Ask and listen
The Bible says: ‘The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down’ (v.10 NIV). Satan is the ‘accuser’ of God’s children, but sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking badly of someone or accusing someone before we know all the facts. Having emotional and spiritual maturity means that we first seek to understand, rather than making a snap judgment and a hasty accusation. Let’s look at the example God gave us in the garden of Eden. He could easily have said, ‘Adam and Eve, you unappreciative sinners, I should never have trusted you in my garden!’ God’s non-accusatory style in confronting Adam and Eve about their sin gives a powerful example to those of us who tend to speak before we have all the relevant information. The Bible says: ‘The Lord God called to Adam…“Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”’ (Genesis 3:9-11 NKJV). God already knew the answers to all three questions He asked, but He gave Adam an opportunity to explain his side of the story. And in Adam’s case, he couldn’t. But the principle still stands: asking a clarifying question and listening carefully to the response are key steps in overcoming any tendency to criticise or accuse quickly or unfairly. We need to learn to ask, and listen.
Ask God to help you learn to ask and listen, so you have all the relevant information before making a decision about something or someone.
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