October 6, 2019
Scripture: Proverbs 24:6
Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel.
Thought for the Day: Whether the author was talking about real military battles or using the language more figuratively, the basic idea of the Proverb remains relevant. Planning and good counsel are critical tools in seeing a vision take shape and move toward realization. What happens when you are the one providing the good counsel and the recipient chooses not to take it? What happens when everything falls apart after the person does not utilize the strategies and advice offered? Have you ever said, “If only s/he would have followed my suggestions, then…” It is frustrating and disappointing, especially when you have given a great deal of time and energy to an individual who remains stuck in the pattern of poor choices. I raise these questions, impart, because the Love First Life will not always have the success stories we’d like to see. Too often the positive results we wish to see do not materialize on our schedule. Even the disciples struggled to understand and embrace the message of Jesus in the three years they walked alongside him. Often, the good counsel they received was set aside so they could take hold of their own selfish pursuits. If you think about it, the disciples required a death, a period in the tomb, a resurrection and an indwelling of the Spirit before they really began the new journey. And even then, there was some initial caution and confusion and a need to poke the resurrect Christ who stood before them. People are going to disappoint us, but the disappointment is magnified when some simple steps that we suggested could have minimized or even prevented the future pain. In the Love First Life, these are the risks we take. We believe in freedom, and respect the freedom of people to choose. Love is not love if it is not freely chosen, but it can only be freely chosen if it is first offered. So that’s what we do because that is what we have been asked to do. It is ok to feel disappointed and sad, but these emotions should not be because we think we’ve failed. If we have loved, then we have succeeded.
Prayer: Continue to give me a reason to believe in your love, O Generous God. Continue to cultivate my trust in its power to change lives. Continue to keep me focused on my work which is to be an agent of your unconditional and unrelenting love. Continue to be my encourager, especially in those moments when I feel disappointed and sad. Amen.
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