To stay healthy along the way, where do we receive directions?
This question merits an entire series of it’s own, but for the purpose of this focus – Staying Healthy along the Way – we will consider one passage with some of the principles for finding our way when things are confusing.
Conflict is an inevitable part of life. We all bring different life stories and personalities to our reading of the Scriptures. We have different perspectives on situations, different genders, and different cultures/races. We will not always agree, but we are part of the same Kingdom. The important decisions and directions require confirmation from multiple sources. Acts 15 records 2 different conflicts and resolutions regarding directions for the Way. We will examine one that led to what is sometimes referred to as “The Jerusalem Conference”.
Read or listen to Acts 15:1-21 at least twice with the question of this study in mind: Where do we receive directions? Create a list of at least 5 principles utilized in the process of finding the direction/decision regarding the disagreement.
Reread Acts 15:1-21. Can you discover additional components or principles utilized? Consider both the ways described and those implied.
Reread the passage again. Notice the attitudes as well as the actions of the various participants.
Which of these components of finding guidance have you utilized in your personal life? Are there others you may want to incorporate?
Which of these aspects of finding guidance have you seen practiced in your congregation or workplace? Has any key principle been absent?
Notice the action verb “listened”. What do you notice about how the listening happened?
How can these principles support spiritual health when in the midst of conflict?
Other series on Sojourners y Peregrinas that provide insight for this question:
Series 16 – The Acts of the Holy Spirit
Series 7 – Spiritual Disciplines
Parker Palmer describes a process of deep, deliberate, communal listening in his book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life, 2004. He details how to practice this listening in Circles of Trust.