Series: Always Relevant: God is
I Peter 3:8-12 MSG
Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
There are times when we need to make a concatenation of our words and our actions. We need a link.
I Peter 3:8-12 Peter wrote:
“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good,Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful;Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth.God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked;But he turns his back on those who do evil things.”
In my life, I’ve always done best when I connect understand concepts with solid examples. It doesn’t help me much to give me a list (well, a little but mot much). Charts and graphs don’t speak to me. Learning by touching it is not always helpful to me. Some people prefer a crowd of people to work with, and others learn better alone.
I do better when I visually see it and verbally do it (reading, speaking, writing). I’ve found that I can work with a small crowd or I can work alone. I’m about 50/50 on that scale.
The seven styles I’ve listed include: see, hear, logical, verbal (reading, speaking, writing), touching, interpersonal, intrapersonal (https://www.edapp.com/blog/types-of-learning-styles/).
Once when my youngest son was still small enough to be carried I went into a small store with my four children. The store contained many breakable items on glass shelves.
My daughter is the oldest and she was almost eight years old. She understood the rules perfectly. She is NOT a rule breaker. She’s always been a rule setter and a rule keeper. I knew when I told her not to touch anything she would not touch anything. I also knew that when I made a rule that no one was allowed to touch anything she would uphold that rule with her brothers.
I knew she would remind them not to touch if they looked like they even looked like they might touch something.
My oldest son is logical and he was mostly intrapersonal. As an adult I learned he is an extreme introvert. He is 16 months older than his brother (third born) and they understood each other well. He’s always been a science/math junky. In college he took as many levels of calculus as he could as electives and he majored in a science.
My middle son is also a bit of an introvert and he has always been very musical. When he chose presents he wanted something that could be put together or something that made a sound (he majored in music in college). Even though my son was about five years old he would not touch anything unless it was a drum that made a really interesting sound.
I wasn’t sure how my youngest son would respond in this store but he was small enough I thought I could manage him by carrying him.
I was wrong.
He went crazy in the store trying to touch the glass ornaments. I had never seen him respond like that to anything prior to that day.
He was very agitated and upset that I would not let him touch anything! In addition to that, he tried to engage his brothers in his desire to touch. He also told others in the store that he wanted to touch. This was a side I had NOT experienced with my young son.
I wasn’t sure what happened to my sweet loving boy that day!
As he grew I was able to determine that he learns almost everything by touching it. He is a kinesthetic learner and he is the only one of my children who is an extrovert.
While my oldest son is almost a complete introvert, he is almost a complete extrovert.
My three older children are all introverts. My daughter and my middle son both lead teams of people in business today. My oldest son is retired military. He was a commander. God gave them everything they would need as adults. My youngest son is career military as well. His style of leading is very relational.
Making the connection about each of their learning styles was key to understand how they learn best.
What Peter wrote in I Peter 3:8-12 really helps us understand how we can relate well with other human beings. If we are sympathetic, agreeable, loving and compassionate we can understand and bless each other.
Being humble enough to stop and watch how others interact (or don’t interact) will pave the way for us to be sensitive to their needs.
Once I knew that my young son learned by touching and he was an extreme extrovert, I was amazed by how much he loved to hug others. He wanted contact. In college and graduate school he majored in psychology. In the military, he loves interacting with his people!
The other connection or link that Peter made relates to our understanding of good versus evil. Peter makes it clear we need to decide we will pursue God’s goodness and pass it on.
Years ago when I did Children’s Sermons in church I had a series I frequently did on the Fruit of the Spirit. I studied everything I could find about Galatians 5:22-23. I love what The Message says, “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
The Fruit of the Spirit are a GIFT! God gives the fruit to us.
God gave my youngest son affection for others. God gave my oldest son the ability to stick with a difficult problem. God gave my daughter great compassion. God gave my middle son a passion for the Holy life and helping others make good choices. God also gave each of them the desire to help others utilize their gifts well.
In the same way, God gives each of us the tools we need to BE who God created us to be. God gives us the link…the concatenation of life.
Before I found the word concatenation for this study I had never heard it before. It was a new word that helped me understand that God is always relevant past, present, and future.
God gives us the link we need each day, each year, and each decade when we turn and trust In God.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Turn and Trust
Ask God to help you to understand your learning style and how you best relate with others. Use what God gave you for good.
In God, Deborah