Hope-building Conversation

 

Hope-building conversation


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Written by ANDRÉE SEU

May 11, 10:28 AM


There are two kinds of conversations we can have with other Christians: those that bring us up and those that bring us down, those that tend to increase hope and a vision of the bigness of God and those that have the opposite effect. I did not notice how subtle this could be—and how flat many conversations leave me—until I had the experience, this morning, of being brought “up” by a brother. The upward-tending effect of his comments made me realize how lacking much common Christian banter is by comparison.

Which is to say, it is hard to know spiritual “off-white” until you experience spiritual “white.” It is hard to see that there is no such thing as “neutral” talk until you hear truly godly talk. Speech that is pure and completely aligned with God shows “neutral” speech to be actually in the demonic column. The apostle James admits of no third category. He classifies all speech as either of heavenly or of demonic origin (James 3:15). This is sobering.

The subject arose of a neighbor of mine who has had a recurrence of cancer and whom I casually called “a goner.” My friend immediately, though very gently, said, “Don’t say that, Andrée.” He reminded me of Jesus’ command that we ought always to pray and never lose heart. He reminded me also that one of God’s names from Scripture is “Jehovah Rapha,” God who heals.

Whenever I have confronted my friend with “hard statistics” (they may not be as “hard” as I think; there is so much we put up against God’s Word that is merely an anecdotal report—let us remember Proverbs 3:5-6) as an excuse not to bother praying for something, he has reminded me that we are not responsible for the outcome of prayer; we are only responsible to obey. And God says to pray.

Conversation is full of mine fields. We get carried away with the spirit of the moment and say all kinds of things, things that are not in perfect agreement with truths about who God is and what He can do. I am so grateful to God for giving me friends who challenge me in love, who call me higher, and ever higher.