One of my staff members was at it again.He was spreading false rumors about another couple on our conference team.I’d warned him before about his tendency to gossip. Extremely annoyed, I set an appointment for Tuesday. I would go over a list of his wrong doings, watch him squirm, and then make it clear his behavior needed to change.Tuesday came and I took my time with the Lord that morning. I asked Him to speak clearly to me from His word — whatever I needed to understand. The appointment with Jim was not on my mind, but it was on God’s mind!
I had been reading through Proverbs and verses from chapter 12 began to practically jump off the page. “A fool shows his annoyance at once. … Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. … A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of a fool blurt out folly” (verses 16, 18 and 23).
“I hear you, Lord,” I prayed.
I was right about the facts but so wrong in spirit. I asked Jesus to make me like Him in my meeting. Galatians 6:1 came to mind: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
I began our meeting with Galatians 6:1 and asked Jim to pray for me to be like Jesus in all my dealings with people. I admitted that I sometimes talked about people behind their backs. Then I gently shared my concerns with him. We ended up on our knees, tears in our eyes, praying for each other.
Later that evening a pastor called me. Angry over false gossip members were spreading about him, he planned to straighten them out! Isn’t God good? He had worked me over that morning so I could have a good meeting with Jim and also be ready to help a hurting pastor that evening.
It seems there is never enough time. The temptation is to cut short or skip time with my Lord and move on to “getting something practical done.” More and more I am realizing that if I prioritize connecting with God through prayer and the Word, He can accomplish much more of the right things! That is just what He promised in John 15!
Let’s make sure we take time in God’s word and talk often with Him. It makes a difference for eternity!
Your brother in Christ,
Jerry N. Page, General Conference ministerial secretary
NOTE: Don’t miss this week’s Prayer Focus & Note from Erton Köhler, President, South America Division. You can view those by clicking HERE!