Removing Barriers

January 9, 2003
by Ivie Bozeman

There are people in my church I never come in contact with directly. Some sit on the opposite side of the church down front. Since I sit in the back, I'm out and gone before they leave the church. For these people, I have an excuse, but there are others that I seem to avoid for less apparent reasons. I have nothing in common with them, I procrastinate, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ. How much more could I desire?

There are others that I find myself deliberately avoiding. I'm afraid of their tongues — of what they will say — or I'm afraid that they will not accept me in the manner in which I would like to be accepted.

Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV)

We need to pray for others for our benefit. In praying for others, we allow ourselves to get in touch with how we feel about them. God already knows, but do we know?

Sometimes our deepest thoughts come to us in prayer. If we ask, God will change our feelings about others, and give us grace to love them. Through prayer we can work out a better relationship with them.

John 13:35 – By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, teach us how to pray for others. Help us to work through the irritations or conflicts that separate us from one another. Remove the barriers that divide us, so that others can see that we are your disciples. Amen.

About the author:

Ivie Bozeman <ivie@rose.net>
Thomasville, Georgia, USA

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