Years ago, I had the opportunity to do classroom “pragmatic” language lessons.  I had a six-week curriculum that covered how to ask questions that get the answer you want, listening versus hearing, tone and timing of conversation and delivering constructive criticism.  I taught the kids a lesson called “3+and a Wish”.  Later it became part of a professional development presentation for teachers.  Before offering constructive criticism,  it was suggested that you offer three positives comments.   The “wish” was the statement of correction. 

   Correction is a necessary tool for students in a classroom.  Also, a necessary tool for the Christian, no matter how long you’ve served the Lord. 

        Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle NYC has started a new series of devotions from the first  four chapters of Revelation.  I highly recommend his devotions; 7-10 minutes of your morning, engaging and compelling.  https://media.brooklyntabernacle.org/devo_media.html 

   In the book of Revelation, John writes the literal words of Jesus.  “This is the message from the One. . .”  (2:1 NLT) to the churches.  Note, to the churches, Us.  This isn’t for the unbeliever.  Our Savior and Redeemer employs the 3+ and a wish method to his letters.  This one to the folks in Ephesus.  

   He compliments their “deeds”, “hard work” and “perseverance”.  This is a good church.  They’ve been through some persecution but emerged without compromise.    In this definition,  I have been a member of the church at Ephesus.  The church whose doors are open seven days a week, some meeting or service or outreach happening all the time.  There was always something going on at the church,  every day.    I was blessed to be part of that church.  I loved that place and I still love the people who walked through my life there.  Still, there was a need for correction in some areas.  Just like the church at Ephesus.

   Jesus gave them 3 + and then His wish,  “But I have this complaint against you.  You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” (NLT)    Sometimes sitting in a Sunday morning service,  I confess my mind would wonder to the to-do list or a good idea for the ministry.  Often I was ticking off what needed to be done while I was at the church,  as soon as I can get out of the sanctuary.  I was oncedescribed as a “steamroller”  when directing an event. I can get the job done,  effectively and cheaply.  I’m grateful for that gift.  We can become so busy DOING for the Lord, it takes away from our worship.  Works abound but relationship is gone.  

   I’m going to mark some things off the to-do list today and spend some time in His word and prayer. 

Thinkin’ you can join me?