Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, who will only despise the wisdom of your words. [NRSV]
Or as Andy Chen once wisely said, “Don’t answer a question that’s not being asked.”
How often do we contribute to people shutting down and “delistening” when we do this?
The Über importance of paying attention comes into play here. Many who are hurting are asking questions without using their vocal chords. Many do not know how to ask the questions that are on their heart. But as we love people by actively listening to every word they say, what they mean by what they say, and most important and most challenging-what they need which they may not be able to say, we will hear the questions they are actually asking. And also, we will improve at detecting what they are not yet asking, and therefore what we do not need to say.
Much of the time we simply say what we want to say for a variety of reasons. We think we must say something wise, we’re frustrated, we like to hear ourselves talk, we want to show what we know…but are any of those reasons equated with loving that person? With pointing them to Jesus? To what they really need?
Very few people listen well.
May it not be so among us who follow Jesus, who love God, who are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Do not lose faith in our hope.
Keep your eyes on God more than on people and you will experience peace, life.
The more you focus on people, the more you will experience misery, anxiety, frustration, death.
Interact with God about everything. Talk with Him about every situation. Keep your mind set on His goodness and faithfulness. Train your mind to run back to God as soon as it drifts to the peculation of those caught up in this world. It is work to train the mind, but it is worth it.
“I’ve said these things to you,” Jesus went on, “to stop you from being tripped up.”
“I’ve said these things to you so that you can have peace in me. You’ll have trouble in the world. But cheer up! I have defeated the world!”
Shalom is always available.
Shalom is well-being.
In Jesus, shalom is always available.
Jesus defeated satan and the world he rules. Well, ruled. Aligning with Jesus the victor, and following Him, whatever the cost, does result in peace and tranquility here and now no matter what the world throws at you. For we know where all of this is heading. The final crushing of all evil.
For now, those choosing not to believe in Jesus as God’s son and redeemer, the world is still scary and anxiety-causing. They are still under its rule.
Belief in Jesus and His victory and rule puts you in a quite different boat. We are cosmically, eternally protected. We just lose sight of this. Then we feel defeated, but reality is far from! To move from a feeling of defeat to a feeling of peace and victory is a simple shifting of the gaze of your soul.
Choose to live in the victory of Jesus at every stressor. Shift your gaze to the One who was lifted up.
With faith all things are possible.
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
For those who come to worship God must believe that He really does exist, and that He rewards those who seek Him.