Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 10, 2009
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.
It would be nice to simply wake up one day and suddenly be a mature Christian, but in order to grow up in God, we will have to go through trials. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.
1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. You may not like trials, but this verse says that when you are going through trials after you have suffered a little while, you will grow to be firmly rooted and grounded (strong, firm and steadfast) in God.
Similarly, James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Here again, you don't get the rewards (the crown of life) until you have persevered under trial and stood the test.
So, learn to be thankful in your trials, because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through.
Therefore, don't be discouraged during times of suffering. Know that after you have suffered a little while, God himself will make you strong firm and steadfast.
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