A Word for Today

Proverbs 15:1: Departure

"Be quick to listen, slow to speak and open arms to embrace. Then they will see the hand of God." by Lt. Colonel Tim Foley

The word “departure” has been bouncing around my mind lately. Defined as: “The action of leaving, especially to start a journey.” In the last two years, my life has been full of departures– the death of my mother; the sudden passing of my close childhood friend; leaving a ministry in a city I deeply love; working at National Headquarters and seeing fellow officers leave one after another, mostly into the land of retirement or start ministry elsewhere. All of those departures truly were about the start of a journey; moving on to something new, something “better and beyond” our understanding is a good thing.

However, I am seeing a new set of departures that is troubling my soul lately. There seems to be an oh yet subtle turning on one another. Sniping. Chortles. Griping. Nitpicking with words. Focus on the purpose of mission fading or becoming blurry. Even those stepping away from a covenant of service or marriage. Worse, departures from spiritual friendships over differences of opinion and strategy on how to tackle deep dividing issues of our time.I tend to avoid pat answers or quick fixes. But consider pausing and reflecting before we post an opinion on social media or turning our back on opportunities that will advance the good news of the truth of God’s love and purpose for us.

I tend to avoid pat answers or quick fixes. But consider pausing and reflecting before we post an opinion on social media or turning our back on opportunities that will advance the good news of the truth of God’s love and purpose for us.

A word for our times can be found in the book of Proverbs:

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Proverbs 15:1 NLT

Avoid unnecessary early departures especially these days when we truly need each other. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and open arms to embrace. Then they will see the hand of God.

Prayer

Help me today, Lord, to be invested in those I work and live with. Help me to engage in these moments in constructive, positive ways. Help me to listen first and choose my words wisely in responding. May I always reflect your abiding love of hope. Amen.

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