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If there is to be only one result of my writings, I hope it is that the reader understands that God is gracious in persistently pursuing complicated people.
If there can be two results of my writings, I hope that people will also talk to each other more. And more openly. And with greater compassion.
This is where I’m being convicted. In clinical terms, we’d say I’ve identified a growth area. I need to be more compassionate. This means being more gentle and mindful with my words, particularly when disagreeing with someone. I don’t regret ideas I’ve had or questions I’ve asked or disclosures I’ve made. I do regret being careless and harsh with my words and unmindful of my audience.
Having an audience of readers that talks back to me in person has been HUGELY beneficial. If you’re one of those readers who has dialogued with me in person about past blogs, I am very thankful for you. If you are a reader who has never shared your thoughts on my thoughts, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
One of the things I’m most struck today is the potency of the Spirit of God in the people of God. Lately when I go to church with an open mind, or go to community group instead of isolating, or do my homework for my Triad, I come away quite enriched. Sometimes it’s something the preacher says. Other times, the man or woman next to me. Or a song that’s sung. Or maybe just being in company of people whose stories I know.
I spend time around people doing everything they can to be close to God and I can’t help but want to pursue that goal with them. And to do anything I can to support them in that goal.
This is part of my regret about words. I have in other posts presented the church as an ignorant intolerant monster. The actual truth is that the particular Jesus-people I get to see every week are not ignorant, nor intolerant, nor monsters. Half our conregation has graduated form Bible College, and more of us read lots of theology. Any statements they make have a lot of thought behind them. Intolerant? Not really. New ideas raise some eyebrows, but generally people are open to a dialogue and more questions. Monsters? Nah. The people in the folding chairs around me have been nothing but kind and generous and eager to support me and my family in any way they can.
I need to say this. I need this to be known. There’s at least one corner of the world where the work of Jesus in His people is very real and very alive.

Let the Spirit of God be upon us
to make known the grace of God
Let our hearts be open to receive Him
May our souls awake to be filled and refreshed by Him
For He is our sustenance
The Faithful One of all time and in all places
May His words fill our words
May our deeds be like what He would do

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