Saturday, April 28, 2012
Good Evening to All!
(34) Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while.
(37) After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. (38) And now, I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone;l for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; (39) but if it is of God, you cannot over throw it--lest you even be found to fight against God."
Acts 5:34, 37-39 NKJV
Gamaliel was a highly respected Pharisee, the teacher of Saul who would later become the apostle Paul. He was able to present a very clever argument to the council to change their way of thinking about the disciplinary action of the apostles. He is only mentioned in the New Testament twice, but he exerted a profound influence on the course of Christianity. He is mentioned in Acts 22:3 as well as the scripture above.
Gamaliel, being the excellent diplomat that he was, viewed the situation with a historical perspective. He didn't do what most people would have done and spewed out accusations, religious movements. He simply and ingeniously pointed out the facts and truths of what happened with a man called Judas of Galilee.
He got everyone to look in a new direction and view a similar situation to bring hope that the current situation would be resolved as easily. People respect a peacemaker and someone who helps them to see and understand the situation more objectively.
What's more, Gamaliel also brought God into the equation. He reminded them that God's plans are sovereign. Staying true to his diplomatic self, he first calmed the council, after which he went on to remind them that God is in control. He remained open and brought out the idea that this new religious movement might just be God's plan.
I liked the way the devotion brought out that "a tactful man uses reason while remaining open to all possibilities. A diplomatic man is humble enough to know God triumphs over man's plans".
I have always said that I am not a very tactful person, and now I know why. I've never been very diplomatic either. (I guess that is one more thing to put on my list of shortcomings to work on and ask for God's help to remedy).
Another way of looking at this brings to mind the unruly tongue as well. Now let me say, I am preaching to myself. I have a tendency to speak before I think. Therefore I know that whatever I say is definitely not going to come out in a tactful way, or diplomatically. I am always having to go back and explain "what I meant" and apologize. It's not that I say mean things or hurt people intentionally, I just don't think how things will sound once they are out of my brain.
I am always asking for God to curb my tongue, and help me to speak in a way that is pleasing to Him. The problem with that is I say it after the fact, which the damage is done already.
What I am getting at is that we all need to work on being more like Gamaliel. We all need to be more diplomacy minded and not be so rash in our decisions. A lot of these decisions may be reparable, but some may not be, and those might just be the ones which can do the most damage.
You know how people will tell you to count to ten before you spank a child so that you will cool down and not over do it? Well, I personally think when two people are angry with one another they should go into separate rooms and instead of "stewing about the problem" think about a way to get their point across diplomatically, and not hurting the other person's feelings by blaming, or name calling. (I wish I would have thought about this long ago).
Nothing is ever gained by making rash decisions.
Good Night to All and May God Bless,