Altar Ed: The Witness

And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel. Joshua 22:11 KJV

It is very easy to misunderstand people when we merely interpret their actions. Every action has an internal or external motivation which may be triggered by fear or faith. Nir Eyal in his book, Hooked, explains that, ” External triggers come from the environment. Internal triggers come from the person’s inner life and thoughts.” It is from these triggers that habits in life are formed. So good intentions are not enough by themselves. They can be easily misinterpreted. This is what has happened in our story. What was meant to be an altar of identity with the remaining tribes across Jordan, nearly resulted in war. It is very easy for what starts out as a misunderstanding to grow into a chasm of broken trust and division. It nearly happened here. Our actions are often misinterpreted by others. We owe people a responsibility of explanations. If we don’t ask for feedbacks, we may never know. Prov.1:5. To succeed as a leader in this complex development, self awareness is very important. It takes divine wisdom to be self aware and arrest situations before they get out of hand. Their wisdom showed in the delegation they sent. War was averted, and everyone was happy. In Mat.16:13-14, Jesus asked about peoples perception of his ministry. We’ve treated that in another vignette. It took his confirmation, his feedbacks to clear the confusion. Ask God for wisdom. Use feedbacks.

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