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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 17, 2017

People listen to people who listen.

Far too often, many Christians view evangelism as a game involving "me," the Christian, vs. "you," the non-Christian. However, reaching unbelievers effectively usually requires working with them in order to develop a relationship based on trust, and any relationship requires listening to the other person in order to find out where they are spiritually and emotionally. When you authentically listen to others, they will genuinely listen to you.

In Romans 12:10, Paul writes, Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. To honor other people means respecting them, which includes listening to them. In fact, simply by listening attentively to someone you show that you care about that person: you place value on them.

Remember, people listen to people who listen.

Are you so hungry to own more money that your money owns you?

In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."

Jesus tells about two men, both of whom sold everything for the kingdom of heaven. To those men, God's eternal kingdom was so valuable that they were willing to give up everything they had in order to invest in it.

That's exactly the same attitude God wants us to have toward wealth. Money is an excellent servant but a terrible master. Unfortunately, many people in society are mastered by their money, unable to control their greed.

Yet God is more important than all these things in the world. He requires that we be willing to sell all for Him.

Mark 10:17-22 tells the story of a rich man's encounter with Jesus: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

He owned great wealth, but really his wealth owned him. Remember that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

This man's heart was so attached to his money that his money owned him. His attitude is very different than that of the two men, who sold everything for the kingdom of heaven.

If, like this man, you become so hungry to own more money, be aware that really your money will own you.

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