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Afraid of the Silence

The pastor of the church Leanne and I attended on Sunday did a ten second experiment in the middle of his sermon. After reading Psalm 46:10, he glanced at his watch, not saying a word. This awkward silence felt longer than ten seconds, but he was trying to prove a point. The next portion of his message illustrated how most adults are afraid of silence, drowning it out with noise from some form of electronics.

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him, Psalm 62:5.

Back in high school, silence was never a good thing on a date. Despite my fears of stuttering, I tried to say something funny to keep a conversation going. From a relational point of view, silence is either a sign of boredom or a lack of compatibility. As an adult, my own silence is usually a byproduct of shear exhaustion. While I enjoy talking, I don’t mind the silence as much as it gives me time to reflect upon life.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips, Psalm 141:3.

According to the Psalmists, a collection of chapters written by different authors, silence is symbolic of a mature faith. When you don’t like your job or work, anyone can become great at procrastinating. Yet, the more time you kill in idle adventures, the less time you have to connect with and stay in tune with God. When you’re talking over someone, it’s hard to listen. Even if you’re afraid of the silence of being alone like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, when the Holy Spirit speaks God’s message, it’s clearer in the silence.

by Jay Mankus

Standing in the Way of Progress

Cantankerous, inflexible and pertinacious are words associated with stubborn.  Depending upon which study you reference, individuals become set in their ways between age 16 to 25.  Whether students choose to pursue college or stop their education following high school, worldviews are often set by the early twenties.  Subsequently, when a new way of thinking is introduced, many are caught standing in the way of progress.

So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way? – Acts 11:17

Unfortunately, I grew up during the infant phase of computers, forced to take typing classes in high school.  Thus, as technology changes electronics annually, its hard for me to keep up, lagging behind as I adjust to updated programs.  Part of me wants to keep the status quo, doing tasks the way I am accustom to.  Yet, if I don’t face reality I may find myself standing in the way of progress.

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life,” Acts 11:18.

During the first century, Peter struggled to adapt to the societal advances.  Raised as a Jew, Peter was taught to avoid associating with Gentiles.  However, as the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his family, Peter was faced with a dilemma.  Hold on to past stereotypes or embrace the movement of God?  In the end, Peter realized that if he did not accept Gentile converts to Christianity he would be standing in the way of progress.  In the same manner today, as the world drastically changes, ask the Lord to give you the heart of Christ to avoid standing in the way of spiritual progress.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

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