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When was the last time you changed your opinion positively about a colleague, someone in the office, or a fellow-worker in your ministry team? I wonder if I miss important insights and challenges because I have stopped listening to certain colleagues. I may be stuck with outdated opinions of people. I’m imprisoned by my familiarity.
The people of Nazareth fell into the same trap. They cut themselves off from the miracles of Jesus because they could not see Him as anything but the son of Joseph the carpenter. And according to Jesus, it was the same in the times of Elijah and Elisha.
“I tell you the truth,” He continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.” (Luke 4: 24-27)
My faith tells me that people can change. So I need to work hard to keep my opinions open. I know in my head that God can do anything through anyone. So I should expect God to behave in unusual ways and work through unusual people.
Let’s not insulate ourselves from God’s purposes. Let’s look at our colleagues through fresh eyes, growing our opinions of them. Let’s ready ourselves to receive from unexpected sources.