Straightforward Statements

True story: When I was a manager there was a person that had exceptional talent but upset a lot of people because of harshness. One day I called the person into my office and bluntly explained they couldn’t expect to be promoted until they learned how to communicate bad news to good people. It’s always difficult to be blunt with someone even when you know it is for their good. 

Sometimes, the “Yes” does not happen when you tell a person “the truth”. Often, feelings are hurt. That’s one reason why electronic communication (e.g., facebook, messenger, email, etc.) is the absolute worst way to address a human problem. Even if it means buying a plane ticket, the best way is face-to-face; a phone call is a distant second option. Your roll in this process is one of being a peaceMAKER, which Jesus has called all of us to do (Mt. 5:9).

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of straightforward statements to others and their responses. We can read a stark example of this in Matthew 15:25-28. Here’s the passage:

Matthew 15:25-28, The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

The mother was being tested. She could have allowed herself to be insulted and stormed off in a huff, but she didn’t. The turning point, not for Jesus but for her, was when she said, “Yes it is, Lord,…” 

When we are being tested, we can respectfully, humbly disagree or wrestle with God. By the Canaanite mother’s faith in Jesus, she became a child of Abraham and, therefore, acceptable to receive the blessing from Jesus. 

Wrestling with God is like a child wrestling with their Dad. The child knows that Dad can always win, but there are times when Dad lets his child “win” because of the child’s effort and to show his love to his child. Dad is still the same, but his child is stronger and knows they are loved. That’s kind of how God does things.

Oh, regarding the person in my story at the start of this devotional. That person did learn and change and was promoted. 

Our New Natural Language

A picture of the cross
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

To be used by our Lord we have to be new, be alive, be real. To have true joy, we must be obedient to Jesus, and we must not be afraid to tell other people about our faith in Jesus. 

Here is a fascinating Scripture that demonstrates this point:

”Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’” 

2 Kings 5:2-3 NIV

Naaman goes to Elisha, the prophet of God in Samaria, to buy a miracle. Elisha would not sell God’s gift to Naaman, yet healing was offered and received for free by God’s grace. Naaman then says:

Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…”  

2 Kings 5:15 NIV

God took the words of a young slave girl, spoken in faith, and He carried them to two kings and a general. All this because she didn’t forget her LORD, and she spoke up.

Here’s my point: These “openings” to share our faith occur in mere moments. Our faith has to naturally and continually flow out of us. If we have to think about it we will miss the opportunity.

If our faith is a natural component of our conversations, Jesus will take our simple words, spoken in faith, and affect kings, generals and people in high places. We are simply called to tell the good news. God’s job is to give the increase.
You can read the full account of Naaman in 2 Kings, chapter 5

%d bloggers like this: