“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” ~ John Stott
Personally, this is the best way to study the Bible! You let the Bible speak for itself and do not impose on the text. I came across this helpful tool for those attempting this method. I wanted to pass this link along for all you students of the Word. God bless!
“19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (KJV, James 1:19-20).
Have you ever jumped to conclusions without hearing the whole story, got upset, and spoke too soon? Only to find out your word and anger was unjustified. Be honest. We have all experienced the unpleasant taste of shoe leather in our life. Our lives and relationships would improve drastically if we’d only heed James’ instructions!
It has been said, God has given us two ears and one mouth because it is twice as important to listen than to speak. We should be active listeners. An active listener takes time to hear and to mentally process what is being said before they respond. In conversations, we should attentively listen without thinking of what our next response is going to be to the person. Many times we are merely waiting our turn to respond to the person sharing their point of view. We must hear them out!
In difficult situations, if we apply the principles of being “swift to hear” and “slow to speak” it allows us to assess the problem, thus, allowing us to be “slow to wrath”. Often when people are angry they want to get a reaction out of you, not a thoughtful response. Knee-jerk reactions can do great damage to our relationships. If may be extremely to difficult to remain calm and listen, but this is the key to keeping unsavory shoe leather out of you mouth! Ask the Lord to help you become “swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath”.
4 Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying,5 ‘Take from among you a contribution to the Lord; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s]contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, …. 21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.22 Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the Lord.(NASB, Exodus 35: 4-5;21-22)
The topic of giving can be a sensitive subject for many people. This is probably due to the fact we hold our treasures close to our heart. We can be hesitant to part with “our stuff” because they bring a sense of security with possessing them; even though, in reality it a false security.
Often, God calls us to give “our stuff” away, but He wants us to be willing to part with temporal means. He wants us to trust in Him to provide for our needs. He desires to be our security net. We need to be reminded that God doesn’t need “our stuff”! He only asks us to participate because He desire our hearts. Remember the saying of Jesus, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NASB, Mt. 6:21). Pray today that your heart will be willing to sacrificially give to the work of God.