Saturday, March 24, 2007

being open

We need in life to be open to what God may be doing or saying to us as well as what might be coming from others. As we go along in life we often can "read" a situation better than in earlier years. We better understand God's ways and people so that there is less misunderstanding.

However, one important key to avoid misunderstanding is to acknowledge no understanding at all, oftentimes, or at least never a perfect understanding. We need to work at being open, open to what God may be doing in our lives, or what he may be trying to convey to us. And we need to be open to God's work in other people as well as in ourselves.

This doesn't mean being naive, or being unwilling to try to help someone without 100% certainty that what we say is what they need. There's a time to speak and a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3), and we need to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1). A good way to speak is to ask questions in seeking to help someone else who is troubled.

Being open means to not think we understand precisely what is going on in another's life, or in our own. Just yesterday I felt major condemnation/guilt about something. I realized I was tired, got home early (we have four hours left of a 40 hour work week right now on Fridays) and I snoozed. I woke up refreshed and found the air of condemnation had lifted.

We need to look to God always, realizing that though we may increasingly understand his ways in Jesus, we don't always understand well how those ways are being worked out in our lives or in the lives of those close to us. This often involves listening to trusted friends about concerns we may have with our children.

What do you think being open to God, or being open in general includes? It certainly includes much more than I've mentioned on this post.


Arloa Sutter said...

Hey Ted. Thanks for visiting my blog and making a comment. I have yours on my google desktop feed so I read all of your posts and am inspired by what you have to say. Great to meet you in cyberland.

Ted Gossard said...

Arloa, Great to meet you as well in cyberland. Your blog looks interesting and I look forward to reading it more. Thanks so much for your kind remark and for reading any of my posts.

Beth said...

Being open to God means for me in particular choosing to believe that He is in every part of my life and that He is able to take even the most horrible experiences and emotions and transform them for my good into jewels of divine providence.

Ted Gossard said...

Beth, I like very much what you say. It's hard for us to think that way when we're down and seem out. Or all messed up. But this too, is an important part of being open. That God will work good out of even evil and troubles. And that he's in EVERY part of our lives! Thanks.