“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