How to Change the Mood

Posted by Jim Murphy on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 @ 1:13 PM

Have you ever walked into a room and been able to feel the tension? Or have you ever left a tense or awkward situation and felt yourself instantly relax? The truth is, every room and every situation has a climate—not just a temperature but a feeling, a mood. But did you know that climate often depends on you? You know exactly how to crank up the awkwardness, the tension, the stress. But you also have the power to turn up the joy, the laughter, and make your house a better place to be. As we conclude the story of Joseph, we uncover two simple steps that forever changed the story of his family. And if we’re brave enough to follow his example, they may change the climate at our home too.

TENSION

TRUTH: You can change the mood in every room you walk into.

REALITY: We usually let our family’s actions determine ours.

TEXT

Joseph (Genesis 50:15-21)

TEACHING

  1. Use your words kindly. You’ve experienced this, whether or not you’ve ever thought about it. The message version of Proverbs 18:21 says: Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. You know this because you’ve been on the receiving end of negative words. But what if you started seeing your words as having the power to change a climate in a positive way? Your words have the power of life and the power of death. For every negative word you speak, you need five positive words to begin to undo the damage. And like we said earlier, how you say something is just as important, if not more important, than what you say. Tone matters.

  2. See them how God sees them. When it comes to creating a healthy climate, you need more than just kind words. It needs to go deeper than that. Your words don’t mean very much if your attitude and life say something different. If you want to bring a positive climate, you have to believe that God can and will do something great in your family—no matter what it looks like now. The “bad” in your family isn’t so big or so overwhelming that God can’t bring good. Joseph believed this. He had every reason to play the victim in his family and bring a “downer” attitude with him everywhere he went. But God trumped his difficult circumstances. Joseph saw God’s role as more powerful than his challenges. And this affected the climate Joseph brought with him.

The truth is, no matter how dark the clouds are in your family, there is a silver lining.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

Help students understand that they have the power to affect the mood in their household; and to encourage them to improve the quality of what they say and how they say it.

  1. What person in your family most affects the temperature and climate of your home?

  2. How did Joseph change the climate of his family when they met after having sold him into slavery

    years earlier?

  3. If you were going to improve the climate of your family, what would you do?

  4. What’s more important, what you say or how you say it? Why?

  5. Name one person with whom you need to speak better words or speak in a better way. 

CONVERSATIONS AT HOME

Ask your teen how you, yourself, change the mood of a room when you enter it. If you allow yourself to listen to what their experience is of you and humbly receive it, you'll demonstrate that you care more about your teen and his or her experience than about your own experience. If that conversation goes well, and you'd like to talk with your teen about how he/she typically changes the mood of a room, then simply ask, "Do you mind if I share with you what I've noticed about the mood when you enter it?" If you frame it in such a way as to be merely sharing observations and that "if it were me that was having that affect on people like that, I'd want to know about it so I could change that" then your teen will likely be open to listening, as well. But, if you turn it into a confrontation or use a "shaming" way to go about it, you'll lose your teen's ear and the conversation won't go anywhere but downhill.

The content of this post is based on curriculum provided by Orange: XP3.

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Note

These posts are from the weekly lessons at Wednesday night FUEL. They are designed to share with you an outline of the content of our discussions, the small group questions, and ideas for conversations at home. Feel free to use these for your own conversations or lessons.

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy, Associate Pastor, NextGen MinistriesAssociate Pastor NextGen Ministries

218-751-3699 ext 14 jim@bemidjicovenant.com

 

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