Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote for the Week

Hence I cannot be silent - nor, indeed, is it expedient - about the great benefits and the great grace which the Lord has deigned to bestow upon me in the land of my captivity; for this we can give to God in return after having been chastened by Him, to exalt and praise His wonders before every nation that is anywhere under the heaven. ~ The Confession of Patrick

Patrick was not born in Ireland, but rather he was kidnapped from Britain by Irish raiders and sold into slavery. While enduring the harshness of his captivity, Patrick's heart was moved by God to consider his own sin and he turned with his whole heart to God for salvation. After being a slave for six years, Patrick escaped and returned to Britain. He entered the church and was eventually appointed as a bishop and returned to Ireland as a missionary to preach to his former captors.

Shamrocks, leprechauns and green beer - are these the fitting legacies of St. Patrick? I think not.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Verse for the Week

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. - Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. - Matthew 18:15 (ESV)

You've experienced a wounded relationship before, I'm sure, and found nothing pleasant in it. Jesus gives us some good instruction for healing those wounds. Notice who is to take the initiative - we are. Whether we are the one who is wrong or are the one who has been wronged, Jesus expects us to make the first move. Notice also that we are to go first to the other person involved, not a third person. This short circuits embarrassment and gossip by keeping the circle of those affected at a minimum, initially.

Are you willing to acknowledge your own wrong doing? Are you willing to give someone a chance to apologize before you air his or her shortcomings publicly? Just think how much emotional turmoil could be avoided by practicing a little humility in our dealings with others.