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Daily Devotionals

Day 43 – Issue 11

todayMay 1, 2015 1

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Be Still Know

John 4:9 NLT

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’ 

The woman of whom Jesus requested a drink responded with suspicion. She heard something about her gender and her religion. She was unable to process a simple enquiry and provide a cup of water; she was so conditioned by her heritage and her environment that she only had ears to hear what she expected to hear.

Listening is an art. So often we draw from what we are told, messages that say more about where we are than what is actually being requested. Jesus, again in response to this somewhat belligerent answer to his question, refused to be drawn into the fight the Samaritan woman anticipated. He was prepared to ignore the inferred criticism of who he was, and the sarcasm with which his Jewish status was acknowledged. His desire was to enter into meaningful conversation with the woman herself, the person behind the prejudices, a task that meant that he had to set aside all possible triggers that might be born of prejudice.

Our task as followers of Jesus is not to strut around as purveyors of the truth. No! We are to demonstrate the reality of that truth through the fruit of our lives, most clearly evidenced in the way we handle relationships with others, notably those who might naturally be perceived as our enemies. Conversation is to construct a bridge across no-man’s land.

However, you need to listen behind the words and phrases used and seek to clarify what is actually being said. If you find it is abusive, then don’t engage in a tit-for-tat rally of abuse; rather, acknowledge it and say that is inappropriate. However, if there is opportunity to engage in fruitful conversation with the person, do so and manage the emotions those things that might sound like criticism and accusation stir up within.

QUESTION: How is your hearing? Do you find it easy to hear criticism and accusation?

PRAYER: Lord God, you showed that love keeps no record of wrongs. Help me to love even those who respond with suspicion or anger. 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright C 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc, Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA. All rights reserved.

Written by: Matt Weet

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