Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, April 30, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: April 30, 2012            
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Proverbs 3:7
“Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”

Communicating in humility is not something that comes easy. In all honesty I don’t get all that excited about displaying transparency. However, I understand that if I am to be an effective witness for Christ, I have to put it all out there.

The only criteria I have for writing these devotionals and hopefully speaking into your heart, is the raw truth that I was a “true mess” before developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some of you know this all too well, and others, well I never let you have that kind of access so you’ll just have to take my word for it. The cool thing is that when we finally reach the end of self, God has something to redeem. God has a lot of refining to do in this gal, but I promise you that I am now up for the challenge to become a better listener.

As I was reflecting last week and meditating upon Scripture that warns us about false teachings/teachers, it became apparent to me that wisdom is definitely the key to recognizing deception. I hope you had a chance to look at the materials I shared last week. I know there was a lot, but this is that important. 

Because I was limited by space, I wasn’t able to share the following. As we search to uncover truth, it is going to be important for us to learn how to effectively communicate what we discover. When we share our opinions, concerns and facts we need to be aware that it's not about what we know, it’s about how we present what we know. I am taking a seat at the front of the class on this one because I definitely need to absorb this lesson firsthand. Way too often I find myself emotionally driven and I’m learning the hard way that this is a dangerous trait. I’m glad to know that I am not alone in this. Wisdom is an acquired trait, it’s not a natural one.

The following is an article by Dr. Beth Ackerman, the Associate Dean, School of Education, at Liberty University. I read this on the Women of Faith site and it spoke to me. I believe it drives home the point of the necessity to apply wisdom as we communicate. Be blessed.

"As Christians, how do we handle discussions in our search for truth? As students and teachers, what do we do when disagreements arise? To make this question current and relevant to all of us, what is our role with others in discussing any disagreement, such as this political climate and discussing future political candidates?

The first step is acknowledging that we don't personally possess this wisdom. Many of us are familiar with Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding". In my struggle with pride, I prefer to meditate on the stern warning of verse 7 that follows, "Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil." The first step is humility and leaning on God and his word for all wisdom. To do otherwise, is evil.

And the next step is communicating what God has laid on your heart in a way that it is a building block and not a stumbling block. Ephesians 4:29 – "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Often in my passion to communicate, I become a stumbling block for those who listen, rather than presenting God's truth "according to their needs" and to "benefit those who listen". Meditating on these verses can help us communicate wisdom in a way that God's message can be heard and received.” - Dr. Beth Ackerman

It is important that we do not cause anyone to stumble. In Ephesians 4:15 we have a reminder from Paul that we are to judiciously speak the truth in love. We would be wise not to allow anger, frustration, conflict and disappointment to simmer. When it does, we tend to hold grudges and harbor hatred. Before you know it you’re sinking in sin again. James suggests that we are “slow to wrath” (James 1:19). I think the only way we do this is to draw upon God’s wisdom in every situation, circumstance or discussion we engage in. An unbridled tongue is dangerous (James1:26). My tongue has gotten me in more trouble than I desire to list. The truth is, either I master it, or it master’s me. Explosive tempers and unloving actions are a clear indication that we're missing the mark.

In Christ by grace,

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