There is much to be said for being gracious & all the more so in our snarky & sarcastic society, imo.There are many times when witty banter is fun & enjoyable. But if our motive is to be superior, dismissive, belittling or caustic, then we should take a pause & adjust. While we can definitely make improvements in our communication, it’s even more powerful when we consider why we might have these negative motives.
What happens on our interior is where Holy Spirit can be illuminating & instructional.
To this end, let’s endeavor to be gracious & give Holy Spirit lots of permission & access to work on our interior living 🙂
Right motives but wrong target: when Saul was going to Damascus to arrest the followers of Jesus, he was endeavoring to promote adherence to God’s ways, but he missed the point that Jesus is God. I think Saul / Paul had good intentions, but he was misdirected. Thankfully, God interrupted his plans & gave him some pause to make some major adjustments to his belief system.
I wonder for us today, if we don’t sometimes need to have some adjustments to our goals. Similar to Saul / Paul, I think we can have very noble motives and intentions (adherence to God’s ways), but how we accomplish such noble motives can be tricky. Ultimately, when we are followers of Jesus, we need to make genuine love our motive & outcome because of what Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Are there any areas in your life that need to be changed so that genuine love is your endgame?
“If I’m smart, I’ll be important.”When I was growing up, I used to think this. Consequently, I thought that college degrees where the golden ticket to being valuable & respected. And then I met some college professors who were nothing short of thoroughly brilliant, but didn’t have much voice nor impact.
Sometimes, I don’t think we stop to think about what we want & when we get our desires, we can be disappointed or unfulfilled. For this reason, we would be wise to pray that God would direct our desires & Help is to walk in truth. Such praying can help us to not pursue futile goals nor disappointing outcomes!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Maybe you like the chocolate that is often associated with this day, or the candy hearts with little messages on them, or perhaps the romance possibility is appealing for you today. On the flip side, for many people, Valentine’s Day can be a discouraging reminder of an unfulfilled or broken relationship.
Regardless of your feelings about this day, let’s choose together to celebrate genuine love!! And maybe today can be more about genuine love than about the romance, cards, candy, chocolate or flowers. Maybe we can choose to make today about expressing genuine love not only to people that we know & love, but also to the people we don’t know or maybe don’t love so much. I’m learning an interesting lesson with genuine love: the more I genuinely love, the more I feel genuinely loved 🙂
Feel free to send this to your friends and family today, as you celebrate genuine love!!
Thank you heaps for all of the feedback on my post about the same sex marriage topic! It’s obviously a very sensitive topic for almost everyone and by the input I’ve received (some pleasant, some slippery and some hostile), I think it’s worth a final post on the topic.
I’ve been praying about this post for several days because I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit per Ephesians 4:29-32. With that being said, here are a few questions to consider on the same sex marriage topic for prayerful reflection:
Who??? When we talk about this subject, to whom are we speaking or communicating? Seems like we should think not only about what we say, but with whom we are communicating (seekers, Jesus’ followers, opponents to Jesus’ words, etc). Jesus was super clear about different messages for different audiences – but all with the same motive
How??? How we communicate is a good peek into our motives & ultimately what’s in our hearts
What??? After thinking about our motives & audience, the content of our words are very important – what are we really saying?
I’m certainly up to speed with Paul’s words about homosexuality in 1Cor 6:9, Rom 1:26-32 & the relevant verses in Levitucs & the outcomes of Sodom & Gomorrah and I do not disagree with these words. But I come back to the question of loving well from John 13:35 – the defining distinctive of Jesus’ followers is our love for each other.
To conclude, I believe that we can all find common ground in praying for our nation & our world. Let’s agree to pray for our pastors, our political leaders, key influencers and let’s pray that Jesus lives well through our lives every day 🙂