You never know when God is going to point something biblical out to you. For me, it recently happened at a strategic communications conference I went to for work.
There was a Q&A session where an author was explaining the importance of including the human element in innovation, specifically three characteristics that make the difference:
- Strategic kindness
These three points immediately made me think of three biblical themes God repeated throughout the Bible:
I’m not sure how “strategic kindness” is different than just plain ordinary kindness. But here’s what we’re told, biblically:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.
Optimism and biblical hope
The author during the Q&A talked about optimism. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m very optimistic. To a fault.
But where does optimism come from? If you think about it, it’s really the same thing as hope, a very central theme in the Bible. Hope that despite what’s going on, it will end. God has a plan for this. There’s a reason you’re going through suffering. It will get better.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Curiosity begins with listening
Curiosity is all about learning, and what’s one of the best ways to do that? As it says in the Bible, close your mouth and listen.
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
“And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Applying biblical principles
I love how these three biblical principles–which God has been telling us to do for centuries–were being presented as “new” and “noteworthy” insight from a business author.
But what was God’s purpose in using this session to speak to me? I see a few ways God is using this reminder in my life:
- I need to continue to prioritize reading the Bible as part of my daily life. That’s where I’m going to find the best wisdom and insight as to how to live.
- Biblical wisdom isn’t just for church. It applies to every facet of our life: parenting, relationships, careers, hobbies, etc. God cares about the details of our lives, not just the highlight reel.
- When we’re doing things God’s way, what seems like common sense to us might not occur to others around them. Don’t judge them because of it. Instead, maybe God will use it as an opportunity to start a conversation about what He’s doing in your life.
- You never know when or where God will remind you of His truth.
I also found it to be a reminder that at work–and in every area of my life–I need to be kind, optimistic/hopeful, and curious/quick to listen. And hearing it in this context helped it stick with me even weeks later.
Lord, please continue to work through me both at work and at home. Help me be quick to be kind to those around me, fill me with your hope, and give me ears that hear to learn and engage, rather than to flip the conversation back around to me. Thank you for this reminder that came from an unexpected place.