Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: STIR (11/12/15)
TITLE: Rouse and Shine
By G.W. Bill Elliott, Jr.
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Regrettably, we oftentimes get a little too evangelistic, judgmental, or even overly critical for things/events of which we disprove, or immoralities, or simply just incompatibilities with our faith, our belief, our understanding of ethics. And we bolt into action, we charge into a predicament wielding a mighty sword of change, condemnation, and anger and are not wholly equipped to handle things gently. Proverbs 15:1 (KJV), states; "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.", which is very, very solid advice. Taking time to consider a soft answer, time to review our emotions and opinions about the thing that has caused us to 'boil', time to let the Lord minister to our soul and provide those perfectly suited words... perfectly blessed and ordained by Him. "Holding your tongue" is no easy task. Taking time... His time... to reflect on His leading in your life will give you His voice, will give you His words, will give you His 'soft answer'... it's that "still small voice", from the Lord.
Sometimes, the things that move me into action are odd. Sure, pending doom will usually get our legs moving; something about to fall off a shelf; a wobbly infant about to fall; something starting on fire. But, I find that the emotional things that "get my ire", or the spiritual conflicts in our lives are much, much harder to react to correctly. Paul the Apostle experienced this in Acts 17:16 (KJV), we read; "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.", which is clearly a sort of 'burning', a type of 'fuming', and even an odd form of indignation. Not so much witnessing the idolatry, as much as the injustice, the blatant "I deem this wrong" perspective we introduce into the mix. How we shine in these moments is the key... the action we implement can help, or hurt.
Let it Shine
For me, I don't refrain from being moved into action, I don't sit idle while my world around me wobbles, falters, and demonstrates utter chaos. Instead, I have learned to be patiently anxious, or anxiously patient! Either way, use that energy you have, but being diligently cautious, surgically delicate, and especially using God's gift of discernment to wisely respond, to maturely react and even better, to spiritually allow the Lord to move through your life. In 2 Peter 1, Peter even once admonished us to escape the corruption that is in the world (through lusts) and allow our divine nature shine, our God given gifts and abilities, by "...giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity". These are cascading qualities, they are elements of growth in our lives, they are certainly stepping stones that demonstrate our maturity, or depth in the Lord. After he'd shared those things, he reminds us in 2 Peter 1:13 (KJV), that; "Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance", to bring to your attention just how blessed you are (can be), but also how responsible you must be too. So great a gift, so great a calling, so beautiful His leading in your life, to Rouse and Shine!
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