Meditation Monday: Family Values

family-values

Family Values

While families come in many and varied configurations nowadays, some “family values” are always present.

  1. Respect
    Despite differences of opinions as a family we respect one another. We believe in the best of one another. We hold in high regard the intentions of each family member.
  2. Patience
    An offshoot of respect, we practice patience with one another as people learn and grow in a myriad of ways.
  3. Love
    This is what makes the first two in the list possible. We love one another in a family and accept that it is what motivates other family members’ actions. Love make it possible for us to be patient with each other and live together under one roof or name.

God is love and as such is present in every type of family including church families.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus …” Philippians 2:3-5 (NRSV)

Dear God, help us to respect one another. To live with patience for one another and to love one another above all no matter what challenges may come. You are Lord of all. Amen.

Meditation Monday: Effective Communication

Effective Communication

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2

Communication is so important. Our words and actions deliver messages all the time. Without effective communication, people are lost, even if there is a vision.

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Meditation Monday: Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

“Love thy neighbor” is a precept often found in Christian vernacular, but sometimes difficult to practice. There is an apocryphal story of a church in the mid-west, who had an atheist that attended church every Sunday. He helped out with regular church activities and when asked why an atheist would go to church he answered, “I like the people.”

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6 ESV

I suspect for the church the sentiment was the same, they liked him. Despite their deep differences, this atheist and this church were able to form community with one another. They saw beyond their differences to the fact that they were all human beings trying to find their way in this world. While they fundamentally disagreed on how to do that, they still loved one another.

Love Thy Neighbor

“… in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3: 15-16 ESV

“Gracious,” “gentleness,” and “respect,” all words used by the biblical writers to help guide Christians in their dealings with those who don’t believe as they do. Certainly these words can also be used between Christians when we disagree over important matters.

Dear God, may the early church be our example in how we can disagree with those in and out of the faith. Help us to be gracious, gentle and respectful of one another because we are all your children. In your son’s name, Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.