When there are differences of opinion, the unity of the Spirit must prevail. He provides courage to play down our own personal rights, to lift up the other person's needs and interests, and the strength to do so without grumbling and complaining. Nothing will divide us when I freely hand over my preferences and agendas to the One who really calls the shots, and to actively make sacrifices, with the discernment only He can give, to do what it takes to move the family of God forward - with joy, dignity, and abundant grace toward those who walk along the path with me.
As believers meet together and sit quietly in God's presence, He unfolds the plans we should follow. His great desire is to make His will known. Our great desire needs to be to discern that will together. It takes time and energy to sit quietly together, instead of charging ahead to make decisions. It takes a spiritual and emotional maturity to earnestly listen with open mind and heart to those who sit side by side with me. It sometimes requires great patience to hear Him clearly. But as we listen, He speaks. Make no mistake, He will speak. And be sure that He will find a way for you to hear what He has to say.
We honor Him when we patiently listen for His voice, individually and collectively. But we also bring Him pleasure when we love one another well. And that includes the art and gift of listening - with the mind and the heart.
There's a world around us that is soaking it all in. They are keenly listening, watching, wondering, waiting to hear what this love is really all about. Is our walk matching our talk? Is our love for God and each other real? Are we genuine - or are we hypocrites? You can be sure they'll spot a phony a mile away.
"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart" - 1 Peter 1:22.
Thankful for those who sit and listen with me ~