‘To answer before listening – that is folly…’
To serve others effectively, you must be attuned to what they need. What keeps us from doing that? Assumption. A lady in an airport lounge bought a packet of biscuits and sat down to read the newspaper. She heard a rustling noise and looked up to see the man beside her helping himself to the biscuits. Not wanting to make a scene, she leaned over and took one herself, hoping he’d get the message. Then she heard more rustling. She couldn’t believe it. The man was helping himself to another biscuit! There was only one left! She watched in disbelief as he broke the remaining biscuit in two, pushed half across to her, popped the other half in his mouth, and left. She was still furious when her flight was announced. Imagine how she felt when she opened her handbag to get her ticket out—and found her unopened packet of biscuits! Now be honest, didn’t you assume the stranger was helping himself to her biscuits? Of course you did, and that tells you a lot about yourself! Too often we’re guilty of making assumptions about people and once you put someone in a box, it’s hard to think of them any other way. Do you agree?? Every time a good tailor sees a client, he takes new measurements. He never assumes they’re the same size as they were the last time. That’s a good policy. Never make assumptions about someone’s background, profession, race, gender, age, nationality, politics, faith, or other factors. Once you do, you stop paying attention and miss clues that can help you to know what they really need.
Corrie ten Boom said, ‘If you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ, you’ll be at rest.’
Worth a ponder!
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’
Do these three characteristics above mark you?
Jesus spent much of His ministry tearing down barriers and building bridges. He did it through acts of love such as washing the feet of those who would fail and betray Him, eating with a tax collector everybody in town despised, and giving hope to a fallen woman that society condemned. The Bible says, ‘Peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness’ (James 3:18 NLT). Words of peace are like seeds. They don’t produce fruit overnight, but slowly and silently they work their way to the surface, changing hearts, minds, attitudes and futures. Doctor Robert Oppenheimer, the noted physicist who masterminded the first atomic bomb, was asked by a congressional committee if there was any defence against it. Addressing a hushed audience he replied, ‘Yes—peace!’ Now, if peace can defuse an atomic bomb, think what it can do in the lives of the people you come in contact with! Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.’ Every day you’ll meet frightened, despairing, lonely, angry people who need a word of peace. Do you have one? Solomon offers us three ways to calm strife, defuse a tense situation, and get a better result: 1)Patience. ‘A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel’ (Proverbs 15:18 NIV). 2) Self-control. ‘Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NIV). 3) Wisdom. ‘A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offence’ (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).
From UCB – For other daily devotions click here