Seek to have Largeness of Heart

In 1 Kings 3:16-28 we have an example of Solomon’s wisdom. Two prostitutes stood before him for judgment one day. They were living in the same house and had delivered babies within a few days of each other. One night, one of them accidentally rolled over her child while sleeping, and killed it. When she realised what had happened, she immediately exchanged her baby with the living one. In the morning, when the other woman realised what had been done, she claimed her living child back. An argument arose between them then, as to whom the living child belonged to. How was Solomon going to decide in a situation like this? God gave Solomon wisdom. Solomon suggested that the living child be divided into two, and one half given to each woman. The first woman, whose child it really was, said, “No, please don’t kill it. Give it to the other woman.” But the second woman said, “No, kill it. You can have half and I can have half.” Immediately everyone knew who the true mother was. Then Solomon said, “Give the child to the first woman.” All Israel heard of that judgment and feared the king because they saw how God had given him wisdom.

Here is how we can apply Solomon’s wisdom today: Suppose two brothers are working together in a church and they fall out with each other. One of them then splits it into two and pulls out with his group. Is he the true mother? Certainly not! The true mother would say, “No. Don’t divide the church. You can have the whole church to yourself.”

Don’t ever split a church of believers. It is far better to leave the church intact, pull out yourself, go elsewhere and start an entirely new work, without causing a split in the first church. God will bless you. If God wants to give you that church to lead, because you are the true mother, He can even kill the other woman one day and give you the child. He killed Saul and gave the kingdom to David. He can do such things today too. But don’t ever cut a living baby into two. Don’t divide a church. Go and work somewhere else. Let God give you everything from His own hand. Don’t ever grab or divide.

That’s the principle I have followed whenever I have disagreed with a church’s leadership. I didn’t try to split the church, to get some of them to follow me. I went elsewhere and said, “Lord, let me start from the beginning all over again. Give me another child. I won’t fight for that one.” And I can testify today that God has blessed me abundantly in my work, because of that attitude. So I would recommend that to you.

In Chapter 4:29, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, largeness of heart, like the sand that is on the seashore.” Remember Solomon was a very young man. So young people can ask God to give them all these four gifts mentioned here. Not only wisdom, discernment and breadth of mind but also “largeness of heart, like the sand that is on the seashore”. This means (for us) a large heart that can take in all of God’s people who are like the sand on the seashore (Gen.22:17).

Consider a brother who belongs to another denomination, who disagrees with us about water-baptism or speaking in tongues; but God has accepted him. Our prayer should be, “Lord, give me largeness of heart to warmly receive him – even if he doesn’t work with me or agree with me.” I want as many brothers and sisters as God has children!

Consider a child of God who has a conviction on some matter that is different from ours. Can we accept that person? I remember once when a sister came to me for baptism and she was wearing some gold jewellery. Now, I have a conviction that gold should not be worn by believers. That is my understanding of 1Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3. And this sister was wearing gold. Would I baptise her or not? The Lord asked me one question at that time: “Would you say that I have accepted her?” And I said, “Lord, as far as I can see, she is truly born again and so you have accepted her.” Then the Lord said, “How can you reject one whom I have accepted?” So I baptised her – with her gold! She may get light on that matter later; but it is not my business to judge her. I want to accept all those whom God has accepted – even if their convictions are different from mine.

I remember once concerning some issue, the Lord asked me, “How long did you take to understand this matter?” I admitted that it had taken me some years. Then why couldn’t I be patient with that person who was taking time to understand the issue?

We all need largeness of heart. When we are young, we tend to be zealous and narrow-minded, narrow-hearted, and we accept only those who agree with us on every issue. I am ashamed to say that I was like that when I was young. It was one of the many foolish attitudes I had. But as I grew older, and knew the Lord better, I discovered that I needed to have largeness of heart.

By Zac Poonen. Website: www.cfcindia.com

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