June 9, 2020
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 9 June 2020
"I love to be right. I want my idea to be the chosen one. The way I think and respond to issues is obviously correct. My spouse, kids, friends, and peers would truly be better if they just followed my lead, because I know what is best.”
Does anyone else resonate with this way of thinking? While it may be difficult to admit, each of us have some of this sinful pride and arrogance in us. The reality is, people can be fundamentally selfish. Each and every day we need to ask for God's help in overcoming self-centeredness.
I am certain you have experienced someone who has difficulty listening, and as a result can become overly defensive. I certainly do not want to be that person and, hopefully, neither do you. The worst part concerning a person who is a bad listener is that such actions reflect a lack of love for people.
Romans 12:9-10 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” In other words, do not pretend to love other people; truly love them. Hate what is wrong and value what is good. Love other people with genuine affection, and delight in honoring others.
Mediocre leaders always feel the need to defend their actions and words. Great leaders are good listeners and absorb more as a result. Therefore, avoid the tendency to be defensive. Listen well. Truly hear what others are saying. In doing so, you genuinely begin to love better.
Perhaps you can imagine a scenario where a loved one wants to communicate something important. Knowing you have a demanding schedule, they begin hurriedly, even remarking, “I have something to tell you, and I will tell you quickly.” Realizing their frustration, perhaps we could answer, “You can tell me – and you do not have to tell me quickly. Tell me slowly.” There may be empty sentiment in those words if we do not also listen slowly.
When King David was challenged with difficult prospects, he took the time to “listen slowly” to God. Chapters 5 and 6 of 2 Samuel reveal how David found divine guidance, which helped him transform an immensely difficult situation (if not dangerous) into a dynamic success for his nation; yet, he did so by listening carefully to the Lord. Indeed, if you read the books of 1—2 Samuel you would note that was the primary difference between King Saul’s failures and King David’s successes. While Saul repeatedly did what was right in his own estimation, David regularly inquired of the Lord and then listened slowly.
Early in his life, David learned that human prowess with spear and sword is irrelevant and often unnecessary. Consider what you know of the biblical account of David and Goliath. A small boy armed with a staff and a slingshot should be no competition for a gigantic, experienced warrior who was equipped with the best and latest armament. However, God’s ways are not our ways. The Christian leader who seeks after the Lord’s own heart must acknowledge this. In the midst of battles, Zechariah 4:6 declares, “Not my might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. As leaders who identify with the Lord, be zealous for God’s glory and trust his strategy.
In the decisions you encounter today, will you take the time to “listen slowly” to God? If you do, his words will make all the difference in your life and even that of those who follow your example. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom . . . ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach.” We could all be more intentional with listening, especially to God as He has revealed himself, his will, and his divine provision in his Word, the Holy Bible.
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.
* Our ministry funds are being greatly impacted by the COVID-19 virus. If you have the ability and should God lead, please consider a donation to the ministry. You can use standard mail (Capitol Commission, P.O. Box 244, Rincon, GA 31326-0244); or, you can give electronically: under the "Fund," click "Active State Ministry," then under "Sub Fund" click "Georgia – Ron Bigalke" and designate the amount you wish to invest. Your gift is much needed and will be greatly appreciated. Thank you to those who have already helped! We greatly appreciate your investment in this vital ministry!!