Thursday, November 8, 2018

Take Care Our Spirits Are Not Sharpened

Frankly, friends, we are slammed this week with ministry paperwork, sermon preparations, last minute travel readiness and meeting the level of commitment that this church deserves from us during the revival. We have no complaints. This is what we signed up for. We love this, even the busyness of it all.

If you throw in a little bus work Wednesday and preparing the BoggsMobile for the well below freezing temperatures the weather guessers are predicting tonight and tomorrow night, I have not had time to contemplate, much less write any profundity down.

I did run across something of interest Tuesday morning after I had already published Tuesday's post about elections. I sent it by text to a few of my friends that morning.

I was looking for a certain quote from John Wesley for a sermon I am writing for the Minister's Conference in Nigeria. I found the quote I was looking for, but it was not as I had remembered it. It did not fit my point at all. That happens to me at times. However, there was a quote from John Wesley a little further down the page and it completely wiped me out.

It was from John Wesley's Journal and it was dated October 6, 1774. Here it is.

I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.

Wow! That is powerful, insightful and knocks our heads together in 2018 as much as it probably did in 1774. Wow again!

People love to talk about politics, elections, issues and candidates. That is OK. I enjoy the exchange of ideas. I have firm opinions about economic systems, taxes, social issues and a bunch of other things. There are oodles of people who absolutely disagree with almost everything I believe.

That is fine. Let us talk about it. Unfortunately, most people can not discuss these things without degenerating into calling each other nasty names and assigning each other corrupt motives and questioning their sanity.

A man talking with me recently went on and on about people voting opposite of him, finally making the serious statement that he did not think anyone that voted that way was saved or could go to Heaven.

It was not the first time I have heard that from people, but it might be the first time some one had expressed those thoughts and then ask my opinion. I knew he wanted me to applaud his wisdom, but I could not.

I said with a smile, "Fortunately, people are not going to hell just because you said they are, brother." I left him spitting and sputtering. (Speechless is not always a bad thing) The conversation was over. 

The incredible thing is, I probably agree with 90% of this man's opinions, but I could not, would not join him in sending people to hell for disagreeing. Now, I may be going with them, in his opinion.

I believe John Wesley was on to something when he said to speak no evil of the person they voted against and to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.

Would people listen to John Wesley today? Would they like it? Probably not, but I imagine they did not like it much in 1774 either.

He was right and is still right.

Thank you for stopping in today.


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