Day 28 – Do not take each other to court
Start you day with this prayer
Lead our emotions, attitudes, thoughts and actions
Give us the wisdom to live discerningly
Give us the courage to reach out to others with vulnerability
Use this symbol to lead you in prayer for the day.
Symbol: Paper clip
Holy Spirit, as your children we are connected to each other.
We confess that we all too easily want to follow our own course, and surround ourselves with those believers who think and believe just like we do. Forgive us our stubbornness, and show us how to differ from one another in love. Amen.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? – 1 Corinthians 6:7.
To live and work together as one community of faith is not always easy. Sometimes misunderstandings happen or even conflict arises about what the one did to the other. In these cases, Paul asks the believers to handle it differently than unbelievers would.
Paul feels so strongly about not taking one another to court that he asks us to endure injustice perpetrated against us. Yes, he asks that we rather let ourselves be wronged than to take another believer to court. Paul felt that the many court cases between Christians were threatening to unravel the witness of the church in the community. If there are no differences between how believers treat each other and how unbelievers treat each other, the church has basically no witness.
When seen with the rest of Paul’s admonitions to the believers, we should not take each other to court; we should rather live in such a way that we give no one any reason to take us to court. When there is conflict, we should handle and solve it in an honest and loving way.
Father, give us the grace to live with each other in honesty and sincerity. Amen.
Liturgy for life
See the ordinary things you do in and around the house as signs of God’s care.
But who’s fault is it …?
When I was a student my friends had the saying, “Never mind the problem, fix the blame.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what the problem is, as long as someone can be blamed.
At the moment we are reading of many different groups taking the government to court. The world is broken and in chaos and someone needs to be blamed. Someone (either the government of a specific group) is the problem. In many of our personal relationships, we can also easily see the other person as the problem. They are the ones who are wrong and need to change. We then miss out on an opportunity to renew ourselves.
The Bible invites us to be renewed and to think anew about who we are and who we want to be. To make other people the problem, we need to justify for ourselves why they need to be different and then we need to convince ourselves that it is wrong to think or act differently. We do not try to understand why someone is acting differently from us; we are just defending our own position.
We now have the opportunity in our homes to choose to focus on how we can solve problems. For always remember, the people in your house are not the problem; the problem is the problem.
Today we ask ourselves: What can I do differently to change the relationships in our home? How can I help solve the problems we experience? Promise one another in your home today that you will choose to look for solutions.
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
It is not always easy to be friendly and nice to one another. Many times there are misunderstandings between people and someone is wronged. Then we want to argue and show that someone else is at fault. But as believers we are challenged to act differently. When we are in an argument, we should choose to find a solution in an honest and calm way.
How do you feel when you are in an argument with someone else?
How can you stay calm and honest in an argument?
Make a sensory bottle to help you calm down. Use any see-through bottle or jar with a cap that can close tightly. Fill the bottle with water and add a bit of oil and dishwashing liquid. You can also put food colouring in. You can now put in any objects that will float in the water, like glitter, small toys or beads. Close the bottle or jar tightly. Shake it a few times and then watch the objects float around in the bottle. Focus on them to become calm.
Look at today’s illustration. What stands out to you? Talk to the people in your home or with your friends on WhatsApp about the illustration.
– Think about the emotions people experience during conflict. Which colours do you link to conflict?
– Which movements do you link to conflict?
– Create your own interpretation of the illustration through any medium: dance, photography, videography, music, poetry, drawing, painting or short stories.
Record it and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #countdowndoodles
Thank you’s and testimonies
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Bedtime story by storyteller Ewald van Rensburg