Conversation - Mary Schneider

22nd June 2020

“...A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire…”

James 3:5b-6a (NLT)

I had a dream last night. Can’t remember all the details but I do remember the image of a sharp pencil. At my workplace we still use pencils and erasers for our appointment system: the 21st century, who would have thought! However, what I’ve learnt is that we communicate much more clearly if our pencils are sharp. Phone numbers, names and details are all easier to read if a sharp pencil has been used. More than once I’ve been caught out due to a partly legible phone number. Perhaps the dream was alluding to communication. Keeping it sharp, effective, true. Recently Pastor Sue Thiele encouraged our team around relationships and the way we talk. When we’re in situations where someone shares with us about difficulties in relationships:

·       Hear them out

·       Don’t add your opinion or your experience

·       Pray with them for peace and wisdom

·       Encourage them to go and talk with whoever they have a concern about, with the goal to get clarity and bring peace.

·       If they need support, go with them as they talk it over with the person. Always be about grace and reconciliation. Pray with both parties.

·       Share with the pastoral team only if there is no resolution at that time with them.

When I read the story of Doeg the Edomite in 1 Samuel 21 and 22, I was reminded of the blind spots I have regarding what I say and who I say it to. When I overstep the mark in what I ‘share’, it’s often related to wanting to impress another person or gain their favour. However, the consequence of wanting to build myself up can be deadly in another’s life, hence the “spark to a forest fire” warning that James gives us.

With every word the profound opportunity and responsibility exists to build up or tear down.

Lord, I commit to and pray that my “…speech ALWAYS be with grace, seasoned with salt…” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV)

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