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Frequently Asked Questions

Managing conflict well Go To Top

Why do young people think they need to know about resolving or handling conflicts?

Budding teens and young people will confront this issue with their families, specially their parents, siblings, friends and at work place. With parents, youngsters find what they say and do are the opposite to what they think. With siblings, they don’t agree with each other. This can smolder to arguments and quarrelsome attitudes evolve, and consequently there can be a breakdown in relationship.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What is the outcome of a conflict?

In any close relationship, conflicts are normal, because of some overlap of life. If you are unable to resolve conflicts with hosts of people in your life, that can result in anger and rage, that can turn to bitterness and being revengeful. We will find brawling and slander along with cruelty in words. That becomes a major reason for failure and unhappiness in the families, friends and colleagues at the place of work.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What is the difference between confronting and managing conflicts?

The difference between confronting and managing conflicts must be clear. Although there is some overlap, confronting is needed when someone is doing something that offends, hurts or bothers you in some way. Managing Conflict is needed when someone is in disagreement with you on some issue.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What are some of the examples of conflicts?

-Conflicts can occur when one person carries all the work and the other does not bother; or when one desires to go to one place and the other does not…there can be umpteen no. of conflicts; but more than naming the conflicts, it is important to know the factors around a conflict.

-Conflict is normal in close relationships;

-Healthy relationships cannot be built on a 50-50 philosophy;

-Be honest about your feelings when you disagree, but do it without blaming the other person and also listening to the other person is essential;

-Some will have stress at work or physical stress like tiredness, anxiety, mood swings (specially the teenagers); so their ability to resolve a conflict becomes usually lower.

-Methods of managing conflict are normally different from one culture to the other; Disagreements can be viewed as an opportunity to build one another up.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


When a conflict arises, for example, I am disagreeing to go to a place where the other person wants to go, how to effectively handle the conflict without being quarrelsome?

1.Don’t attack each other’s character ( “It’s really hard to keep the house clean when papers and clothes are left lying around” is less inflammatory than “Why do I have to live with such a slob?” Attacks easily degenerate into character assassination)
2.Don’t analyse the motive of the other person.
3.Don’t counter attack.
4.Don’t try to win.
5.Don’t seek revenge.
6.Don’t dump your problem on other people.
7.Deal with conflicts as soon as possible by bringing up the issue.
8.Keep to the present : If you use overgeneralized phrases like "You always...” or “You never...”, you automatically bring up the past.
9.Concentrate on one issue. Don’t bring up unrelated problems.
10.Use “I statements.”- state clearly how you feel rather than attacking or blaming.
11.Use words that will build a person not break the spirit of the person.
12.Express feeling appropriately.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


Some steps/guidelines to resolve or manage conflict?

  1. Bring up the issue.
  2. Explain the conflict.
  3. Propose a tentative solution.

The other person in the conflict has three alternatives at this point:
a. He may agree with your ideas.
b. He may disagree completely.
c. He may suggest one or more other options; new ideas or modifications of your ideas.
If you come to an agreement, try to negotiate a contract or take a break.

If there is any anger, ask for and grant forgiveness to each other. Even if the other person is unaware of these concepts, or is unwilling to follow them, you can apply the ground rules, and attempt to follow the steps to some degree.

This approach does seem cumbersome! However, this very fact can help you to concentrate on the process of resolving your disagreements. It slows down the process in order to enable you to work at it step by step, and it helps reduce inappropriate expression of feelings. Yes, it does take a lot of effort to master. But if you do, you will dramatically improve your ability to manage your conflicts effectively. Try it and see! No one procedure is ideal for everyone, but this method gives some helpful guidelines for managing conflicts well.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


Moral Purity Go To Top

How can we overcome the subtle temptations in the area of moral purity, where we are blatantly tempted to immorality in ways that would have been ineffective only a few years ago ?

The principles and issues are different for singles than for married people. We need to be aware of the danger in this area and understand the dynamics of sexual temptation, then build a strategy for ongoing moral purity.We are all susceptible to sexual temptation. The ones who think that it could never happen to them need to face the facts, that each one of us is vulnerable to sexual temptation, no matter what our age, marital status or maturity is.
When someone commits sexual sin, we tend to think of them as suddenly falling into that position. But actually not. The “slide” into immorality often seem so harmless that we may not even be aware of them. Each time we are exposed to a TV program, movie, magazine or pornography on the Internet which appeals even slightly to our sexual desires, a powerful, unconscious process evolves. Any surprises here?

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What about the time when we get intimate with a person and how can we draw boundaries in that place?

Intimacy and sexuality are not the same. A healthy, loving intimacy allows us to relate in mutually up-building ways without romantic or sexual involvement.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


If you realise that moral purity is important for every human being more so for a young person and it is a rare commodity in the society we live today. So how can we prevent such battles ?

1. Accept your personal vulnerability to immorality, and continue to grow in understanding your own personal responses to the dynamics of sexual temptation.
2. Preserve yourself to maintain moral purity, especially if you are single, give your purity as a gift to the person who will be married to you as a partner.
3. Be careful to avoid seemingly harmless practices thoughts, fantasies, and feelings which are less explicit including TV programs and magazines which are not overtly pornographic, but which you know appeal to the flesh.
4. Make a commitment to someone who will hold you accountable to keep yourself pure and have an ongoing purity.
5. In this battle, even a few seconds of wavering or inaction can make the difference between victory and defeat. Work on being renewed in your mind.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


Stress Go To Top

Stress!!! It is the most common thing that we hear today. Stress is everywhere! What is stress?

Yes, I agree, Stress is so high in all levels of life today and we do not know whether it is a blessing or a curse - however the choice is ours! Stress affects all of us, and a joyful, productive life depends on having skills for handling it well. We will define stress as our response (as a whole person) to any demand. A stressor is the one that causes stress.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What are the general insights about stress?

1. Stress is a normal part of life and when we have stress to a moderate level, it motivates us to have some fun and interest in life.
2. The total amount of stress we experience at a given time is growing or can multiply.
3. We handle stress better in supportive relationships.
4. Stress situations often causes distress.
When you know these insights about stress, it becomes easy for us to handle. But knowing this is not enough, we also need to learn some skills to handle it.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What skills do I need to handle stress?

First and foremost
1. Identify the Causes of your Stress.

It is like going to a doctor to diagnose your sickness. Once you diagnose the reason, it is easy to deal with it. There are two sources that can stress us out: External stress and Internal stress.

General Sources of Stress:
Internal: Health, emotional struggles, life stages, unrealistic expectations, negative attitudes and emotional pain.
External: Marriage and family, major changes in lifestyle, social relationships, living situation, work situation, unsettled future and various crises.

2. See how it affects you. Stress can bring about external or internal symptoms. Look for symptoms. For example, one may develop stomach pain when under a time pressure. This is an internal symptom. Example of external symptoms are irritability, difficulty in resolving problem and decision making.

So each of us develop our own unique combination of symptoms, depending on the amount and type of stress we are experiencing. Symptoms can be friends or foes. They are friends if we heed to them as danger signals. But be careful if you are developing as a distress.

Answered by Mrs. Nissi Samuel


What is distress? How can we change that experience?

Distresses are the negative emotional responses to the sources of stress. Here is an example: Your best friend broke trust by telling others about something confidential that you had shared. You may feel angry, sad, hurt, wounded and betrayed. Negative emotions that you experience when you are going through stress are called distress. Allow yourself to express and feel it, don’t suppress it. Then, clearly identify your feelings and share the pain with others who will help you.

In times of stress use the natural resources God has given you. Two natural resources are sleep and rest.

Tips to distress:
Do something to distress yourself. For example take a long walk, take a break from work, exercise, listen to music, watch a humorous movie, brush out your long forgotten hobbies like art work, do activities that will energize you and give you the strength to go on. When you distress, it lowers your overall stress level.
But be mindful of the junk stress. Are you wondering what that is? There are no benefits by worrying about it. Worrying about something that has not happened or doing some activities and responsibilities that need not be done and which will not affect you in any way.

Answered by Mrs.Nissi Samuel


Suicide Go To Top

Adolescence suicide seems to have sprung up. Just how bad is this problem?

It is on the increase these days. I would say approximately in every 12 minutes one person is committing suicide. Not everything is reported and there could be various reasons. Sometimes, it is an impulsive decision that is taken. I would say that suicide is on the increase. I trust and hope that people will not only be cautious but will do something immediate to protect our young people and also the families who are grieving.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin


What are the root causes for suicide?

It is very difficult to pin point, but there are many reasons. One, it could be the family situation where the child does not feel comfortable to go back home because there is a constant struggle in the house. Two, it could be failure in life. This failure could be in the areas of academics, in love life, in professional life, and it could also be because of many other reasons.

But, I believe if a child is growing up with constant negativism saying 'you are a waste' , 'you are good for nothing' , 'you cannot do a good thing at home' , 'I don't know why you are born to me' , 'I wish you were not born' , 'because of you we are going through this crisis' , if these scars are induced on the child right from the childhood; the child eventually grows up in school being rejected, in college being neglected, being delayed in marriage, having delays in child birth. As a result, he or she judges own self by saying 'I am just a waste' , 'what they told me is true and why should I live' ?, and then that's the end. Thoughts and words play a very important role.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin


Who these young people at risk of suicide are and how to prevent this act?

It could vary from place to place. Many years back, we thought it was only the youth/adults committing suicide, but now, we can see it happening in the school level as early as a child in the 5th standard. It could also be the influence of the media and what they watch, the stories they listen to and what comes in the newspaper.

How can parents avoid this? Parents must communicate with the child every day. This is a must, with not just the mother or father, but both of them. If it is a single parent, he or she must put the extra effort and it will be worth the time. Talk about the day's activities and not just talk about their studies. Get involved in the child's life and begin doing what they enjoy doing, spend time by taking them outside and you will see a change in their behaviour when they are inside the house and outside the house.

Affirm your love to your child, say positive things to your child even when they go through failures. God does not create bad children. Some of the bad nature get into them.
Accept people as people, be positive in your remarks, keep in mind that they are very precious, and that they belong to God first and then to you. Remember, there has to be consistency in following these principles daily.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Any warning signs we need to look out for?

One, the constant threats that comes from a person in statements like 'I want to kill myself' ,'I want to die'.
Two, look at some of the poems he/she writes.
Three, the change in personality, a change in behaviour, doing things which are not normal, a loner, sometimes suddenly cuts the conversation and talks about death etc. They will experience an overwhelming sense of guilt. Constantly living in the past and feeling miserable. As a word of caution, when you come across people showing these signs, do not reject them by saying it is just a talk. We must do something about it.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

How can you overcome suicidal tendencies?

Don't feel bad and angry with yourself for thinking such thoughts. Meet with someone with whom you can express your feeling, someone who is an overcomer, someone who is positive, someone who can help you look at the other side.

Talk to God because people are unpredictable, they don't have time and sometimes they are self-centred. The only one to whom you can pour out your heart is God. If you are sincere and truthful, say a simple prayer of deliverance. 'Lord, I am in need of your help and deliverance' and God will save you. Do not live with the suicidal thoughts. It will not only hurt you, but also the people around you.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin



Love Go To Top

Can you tell me how can I know whether this person whom I love is seriously in love with me or is he just playing with me?

There is a difference between infatuation, love and lust. Infatuation is love at first sight and you have a crush for that person. Infatuation is something we fall into. Love is something we grow into, where we just don't look at the positive side of the person but also the negative side and accept him as he is. Lust is more self-centered. What I can get from the other person. Let me satisfy myself through the relationship. But love is the other-centered.

Infatuation is intense and often times short-lived. You focus only on the positive and idolize the situation. But true love is accepting the other person with the strengths, weakness and looking at the quality of life in them.

Lust is based on flesh but love is based on the heart.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

I realize that I should not be in this relationship and I really want to change but I am feeling guilty. What should I do?

None of us are perfect. All of us at one point or the other have gone through this failure. All of us have experienced guilt. There are different ways to handle guilt. Guilt is an alarm to tell you that something is wrong. Feeling guilty is a good sign,  to tell you that what you have done is wrong. When you have that alarm, you can handle it in one of these three ways - you can oppress it, suppress it or confess it. If you suppress it, it will surface again. The best way to handle it is to confess it. But to whom will you confess the guilt? Should I confess it to my friend who will again exploit me, is a valid question. The best thing is to confess it to a God who can forgive your guilt, correct your actions and move on to be a better person in the society.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Can there be true happiness in a relationship or should I go by the force of society?

You don't fall in love because others are falling in love, you don't fall in love because of pressure. You fall in love because there is a need in you to be loved, that you are lovable for someone to accept you and there is a time for it.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

How do you get over from the hurt of past relationships?

They say love is blind and marriage is an eye-opener. There is a possibility of getting hurt in a relationship. Sometimes it is very deep. That is why don't hurt yourself by giving in to a relationship that you are not sure of. The wound and the hurt is real and forgiveness is also very real. And this forgiveness comes from God who understands you thoroughly and no one will understand you like He does.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Justice and Corruption Go To Top

How can we define corruption ? Considering the levels at which corruption has seeped into our system, is it even possible to expect a change ?

Transparency International defines corruption as 'the abuse of entrusted power for private gain' . I would also add 'usurped power'. And there is a link between the two categories. And this is where power gets decentralised to every strata of society. In a society that is so deeply divided, as in India, on the basis of gender, caste and class, every one who is different defines themselves in terms of power over the other by which they claim access to privileges that are not theirs by right. So rooting corruption is more than laws and punishment.

It is changing worldview, our perception of others, our understanding of privileges as linked to responsibilities and not right or status. This is why it is difficult to change without changing the very culture of power.

Answered by Mr. C.B.Samuel

How can we understand Justice ? Can we execute justice and be merciful at the same time ?

Isaiah 5:16 says God shows himself holy by doing justice. Justice is the character of God. In God justice and mercy act together. Justice is the way of correcting the wrong done that violates the character of God. And the correction is not destructive but transformational. So justice includes mercy - an act that provides for possibility of change. So mercy is costly because the cost is borne by the one who acts justly.

Answered by Mr. C.B.Samuel

What is the role of the Church with regards to Justice and Corruption in the society ?

The church is firstly called to proclaim the justice of God in its teaching and its lifestyle. Secondly, the church should expose the injustice that prevails in the society. The church should take care to ensure that it preaches what it practices. The church should educate its members on avenues of doing justice and encourage actions that address the issue.

Answered by Mr.C.B. Samuel

Drug Abuse Go To Top

What is drug addiction? How quickly can someone become addicted to a drug?

Addictions are of various kinds. Drug addiction is one of them. There are two main definitions for addictions: a) devoted to a particular interest or activity and b) physically dependent on a particular substance. There are various factors to getting addicted. Any one who tries it once is already vulnerable to becoming an addict. The younger you are the faster you get addicted. A lady can get addicted faster than a man. The other factor is the choice of drug itself. Some drugs can get you addicted immediately some can take a while. Even circumstances and family backgrounds can be a reason. If you have an addicted parent, you are much more likely to initiate drug use in your adolescence.

Answered by Mr. Albert P J

What drugs are commonly used? Are there effective treatments for drug addiction?

The most common drugs are Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana (Kanja, Grass), Alcohol, Prescription, Nicotine. The most effective treatment for Drug addiction is a long term rehabilitation process after your detoxification with strict observation and a drastic change in your behavior and schedule.

Answered by Mr. Albert P J

How to help a friend or family member who is addicted to drugs? Where can we get help from?

Please be careful when you are helping a friend who is in the influence of addiction. He could be dangerous and harmful. Get a professional involved in the process of helping. Help is always available. You can even google to find a treatment center close to you. Having said this do not refrain from helping a family member or a friend who is in need. He cannot help himself. He needs all the help he can get to change himself. You can be the starting point to getting this help.

Answered by Mr.Albert P J

Freedom and choice Go To Top

Are freedom and responsibility interrelated?

Yes, freedom and responsibility are inter-related. Responsibility in knowing how to use your freedom, which is very important. If you don't have responsibility, you will abuse and misuse the freedom that you have. You are not living in isolation, you are a part of the society and community. How you use your freedom affects you and the people around you.

Everybody has the right to enjoy, but there are boundaries as well. The privilege is given to you to enjoy even within the family. It becomes difficult when you abuse or misuse the freedom. Consequently, the privileges are taken away from you. God has given you life to live to the fullest, by trusting and depending on him. This will give you the joy and meaning to live.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Do I have the right to make a personal choice and where does the freedom end?

You do have the right to make a personal choice. But your personal choice is not to hurt the other person's freedom. The choices that you make in life, you must know, will have it's consequences. That is very important.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Now that the young people are earning a lot of money, to whom does their responsibility lie?

One, responsibility to themselves. Two, the responsibility to people around them, and above all, responsibility to God. Any freedom that is given, is given with an intention that we will use it wisely. But very often we abuse it, misuse it, and we put the blame on others.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

What are the downsides of not choosing wisely?

You hurt yourself, it robs you of your sleep, you find it difficult to accept yourself for the foolish choices you have made. Ultimately you end up being lonely. People are there with you as long as you can take care of them. Sometimes relationships are based on only what you can get from the other person and when they walk out of your life for not giving, then you begin to suspect people.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Who decides the boundaries and what if I may not agree with you?

There are certain boundaries that the society has laid for us. But there is something called the conscience on the inside of each one of us. It is related to your relationship with God. Every religion talks about fearing God. When you do something that is contrary to what God wants you to do, you feel the uneasiness on the inside of you at that very moment, unless your conscience is totally dead and has become insensitive to the evil around you.

There are values that are set in nature. The question you need to ask is, 'Am I living less than the best which God has for me by misusing my freedom and making wrong choices?'

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

What about adults who don't follow rules?

There are good role models and bad role models. You have the freedom to choose whom you want to follow. In fact, it all depends on where you derive your values. There is a difference between conviction and belief. Belief is what you hold on to, but conviction is what holds you. So, you cannot go with the crowd and their opinions. If you find that certain values are contrary to what you believe and most importantly based on your personal relationship with God, then you have clarity, and you are able to take right decisions.

For a child, PARENTING and PATTERING spells the same. What a child sees in the parent, is what the child believes to be the truth.
A word of caution to the parents: We must set good examples before our children; otherwise, they will pick up values from the society and it will be too late to make changes.

It is important for every adult to be mature enough to have the right values, and to know the source from where they can derive the values; and to be aware that the values are absolute.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

God of the Poor Go To Top

How should we rightly understand the phrase 'God of the poor' ?

1. The God of the Bible is unique in the sense that He is the God of all humankind (irrespective of class, caste, gender, religion, etc) and creation. The God of the Bible does not discriminate; in that He is unique. He made all of us in His own image (identity of God).

2. Because He made all humans in His own image, any exploitation, poverty, abuse, injustice, is a violation of God's purposes in making us in His own image. Because God of the Bible is a just God He intervenes by taking the side of those who are oppressed, abused,exploited and the poor. He intervenes by intentionally taking the side of the poor, exploited, vulnerable.

3. Justice, love, holiness is a character trait of the God of the Bible; it is not a programme. He expresses His character when He takes the side of the poor.

4. When God takes the side of the poor He intends to redeem/ correct the attitude, understanding, character of those who exploit, neglect poverty, abuse and oppress the poor. He desires that even those who exploit the poor be redeemed in their flawed understanding of power, self, poor, poverty etc because they too are made in the image of God. God taking sides with the poor has a redemptive purpose.

Answered by Dr. Jayakumar Christian


Depression Go To Top

A lot of people think I am looking at them but I am not and I am aware of my body language. Sometimes I get into depression and have to fight extreme thoughts, but I don't give up as I am good and God is with me. My question is why do these people think bad about me?

There is nothing wrong in looking because everybody has got eyes to look, and so we look. We cannot stop people's thinking. You need to trust yourself, you need to believe yourself, you need to know that you are truthful and hence keep going. Don't waste your time trying to analyse or trying to think what others are thinking about you. What others think about you cannot change your destiny as long as you are clear about your destiny. Keep moving forward and as long as your conscience is clear don't bother about what people are thinking and don't assume that they are thinking about you.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

What does a depressed person look like? Long hair, sulking..

Sometimes, you can't really make out. They will be hyper active, sometimes you find them very lethargic, sometimes you see that there is a change in behaviour, it could be sleeping for a long time or over eating, just being lonely, highly irritable, always speaking about death, sometimes they will be part of a group, going out, being happy but there will be patches of depression. The moment he or she enters home they become depressed. Sometimes it is very visible or it can be hidden.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

What are some of the weapons in our struggle against depression or help me know how I can fight depression?

Weapons against depression and weapons to solve depression are two different things. Firstly, accept that you are depressed. Don't put on. Unless I know that I am depressed I will not seek help. Secondly, know that it is not a permanent disease, but you can come out of it. Be willing to be helped. Some people don't want to come out of depression as they want people to feel sorry for them and be the center of attention.

If you really want to come out of depression, eat well, sleep well, watch a humorous video or read a good book and enjoy what you love doing. Find and talk to people who are positive in their thinking and talk. If it is an hormonal cause or a medical reason, you must consult a Doctor.

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

Why does God allow bad situations to happen? Where is he when I am depressed?

It isn't your situation that is causing you to feel depressed. What depresses you is the attention you give to the situation. All of us go through depression in small ways or bigger ways, irrespective of how spiritual and how religious we are. Sometimes, God takes us through that valley of depression to remind us that we are absolutely human, and so we cannot deliver ourselves. Moreover, there is a God above in whom we should be dependent on.

God allows these storms in our lives because that is the only language we understand to turn to God. If everything is alright, we live as if we are gods ourselves. Sometimes it could be because of the wrong choices we have made in life. Be it your bad choices or wounds inflicted on you by the others, whatever may be the cause, there is God who is willing to help you if only you can turn back to Him.

God is always there in your place of depression, in your path of loneliness, in your struggles and in your tears. The only one who can interpret your tears is God and God alone. Turn to Him, seek Him and you will find deliverance.

People can give up on you, but GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU!

Answered by Rev.C.A.Benjamin

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