What’s Your Style?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Do you notice some people are all praise for everything with nary a negative thing to say about anyone or anything? On the other hand, there are those who seem incapable of seeing any good in life; every season is bad. What’s your style? I guess most of us are not on either end of the spectrum. For the sake of reflecting on our own style, I like to share with you two people I know who are close to the two extreme ends.

I met this lovely older lady who prays beautifully. Her prayer showed connection to God our Father. It showed passion, depth, discernment and a great sensitivity to the needs of people around her. My wife immediately remarked to me that she prays beautifully. Indeed so! Her prayer motivated us to know her better.

We got to know her quite well before she passed on. She is always full of encouragement. It was quite a while after we knew her that she implied her disapproval about certain things. Still, she was always gracious even when she was disappointed. She didn’t have children, and spent a good part of her energy teaching young people, many of whom grew up to be sterling Christians.

The one thing I began to realize after a while is that I needed to discount some things she said to me. She is always over the top with her praises, and I was more than happy to lap them up. But on one occasion, I overheard the same superlatives with just about everyone. OK, I get it, I’m not that special! When everybody is fantastic, maybe I need to discount her words of encouragement.

Without a doubt, she was a wonderful person to talk to. When she neared the end, Lily and I had occasion to minister to her at her bedside. She was in grave discomfort but she was always so happy to see us. Without children or immediate relatives there, the people in church were her family. There is so much of her style that I would like to emulate for she was a gracious woman of God.

I also met another person on the other end of the spectrum. This man has made some good observations, and has the ability to see through some issues that others may not see.

Whatever brilliance he has is always in your face. This man is abrasive. He foists his opinion on others on everything. After a while, it becomes apparent what moves him. God may be in his vocabulary, but God’s not in his heart. He regards himself as the father of discernment on things in the church, when half the time, he has a mixture of truth and error. He will speak up at every public meeting and find something to object to. He will tell you what’s wrong with you, but never says what is right. He is just incapable of seeing the positive. When he wanted to argue, and I choose not to argue with him, he says it’s because I am Chinese and so I avoid conflict. How I wish Chinese people really fight less than other people!

The apostle Peter calls us to “love one another deeply, from the heart.” And the reason is a powerful one. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable …” (1 Peter 2:22-23). We are to love each other deeply because we are family. We belong to the same forever family. We are of the same seed. And that seed is an imperishable seed.

The Holy Spirit of God puts in us the desire to love another deeply. And there are times when we need to examine our style of relating to others because it affects our ability to love deeply. If we take pride in developing a critical spirit to everything and everyone around us, we will make no friends, build no bridges, encourage no one, and bless nobody.

The one who sees only the negative cannot love and does not have many friends. I think the negative style is quite prevalent in Singapore, though I am pleased to say as a community, we don’t do too badly.

Still, I would like us to consider if our personal style better reflect the deep love to which we are called. And there is no better place for your personal development than the nurturing community here @thewell.

Pastor Peter Eng

No comments yet

Comments are closed