BRIDGE BUILDERS // OCTOBER 5, 2022
"Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer."
When Peter spoke up to address the crowd -- the same people who disowned Jesus and handed him over to be killed -- he didn't attack or rebuke them for what happened. Instead, he spoke with compassion, grace and understanding. He used bridge-building words, sharing his own failures with them.
Peter's opening words ... "fellow Israelites" ... were powerful and lasting. How we communicate will either tear down or build up, alienate or bring together. As followers of Jesus, we're called to connect with people: every person we talk to is someone Jesus died for. Peter remembered telling Jesus he'd stick with him, but instead denied him -- not one time, not two times but three times in Jesus' darkest hour! People may tell us to forget our past and move on, but at times, it's healthy to remember our failures. It helps us to relate and connect to others, and it helps to remind ourselves that we've received grace, so we can freely give grace -- in what we do and in what we say.
How do you communicate? Does your language include people, drawing them in? Or do your words shame or condemn people? Your words are powerful: they can build a wall, or they can build a bridge. Today, be aware of the words you're using. Be intentional about speaking words that build bridges to connect with others and see the difference it makes in your interactions today.