Friends!! You've made it to day 100! How incredible is that. Do a little happy dance, you've earned it. :) after yesterday's exciting read about Elijah and his confrontation with King Ahab, today mostly follows Ahab and his followed actions as king. Elijah pops up everyone once and awhile to cause trouble. God's lessons for us are sprinkled throughout this plenty. What sticks out to you?
Scripture to Read
1 Kings 20 - 22
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this teach me about the role of the prophet? What does it mean to be "prophetic?"
- My Thoughts -
I have never read the words “A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won" before but wow do I love that. I wanted a printed copy of that somewhere on my office wall. But the main part that I absolutely loved came from the prophet Micaiah. I hadn't read about this prophet before but I think that he is really important. One of the hardest things we can ever do, especially for those who employ us or those we love is to offer unfiltered accountability and feedback to them. We don't want to risk our positions or relationships for honesty. But the prophets remind us we do more harm than good by hedging around the responsibility. The false prophets told the king what he wanted to hear, the true prophet said the difficult truth.
In the moment I hate being critiqued. It feels awful to have someone point out all the mistakes that I made in something that I was proud of. I remember a specific case when I was an intern at Mentor UMC. One of the weeks I was able to preach. I felt the weight of 100000 universes on my shoulders as Mentor was (is?) the largest church in our conference with a regular attendance of at least 1,000 each week. I stayed up all night working on that message and when I was done with it I was jumping up and down with excitement. Then I got my feedback email from the pastoral staff who had at least 60 bullet points of places I was wrong, should never do again, or where it simply wasn't good. I avoided the pastors like the plague for the next week. I questioned whether or not I was even fit for this job. But after I gave myself the space to pout and be a little wimp, I admitted to both of them that their feedback was appreciated. Then smiled and said, good, cause you're preaching that message again next week at the church down the road. I revised the message and preached it two more times that weekend. After I finished preaching the final time many people came up to compliment me and say the message was "wise beyond your years" or "incredible" or other over the top lavish praise. I thanked them all, but mostly, I thanked the pastors that edited my work and made me a better preacher.
Each of you has something that you are extremely passionate about, something you love, something you crave to get better at each and every day. Do you have someone in your life that is a Micaiah figure for you that has given you the honest feedback you need to hear in order to get better? How do you handle feedback? I'd love to hear a story from you as a witness to this if you agree or counter me if you think this is wrong! :)
I ask to wear the armor of faith, to carry the shield of hope but I am unwilling refine the metals. When I am reluctant and resistant to change, help me process my feelings and be by side as I heal. I know with confidence that I will be a better person on the other side.
In your holy name I pray