Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Graciousness”
Our Bible verse for today: “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20 (HCSB)
Our thought for today: “Confidence leads to calmness”
Yesterday I told you about the conference on Biblical sexual ethics that I attended and how impressed I was by the friendly and respectful manner in which the leaders and attendees discussed the difficult and emotionally-charged issues being addressed. This was especially impressive considering it was not a one-sided discussion. The presenters and attendees included people from across the cultural spectrum including conservative evangelical Christians, leaders of the Gay and Lesbian agenda, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, and everyone in-between.
To introduce yesterday’s devotional I quoted 1 Peter 3:15-16 which tells us that we must be prepared to present our views when the opportunity arises, but we have to do it with gentleness and respect, “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear.”
One of the reasons the leaders and attendees at that conference were able to discuss such emotionally-charged issues in a calm and reasoned manner was because they all had a quiet sense of confidence. They had all done their homework. Everyone had taken the time to thoroughly study the issues from their own perspective, and from the perspectives of those who saw things differently. After lots of research, thoughtful listening, and a genuine desire to get to the truth, each participant arrived at the point of knowing what they believed and why they believed it. Therefore they were confident in their positions and prepared to discuss it in a calm and respectful way.
One of the reasons people often get upset and defensive when they’re discussing difficult issues is because they feel threatened. And one of the reasons they feel threatened is because they’re not sure of themselves. They often don’t have good answers for hard questions and they attempt to compensate for that by raising their voice, or using exaggerated language, or lapsing into empty dogma and silly clichés.
People who are sure of themselves, people who know what they believe and why they believe it, and who are prepared to discuss it, they tend to have a quiet sense of confidence and are therefore not threatened by opposing points of view. This is why at Oak Hill Baptist Church we are a “teaching church”. In other words there’s a heavy emphasis on teaching the truth of Biblical principle, and doing it in ways that are easy to understand and easy to apply to everyday life situations. Therefore our folks know what they believe, why they believe, and they’re prepared to discuss it.
Confidence leads to calmness. When we know what we believe and why we believe it we will feel comfortable discussing those issues, even with those who disagree with us. And, we will do it with grace.