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Great Wisdom

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 27, 2021 7:00 pm

Great Wisdom

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 27, 2021 7:00 pm

“The shepherd needs great wisdom and a thousand eyes,” wrote the beloved church father John Chrysostom, “to examine the soul’s condition from every angle.” Chrysostom wrote these words as part of a discussion on the complexity of caring well for others spiritually. Since it’s impossible to force anyone to heal, he emphasized, reaching others’ hearts requires great empathy and compassion.

But that doesn’t mean never causing pain, Chrysostom cautioned, because “if you behave too leniently to one who needs deep surgery, and do not make a deep incision in one who requires it, you mutilate yet miss the cancer. But if you make the needed incision without mercy, often the patient, in despair at his sufferings, throws all aside . . . and promptly throws himself over a cliff.”

There’s a similar complexity in how Jude describes responding to those led astray by false teachers, whose behavior he describes starkly (1:12–13, 18–19). Yet when Jude turns to how to respond to such grave threats, he doesn’t suggest reacting with harsh anger.

Instead, he taught that believers should respond to threats by rooting themselves even more deeply in God’s love (vv. 20–21). For it’s only when we’re deeply anchored in God’s unchanging love that we can find the wisdom to help others with appropriate urgency, humility, and compassion (vv. 22–23)—the way most likely to help them find healing and rest in God’s boundless love.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.

Today's reading, titled Great Wisdom and a Thousand Eyes, was written by Monica Larose. "'The shepherd needs great wisdom and a thousand eyes,' wrote the beloved Church Father John Chrysostom. To examine the soul's condition from every angle, Chrysostom wrote these words as part of a discussion on the complexity of caring well for others spiritually. Since it's impossible to force anyone to heal, he emphasized reaching others' hearts requires great empathy and compassion. But that doesn't mean never causing pain. Chrysostom cautioned because if you behave too leniently to one who needs deep surgery and do not make a deep incision in one who requires it, you mutilate yet miss the cancer.

But if you make the needed incision without mercy, often the patient in despair at his sufferings throws all aside and promptly throws himself over a cliff." There's a similar complexity in how Jude 1 describes responding to those led astray by false teachers whose behavior he describes starkly. Yet when Jude turns to how to respond to such grave threats, he doesn't suggest reacting with harsh anger. Instead, he taught that believers should respond to threats by rooting themselves even more deeply in God's love. For it's only when we're deeply anchored in God's unchanging love that we can find the wisdom to help others with appropriate urgency, humility, and compassion—the way most likely to help them find healing and rest in God's boundless love.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Jude 1, verses 17 through 23. But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, in the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.

These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt.

Save others by snatching them from the fire. To others show mercy mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Let's pray. God of love, when we are faced with evil and hate, help us not to respond in kind, but anchor ourselves in your love. Give us the wisdom and compassion to see with a thousand eyes the needs and hopes of the other and to show them your love. Thank you, Father. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. I'm Alisha Reisinger, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-04 11:47:17 / 2023-07-04 11:48:49 / 2

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