By Tera Ertz
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
Have you ever noticed that everyone in political discourse is an expert? Can you think of the know it all in your circle of acquaintances or friends, or maybe there are several, or perhaps you’re even one of them? Do you ever get frustrated because you know your facts, you know your predictions of future events based on those facts are accurate, and you even have faith that you’re on God’s side of the issue, but nobody is listening? Perhaps it isn’t our predictions, our knowledge or our faith that is the problem, but instead it is our approach.
I know for myself I tend to be one of the know it alls in most groups. I don’t set out to be, I certainly don’t intend to be overbearing with it, but the truth is I have been blessed with a curious mind that absorbs information. I have also been blessed with a brain that is very good at picking patterns out of the information it contains. I know a lot about a lot, and I’m pretty good at making educated guesses about how those things will work going forward. When I began truly studying God, I also found myself in possession of a deep faith. Unfortunately, it took quite a number of years before I gained the wisdom to go with the knowledge and faith. So I spent a very long time arguing with people, knowing my conclusions were correct, and getting very frustrated because folks just would not budge from their ignorant insistence that their opinions were better than mine. Does that sound familiar?
I finally realized not so very long ago that there was an element missing in my dialogs with folks. Without meaning to, I was approaching them from a place of “superiority” in my own mind. The discussions were wrapped up in my ego rather than in what the other person needed. The result was that I was nothing, I had no impact. It was only after I realized that I had to approach people from an attitude of love with a servant’s heart that I began to have fruitful dialogs with folks about political issues. I had to consider the needs of the people I was speaking to, and the people the issues touched first, and then determine how those needs could be met within the framework of the truths I had been gifted with along the way.
As Christians, God graces us with many gifts, but they are worthless to us and to Him if they are not guided by the love of Christ.
Lord, please open our hearts to our fellow man. Forgive us for getting so wrapped up in the wonderful gifts you give us sometimes that we forget we are to use them to show the world Your grace and love. Fill us with Your Spirit and guide all our words and deeds so that the gifts of knowledge and understanding and faith You have granted us will be made useful to You by Your abundant love. In Jesus Name, Amen.