Weekly Thought – April 10, 2018
Fred used every opportunity to explore and illustrate principles of life. Their vacation home on Lake Barkley was name “Smiths’ Viewpoint.” He was careful not to foist his opinions on others. However, when asked he articulately shared. Continuing with his thoughts on stewardship, we demonstrate how he loved to see the deeper meaning of every experience.
Please continue to pray for the What’s Next Roundtable sponsored by BWFLI. We are grateful for your support. It is a critical component of our work.
Peace and Encouragement
It is time in the Christian church we start making peace. There is a promise of blessing for the peacemakers, but none for the dividers. We unfortunately take out our hostility on each other and cover it up by saying that we are standing for the faith. Yes, we are called to be firm for the truth, but sometimes there is subterfuge in the way we take that posture. We can hold strong without hostility and hatefulness. When we attack and snarl at each other over points of doctrine we are not moving toward peace.
Understand I am not saying we shouldn’t be faithful to Scripture and call out those who teach heresy, but when we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we should never use our words and actions as heat-seeking missiles.
I think of my visit to the Catacombs in Rome. Our guide was a delightful English priest. As we got out I thought I would shock him by saying, “Father, I am a Southern Baptist.” He brightened up, slapped my hands together and exclaimed, “Good! Pep me up, brother, pep me up!” He heard Baptists were somewhat demonstrative. I am surprised he didn’t ask me to set up a pot luck buffet for the group…we Baptists are definitely renown for our on- the -spot feedings.
“Father, I enjoyed the tour and as I walked through it struck me that early Christians didn’t have the luxury of denominational life.” He shook my shoulders and replied, “My brother, it is not the form that separates us that is important – it is the hope of the Resurrection that unites us.” When I get to heaven I hope this ordinary Baptist will spend time talking with that priest who shared the hope of the Resurrection in the spirit of peacemaking.
As part of our stewardship of relations, we owe each other encouragement. There is enough pressure and tension today without loading an unnecessary guilt and criticism on each other. I once heard the President of the Sloan-Kettering Laboratories speak of his country doctor. He acknowledged that there was little advanced medical technology in his little black leather bag. But he believed many got well because of his father’s kind “You are going to make it.” That encouragement unleashed the magnificent and amazing power of the body to heal itself.
There is so much we are learning about how stress and tension immobilize the healing process and how the positive aspects are capable of mobilizing the body’s defense. I would love to see a study on the relationship between the hope of the Christian experience and the healing process.
This week think carefully about: 1) How am I being an instrument of peace in my home, community, workplace, church? 2) What issues are stumbling blocks to peace with other believers? 3) How can I encourage others this week?
Words of Wisdom: “When we attack and snarl at each other over points of doctrine we are not moving toward peace.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.” (Philemon 1:7 NET Bible)