March 18

“And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.”

(Mark 15:3 | KJV)

There is no spectacle in all the Bible so sublime as the silent Savior answering not a word to the men who were maligning Him, and whom He could have laid prostrate at His feet by one look of Divine power, or one word of fiery rebuke. But He let them say and do their worst, and He stood in THE POWER OF STILLNESS—God’s holy silent Lamb.

There is a stillness that lets God work for us, and holds our peace; the stillness that ceases from its contriving and its self-vindication, and its expedients of wisdom and forethought, and lets God provide and answer the cruel blow, in His own unfailing, faithful love. How often we lose God’s interposition by taking up our own cause, and striking for our defense. God give to us this silent power, this conquered spirit! And after the heat and strife of earth are over, men will remember us as we remember the morning dew, the gentle light and sunshine, the evening breeze, the Lamb of Calvary, and the gentle, holy heavenly Dove. (Streams in the Desert)

We are not all the same, but we were never intended to be. A single note holds meaning, but greater beauty is produced by dissimilar notes pressed into service cooperatively. Single notes sound forth a simple melody, but chords navigate and convey the complexity of a symphony. The larger question in life is not how to avoid conflict, but rather, how do I manage dissonance? I rarely read authors with whom I know I fully agree. Frankly, I am convinced of what I believe, making it all the more critical that I test those beliefs against divergent voices. I am stretched to think deeply when someone challenges my sacred presuppositions and forces me to reexamine in light of Scripture rightly divided. The individuals that help refine me are those who refuse to accept me at face value and push to see if there is substance beneath the surface.

There is no plot without conflict; I mature when I quietly learn from dissonance. Reject bitterness and refuse hatred a foothold. Rise above anger and learn from it. “One of the truest signs of maturity is the ability to disagree with someone while still remaining respectful” (Dave Willis). When dispute rises like a boil under skin, re-evaluate your position and admit when you are wrong. Humble yourself by refusing to gloat when you are right. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do not grow in an environ of sameness. We flourish as we push back from what we recognize of ourselves in those we oppose, and as we grant the Father space and permission to prune us in the process.

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