I was asked to be part of a conversation with two very talented people involved in a business proposal with several investors. The proposal they are working on was at a critical stage of development just before its scheduled launch. They needed a word from the Lord. I was asked to pray for an upcoming strategic meeting where these two individuals would address several issues that would need to be resolved before the project could move forward.
As I prayed over the involved parties, an unusual word pairing came to me during prayer. I said, “Lord, release into this meeting righteous reasoning.” I could sense a shift take place in the room. When something is righteous it means it has moral bearings. It is conduct or a way of communicating that is justifiably right according to God’s wisdom, not our personal opinions.
In a process of righteous reasoning, we try to form conclusions from an open and honest evaluation of the facts and available evidence that honors God, not our ability to control a project by our talent, resources, or opinion. Most of us can justify the rightness of our position, but our justification can bring to the table our unresolved personal baggage. When things begin to fall apart, like the meeting I mentioned earlier, people have a choice to make. Are they willing to lay down their demands and engage other possibilities so that a new way forward can be entertained? This requires listening to other perspectives and the people delivering those perspectives and not dismiss them out of hand.
When righteous reasoning is present all things are possible. Without the humility and submission this posture requires, we will dismantle what could have been a project of significant Kingdom impact.
In Acts 15 a conflict arose in the Church between the leaders in Jerusalem and the Gentiles believers. “So, the apostles and elders met together to resolve the issue. At the meeting, after a long discussion…” (Acts 15:6-7). No doubt the issue was hotly debated, but in the end, those in attendance yielded to the will of God over personal demands and opinion.
In their letter to the Gentile believers that delivered the results of their righteous reasoning, a powerful statement was included. “So we decided having come to complete agreement” (vs. 25). The statement went on to deliver their shared opinion on the best way to move forward. Coming to complete agreement in our overly divisive and partisan world is possible when believers choose to reason righteously together for the advancement of God’s Kingdom, not for their personal agendas. It is possible because, with God, all things are possible.