I’m just done with that conversation. Because I can see where it’s headed and we can’t communicate fairly, unless we’re communicating, you know, calmly, rationally. My husband realized he can’t argue with himself.
So over the years, that’s where we’ve come to. It took time. Here’s how it’s going to have to be, to have a conversation about things that we disagree about.
Because the Bible tells me I’m to reverence my husband. That doesn’t mean I started agreeing with him when I stopped talking. All that meant was the conversation can’t go on like this. So that for example is a way to not speak corruptly. I’m not going to speak down to him. You know, or say something that makes him shut up. No. No, because, he is my husband. He’s a brother in Christ. And for me personally, he’s another being on the planet and I respect people. And so I, even in his presence, am reflecting Christ.
So there’s kind of a practical example of what we’re talking about. When it comes to people that we can’t get along with, it says as much as lies in you live peaceably with all people. So it’s like if I can’t live peaceably with you, and not sin. The Bible even gives me an out.
RR: What is an area where most of us mistakenly believe that we are obedient but it really does need work.
Sharon Norris Elliott: Wow. We mistakenly believed so much. That’s really a good question. I think maybe, in the area of anger, because there’s so much, there’s so many emotions wrapped up when we get angry. We get angry for different reasons. I know, for example, something that makes me angry and frustrated would be if I am being accused of being something that I am not. Because I know who I am. I know how I’m thinking. So if I am accused falsely, that is something that frustrates me and angers me.
And I know that that’s one of my areas, right? And so I think with anger, because it touches emotions that are so close, to our heart and who we really are, we probably have a larger problem with dealing with anger and this passage in chapter nine of A Woman God Can Bless, I deal with anger.
It’s interesting that this is the only one on the list. This is the only issue in the list that God does not give us something to replace the anger with. We’re told to be angry, but there’s no sin in your anger. It doesn’t say don’t get angry. And so anger is an emotion that God gave us. I mean, we saw Jesus angry. He went through the temple, twice, because His father was being spoken against. His father was being devalued. And so that is the only area of anger that is justified when the image of God is being devalued. Our emotions are so tied up in it who we really are, who we want people to know us to be. We don’t want to get punked. Right? And so I think that’s a biggie.
RR: What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
Sharon Norris Elliott: My biggest hope is that my readers come away from the book with a deeper sense of the responsibility that we have to represent Christ well in the world. We look around and see so many things happening on so many different levels. And, I’ve heard, Oh, the end of times is coming. Jesus is coming back. And yes He is, you know, but the disciples thought He was coming back 2000 years ago. It could very well be tomorrow. He could very well give more grace for more people to come to know Him.
And so, I’m hoping that this book fills that space for us to get even more ready to tell even more people about Christ. That people who don’t know him will look at the women God can bless because they are really reflecting who He is. So I’m hoping the book works as a checkup for us to get ourselves in line, so to speak. So that we will look like people will want to run to, the God we serve.
Buy your copy of A Woman God Can Bless
Sharon Norris Elliott wants for you what she wants for herself – that your life will count – so she encourages everyone who will listen to Live Significantly! A self-proclaimed teaching and conference junkie, Dr. Elliott loves spending her time mining riches from the Word of God, writing books, preparing talks and sermons, designing PowerPoints for her presentations, and assisting others in meeting their publishing goals. Being Nana to Dallas, Jordyn, and Tahj is also an incredible thrill in her life. Learn more at lifethatmatters.net.
Rhonda Robinson is a speaker and the author of Freefall: Holding Onto Faith When the Unthinkable Strikes, offering women spiritual wisdom to transform the darkness into a season of profound change and emerge with vision and purpose. Learn more at RhondaRobinson.tv
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