Ask more, tell less. This was some profound advice I was given by a great friend, Pastor Cyril.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath,” – James 1:19 (also see: Prov. 10:19, 17:27, 29:20 and others)
Let us open our ears & our hearts more than our mouths! How can we learn anything about anyone if we are always talking? The biggest part of my job is just listening, remaining quiet, and letting the other person just speak. Simple, but so difficult, isn’t it? What better way is there to show that you care?
I came across this quote from Matthew Henry and was greatly moved.
“The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith.”
Our faith, which is a gift (Eph. 2:8), is used best when it is running on love (1 Cor. 13). These acts of love operate like a divine filter sifting out the muck & guck saturating our hearts. The by-product of this heart-purification overcomes the world. “The world” is not only our society which gets darker and more violent with each passing day (Gen. 6:11), but also the carnal tendencies ingrained in our sinful nature (Matt. 15:19).
This present darkness will be overcome by our purified hearts acting in love from a holy faith that is an act of grace freely given to us from Jesus.
This wonderful and miraculous feat (choosing acts of love by the grace of faith) is what distinguishes a false & dead faith from a true & living one (James 2:14-26).
Long distance relationships stink. Anyone who’s ever gone through one will tell you: They are hard and most of them don’t work. Hey, relationships are tough no matter what. Add distance to the equation, and you are almost doomed.
You wouldn’t make a relationship with someone you loved long distance on purpose, would you? Why make a relationship harder if it doesn’t have to be? You want the person you love as close as possible. If it was in your power to close that gap, you would. Right?
Jesus wants a close, SHORT DISTANCE relationship with you. He wants to be the first person you turn to in need. He wants to be there to comfort and guide you. He doesn’t want to be a world away. He doesn’t want to be the fourth or fifth or sixth person you go to. He knows what’s best for you, He knows God’s plan for you, and He wants nothing more than for you to succeed… so He can spend even more time with you.
It is you and I that create the distance. I say, “create,” because, it isn’t there until we put it there. We disconnect. We disengage. We cut the lines of communication. Jesus is always there. Always waiting. Always hoping. He is there waiting and hoping that we reach out to Him.
Skype is cool. Facetime is really neat. But there’s nothing quite like spending time with someone in person.
Take out your daily planner and set aside 10 mins every morning. 10 mins to just catch up with the Lord. Now, once it’s on the schedule, it’s on the schedule. There’s something about actually writing it down that makes it… more official. Know what I mean? You can’t break it… unless, of course, something more important than Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God comes up… then, by all means, take it instead. (Thanks to my Pastor, Dr. Rev. David Cyphers for this practical application.)
Long distance relationships stink. Jesus doesn’t want that. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” It’s in your power to close the gap. All it takes is that first step.