The Sweet Spot – from a different angle


“Jesus said to the disciples, “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.” ” Luke 12:8-12

I read the gospels and the questions thrown at Jesus. Honest questions. Loaded questions. All types of questions. And I read His responses in the gospels. Inspired. Instant. Just the right words answers.

And if that is conversations Jesus had – shouldn’t I be modelling Him in my own conversations and responses?  Except that makes me panic.

I can’t listen for the Holy Spirit and speak at the same time. I try and try again. But I can’t do that in the moment it is needed. So I panic. And then kick myself for not listening in that moment. And I try and do it better next time. And repeat the panic and regret over again.

Lord I am not up to the task. I am rubbish. Others around me deal so much better with questions. Others around me provide instant answers. They have the words I do not. Lord let me be more like them … please.

So I listened and looked and tried to learn. And I did. But not in the way I expected.

Because rather than “borrow” the answers I saw being given … rather than fire back better answers … the opposite happened.  I began to pray that my fellow Christians were not so quick to provide answers. Because I began to see brave questions and openings closed down so quickly. The more I watched and saw these questions being answered instantly – the more I prayed they were not.

So often that quick answer ends the conversation.  So often the quick answer demolishes an opening for more sharing.  More and more I saw a curiosity taught to be quiet, courage told to wither. And I saw a simpler more loving alternative.

I see Jesus doing something very special by NOT answering immediately all the time.  I see Jesus allowing others to be heard.

And isn’t that what we all want?  To be heard. To be acknowledged. To have permission to be brave – permission to be courageous, to be curious, to grow our own belief in “me” as important: I am important.

Isn’t that the beginning of relationship?

So I am beginning to not respond with instant answers. More and more I do not want to answer with instant answers.  Because more and more I see my GSHJ showing me what He wants me to do.  He wants me to offer invitations to be heard – to offer this assurance –

“We are safe here, you and me.  You are safe saying this, you are safe asking this, you are safe thinking this, and I am safe listening to you.  We are safe!”

Which then makes me wonder.

Maybe His answers were not as instant as the bible indicates. Maybe He purposely allowed his questioners to be heard – made them safe in their being heard.

Isn’t that relationship?

NB: original post: 19th October 2013 – The Sweet Spot

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17 thoughts on “The Sweet Spot – from a different angle

  1. Paul, I have a personal relationship with Jesus. Each of us has a story…a different way of relating the same yet unique experience with our Savior. If we could all see our individual stories mapped out ….detours, tributaries, by passes, and bridges…etc…we are all taking different paths to get to our One True North. Along the way a developing plot line is being revealed through our stories, our discourse with others as questions arise along the different roads to maturity. That is what makes it so interesting when we meet along the way, sharing, asking questions, delving into the meanings of our experiences with and for our Jesus. Thank you always for daring to share😊

    • Dale, “I have a personal relationship with Jesus” is such a beautiful thing to read. And too good to keep to ourselves! And yet – it has taken me a long time to feel safe – and even longer to see that all of us need that – even the ones who don’t appear to. Sometimes they need that safety more than anyone.

      Thank you ((hugs))

  2. It has taken me a long time to feel safe, too. Yet I still mostly listen, take in words, mull them over. And am always amazed when He speaks to me, and I nod in recognition, knowing they are His words, and feel all fuzzy and warm inside because I not only hear them but feel them in every cell of my heart and muscles and bones. It is a Voice like no other, and I am humbled, in awe and completely safe with Him.

  3. My dear, dear brother! Communion and relationship is the teaching gift I believe the Holy Spirit has truly gifted you with. You know how to touch that “sweet spot” in relationships and the importance it is to the Body of Christ.

    Now my brother I want to address this and don’t panic!
    “I can’t listen for the Holy Spirit and speak at the same time. I try and try again. But I can’t do that in the moment it is needed. So I panic. And then kick myself for not listening in that moment. And I try and do it better next time. And repeat the panic and regret over again.”

    The Bible promises us that He will give us the words to speak when needed as we continue to walk more intimately with Him. Since the Holy Spirit resides within your heart and “closer to your spirit than a brother,” and you are walking with Him daily whether totally aware of His presence or not, you can rest assured that when words are needed, they will be there and you, Paul, the man, doesn’t have to panic because walking in that kind of faith is pleasing to God our Father! It is the one thing we can always know we are pleasing God with, our faith.

    Also, because God cares about ALL His children (even those who don’t know they’re children of His) no harm will come from words you speak in love and sincerity even if they aren’t “spot on!” So, when you feel like listening, you listen, and when you feel like speaking, speak, but to paraphrase the Apostle of your namesake, “whether it be listening, do so unto the Lord, and whether it be speaking, do so unto the Lord.”

    You see brother, He just wants us to commune with Him also in all we do. He wants us to be available ready to be used in whatever capacity. Since it is the Holy Spirit’s job to empower results, we just have to “do” out of love, kindness and compassion. When you realize the burden isn’t yours to “get” results, you don’t have to panic or be anxious in anything!

    Just a word of encouragement brother, not criticism. You are accomplishing God’s will for your life by doing what you do, and like someone said (I don’t remember who), “don’t sweat the small stuff!”

    On a personal note, I love what you bring to the “table” as far as perspective, which is so unique on things so many of us have taken for granted! Keep using your gift my brother and we will ALL continue to be blessed, abundantly!!

    • Always safe with you Roland – always! Thank you. SAFE!

      Reading your comment again, these past two years have been a period of journeying faster. And yet … no matter the right moment, the sweet spot, the right silence, the right words … more and more two years after writing this post – those who “object” are usually those who teach or “lead” . Not so much those who “are taught”. The “teachers” seem more familiar with agreement than questions (and I am being connected with many who lead and allow – hello brothers and sisters!).

      My current feeling of “HELP LORD!” is this: am I doing “this” (question stuff) because I can – because they react and respond – or because He desires it. And whatever the answer two years ago or right now – I am beginning to realise my dilemma will remain the same always: HELP LORD!!

      And that is what I want as “my dilemma” always!

  4. The Holy Spirit worked through you differently than those you’ve witnessed use it to answer questions. Instead, maybe the Holy Spirit kept you from being quick to answer because your call was to arrive at the epiphany you reached in this post.

    It was also the Holy Spirit that lead me to this post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. The revelation shared here is super powerful.

    • Ebshab – what a gorgeous transparent comment. Thank you. Connection – always connections – always guided if we each allow. I used to live and breathe that a couple of years ago. Now … ? I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reminding me of that ((hugs))

      And now I have to shut-up writing so much and get out there reading much more!! 🙂

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