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Summary: THINK is a great acronym for bridging the generatinal gulf - Is it True, helpful, inspirational, necessary and kind.

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Bridging the Gulf Between Generations (Phil. 2:1-5)

"If there is any encouragement in Christ, consolation of love, fellowship of the Spirit, affection and compassion. Make my joy complete by being of the same mind. Maintaining the same love. United in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but in humility do not merely look out for your own interests but also for the interests of others."

Wherever I go today I see a growing gulf between generational values. Even Christian books trumpet the unique characteristics of the culture of each generation. Numerous studies delineate the preferences and patterns of the builders, boomers, busters, generation X & Y so as to be more specific in meeting needs. Sadly, this has led to more splintering rather than the unification of the body of Christ.

Here are five helpful guidelines in bridging the communicational gulf so that we are less critical, less non-communicative and less prone to aggravate one another about our differences:

THINK:

1. Is it TRUE - Paul writes, "Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, admirable and praise-worthy, let your mind dwell on these things. (PHil. 4:8) Before we speak let us be sure that we have our facts straight. One should hesitate to voice an opinion based upon what a liberal news reporter has said about a trend in our society. Mr. Marshall wrote this hymn when he was missionary in Japan:

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;

I would be giving, and forget the gift;

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.

I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.

I would be faithful through each passing moment;

I would be constantly in touch with God;

I would be strong to follow where He leads me;

I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod;

I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.

Who is so low that I am not his brother?

Who is so high that I’ve no path to him?

Who is so poor, that I may not feel his hunger?

Who is so rich I may not pity him?

Who is so rich I may not pity him?

Who is so hurt I may not know his heartache?

Who sings for joy my heart may never share?

Who in God’s heaven has passed beyond my vision?

Who to Hell’s depths where I may never fare?

Who to Hell’s depths where I may never fare?

May none, then, call on me for understanding,

May none, then, turn to me for help in pain,

And drain alone his bitter cup of sorrow,

Or find he knocks upon my heart in vain.

Or find he knocks upon my heart in vain.

2. Is it HELPFUL

One of the great benefits and blessings of being a missionary is increased exposure to the world wide work of God. It is so helpful to see how God is using crisis, hardships and deprivation to bring many to Christ and beyond. In America with all our abundance we often do not see people who are scrambling just to eat. However, this is a daily occurence in the vast majority of the developing world. He need to not only come to terms with our own shortcomings but our shortsightedness when it comes to helping those who are less fortunate around the world. Therefore, it is best to talk about how to serve the lowly, needy and lost instead of arguing about what color of carpet to put in the fellowship hall.


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