Paying Paul without Robbing… July 6, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1935)

Pine Island churchThere is a tendency to want to share truth by proving points instead of living out convictions. Yet when other people don’t share the convictions, what do you do with that unrelenting sort?

You can try to convert them–even though most people don’t change their minds as easily as a Mustang drops down its top.

It’s the other alternatives that bother me. Truthfully, as long as someone’s trying to preach at me or teach in my direction, I still have the inkling that at least they care enough about me to want me to become a part of their flock.

But when they give up on the idea of me joining the ranks, too often I become the enemy. They start looking for reasons to dislike me. They immediately alienate me from their circle of influence–and more often than not, meticulously foster a search to find evidence of my ignorance.

I believe this is not a good way to advance a fresh idea. Good ideas need to be faithful to their principles without being obnoxious to bystanders. Candidly, I believe we’ve lost that particular ability.

So as I go off tonight and tomorrow to share with the folks at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Island, Minnesota, I have taken some time to understand that these burgeoning human beings have a history and a present to go along with their future plans.

For 114 years this church has been in existence. Just stop and think about that. I must ask myself if there’s anything I have pursued for 114 days–or even hours.

Ministers have come and gone. Parishioners have spent their entire lives seeking spiritual food within this enclosure. They’ve laughed. They’ve wept. They’ve married and they’ve died.

And you know what’s amazing? They did all of it without my help.

I’m not trying to limit the scope of my talent or influence. I’m just saying that respect for one another to where we have arrived is necessary in order for us to have a confluence of ideas and emotions that create fellowship instead of dissension.

To put it in today’s language, you’ve gotta give folks their props.

So I made a short list of things which I want to make sure to achieve before I depart the sanctity and beauty of this congregation:

1. Don’t try to make things bad to share something good. I’m tired of this approach. People feel like they have to tear something down that’s already established in order to promote their product. As Jesus said, “I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Brilliant.

2. Don’t attack the outside to improve the inside. Is it really necessary to establish that the world is lost, confused and perhaps damnable, just so we feel more spiritual? Is God out to prove His point, or is He out to save the world? There’s a difference, you know.

3. Don’t give up on the good in an attempt to achieve better. I don’t know if I’ll like all the ways the St. Paul people worship. Honestly, no one asked my opinion. My job is not to tear down what is already established–just to strengthen the pillars.

4. And finally, give people a chance to find the Kingdom of God that’s already within them. It is essential that we realize that church is the revelation that God dwells best in the human heart, and less effectively in altars of stone. Just allowing people the joy of absorbing that happiness is what God wants for His children. And that bubbling in the spirit must be discovered through our personal communion with ourselves and our heavenly Father.

So you see, because I’ve been thinking about these four things, I can look forward to my time with these diligent brothers and sisters, who have constructed a 114-year history. I think I’ve learned the lesson–don’t destroy.

And therefore, in my own simple way, maybe I can help them fulfill some of their dreams.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful message, Jon! Prayers & thoughts will be with you in the morning!

    Like


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