It's not a time to make decisions but a chance to be creative and think outside the box.
Reference: v.24 "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: I start to squirm everytime I'm in a meeting and someone mentions the term 'brainstorm'. The true definition of a brainstorm is that you throw all of your ideas out to the group. It's not a time to make decisions but a chance to be creative and think outside the box. However, often to get one good idea you have to go through a lot of terrible ideas. But it all seems worth it in the end when you come out with a good idea. The challenge with brainstorming is that you open yourself up to judgment. Because you haven't had a chance to think through your idea thoroughly, it may truly be a terrible idea. But that's the price you pay in the hope that others will work together to make the final idea brilliant. I find that often people are very quiet in brainstorming sessions because they are too worried about putting their idea forward. They think that people will judge them on the ideas that they present in a brainstorming session. When this happens the brainstorming session fails, as people are not willing to throw any idea into the ring. The idea they hold back could have been the catalyst to bring out the brilliant idea in the end.
Application: We are often bound by other people's judgments. We are conscious of other people's thoughts on what we wear, what we eat, what we drive and where we work. And yet people's judgments are not always correct. People are known for making judgments on people's outward appearance rather than what is truly in their hearts. No one was more aware of this than Jesus. He was judged harshly on where He was born, who He hung out with, what He said and what He ate. And yet that did not stop Him from living the way that God desired. It is important for us to be aware of how we present ourselves to others, however we must not allow other people's judgments to stop us from living according to God's will.
Prayer: Lord, when we are looking for approval may we focus on Your thoughts, not on the thoughts of others. Amen.
Who do you look to for approval?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.