Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 154

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome to Day 154 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Proverbs 25; Proverbs 26; Proverbs 27; Romans 15 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

In Proverbs, there are always so many great verses from which to choose… Right off the bat, this one hit me.

Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter.”

Proverbs 26:20, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” I journaled about this verse in a prior SOAP, but it bears repeating. So much wisdom in one verse.

Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Romans 15:5, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

O bservation

Chewing on Proverbs 25:1. Obviously it’s not talking about concealing or covering up sin. The Scott Translation would be, “You’re on a need-to-know basis.” God doesn’t expose our sins for all to see. Thinking about “Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8.

Romans 15, you can tell Paul is wrapping up his letter to the church in Rome. He even gives a closing benediction before going to chapter 16 with all of his greetings and yet another benediction.

Paul often encourages the church to “endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4. These verses speak of “endurance, encouragement and acceptance.”

A pplication

It’s not easy to be patient or long-suffering toward those around us. It’s easy when we’re wronged, hurt or angry to simply cut people off. Even if it’s only emotionally. We can still spend time together, but emotionally I could be very distant.

Relationship takes work. In our disposable society, it’s easy to make relationships disposable, too… Like they’re not worth the effort and heartache.

I have found that my lasting relationships are the ones that I have worked through some “stuff” with them. Pressing through differences or offenses.

I’m convinced that in lasting relationships (note that I am intentionally not using the word “friendship.”) “Relationship” has a much broader context, including family, co-workers, neighbors, so on and so forth.

I have really grown to appreciate the lasting relationships in my life. Now having been part of our church for 22 years, I have many relationships that have stood the test of time. In spite of difficulties.

Some didn’t.

It takes endurance to maintain relationship. Especially through difficult situations.

I think that’s why Paul said, “endeavor” to keep the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. Unity doesn’t have to mean “agreement.” We can disagree and still walk in unity. At least I think so…

Often times people take different paths. My path led me in a different direction than many of my friends were taking. They weren’t bad people. We were just on different paths.

And I’m not talking only about whether or not they are Christians, or separating myself from my friends who were party-ers. Sometimes life just takes us in different directions. Sometimes we just… lose touch. Grow in different ways… have different interests.

Sometimes those relationships can be rekindled… other times, not so much. Some relationships just seem take a lot of work.

I’ve heard an analogy that organizations use, about “getting on the bus.” This is our bus… decide if you want to get on the bus with us. (Then it’s about getting the right people in the right seats of the bus.)

In this life, there are many busses that one can choose.

Even if we’re on the same bus, we have different personalities. I connect easily with some people, others, again, not so much. We just don’t connect. We may be on the same bus, but not sitting next to each other.

For the sake of the Gospel, Paul prayed for “endurance and encouragement” for the people in Rome. He knew how difficult it was to maintain relationship. He and Barnabas, his mentor, had a disagreement about taking John Mark with them on a ministry trip. Paul also had a disagreement with Peter about following Jewish customs. In so many words Paul accused Peter of hypocrisy. Teaching one way but living another…

If you can see the strength in others… and not make being “right” the goal of communication, that we can disagree and still have relationship, that is optimal.

The goal of communication should be understanding, not agreement.

But not everyone may agree with that.

P rayer

Lord help me in my relationships to see the strength in others. To listen to and understand them. That I wouldn’t always have to be right…


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4 thoughts on “Day 154

  1. Pro. 27:19 as water reflects a mans face so a mans heart reflects the man. Father, my eyes are fixed on you and I am grateful for all that you have given me. I thank you for breakthroughs seen and unseen. I know that you are working in each of us for good. Let my love for you shine! Thank you for my family, friends church family and our leaders. We are so blessed!

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Romans 15:13
    “May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.,

    What a blessing. God you are my hope, joy and peace. Thank you for all that you are. Thank you for the Holy Spirit. You fill me up.

  3. Ok, so I finished this one up the next morning… Day 154 is officially in the books!

  4. I was out of town over the weekend and was pondering something on the drive home as the rest of the family was snoring in the car. Throughout Proverbs, the word “sluggard” is used in a negative way and since sluggard is not a commonly used term these days, I felt compelled to look it up.

    Definition of SLUGGARD

    : a habitually lazy person

    Synonyms: couch potato, deadbeat, do-nothing, drone, idler, layabout, loafer, lotus-eater, slouch, slug, slugabed, lazybones

    Antonyms: doer, go-ahead, go-getter, hummer, hustler, rustler, self-starter

    Given this definition, it is best to avoid being a couch potato, deadbeat, do-nothing, loafer, slouch, slug, and lazybones. I don’t know what a lotus-eater is, but I think I get the picture. I want to strive to be the antonyms such as doer, go-ahead, go-getter, and self-starter. I’m not real sure about hustler or rustler though.

    When it comes to terms like this, there are two ways to look at it. One is to set forth a definition to size up others (so-and-so is such a sluggard), and the other is figure out ways that we are being a sluggard and stop. There are some days/times that I want to veg or slug-out if you will. I find a great way to do this is by fishing which is an active way to be lazy. It’s also a great way to spend time with my kids and enjoy time together and maintain a good relationship. I’m also trying to figure out if playing golf is being a sluggard. I usually walk and getting good exercise. I also like to spend an afternoon on the course just focusing on God. I think it might be a matter of over-doing it ( i.e. – does golf / fishing take priority over chores and family time?)

    Lord, I know that I am not habitually lazy, but I want to make sure that I am living life as you would have me. I pray for those who struggle with habitual laziness, especially where it leads to bad habits.

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