Shhhhh -- It's Gonna Be Okay
Dear Woodview friends and family,
I think that often the way Christians can have the biggest impact in our world is when we demonstrate peace when everyone else is afraid; when we have joy when everyone else is mad; and when we speak quietly and calmly when everyone else is shouting.
It is often said that the most frequent command in Scripture is "fear not!" If that is so, then it is a command because it doesn't come naturally to us...we are naturally fearful people! So when the world is running around scared of this and that and the other thing -- followers of Jesus should demonstrate peace.
And I think most of us would agree that the volume level and the amount of anger people are expressing is pretty deafening in the world right now. People are shouting at each other in the streets, in political chambers, and on social media. How different it would and should be if Christians were demonstrating joy and speaking quietly.
Shortly after God did a powerful, earth-shaking, mind-blowing miracle on Mount Carmel -- defeating the prophets of Baal through the prayer of Elijah; God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. Why that contrast? Yes, God was working in fire from heaven and big loud things...but the change brought about by the big, loud miracles was short-lived. When God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice God did a deep change in Elijah's heart.
Let me ask you this -- do you think marriages are healed and made better by couples screaming at each other the changes they want to see in the other person...or in quiet, calm, loving conversations about how they can work together to improve their marriage? Do you think Paul effectively shared Christ and planted churches by shouting the gospel at people...or by "reasoning from the Scriptures"? Do you think we can better impact the world and draw people toward Christ by arguing, shaming, and trying to force...or by compassion, concern, and calmly yet confidently speaking the truth in love?
Looking forward to Sunday -- hope you will join me.
Jon B. Stradtner