The same townspeople who declared Jephthah ‘persona non grata’ were the very ones who turned to him for help when they were threatened by a powerful enemy. So here’s lesson one: other people don’t determine your future, God does!
The Israelites were living in exile and bondage when God made them this promise: ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”’ (Jeremiah 29:11 TLB) God’s plan for you will prevail over every other plan.
Here’s lesson two: a unity walk requires unity talk. Jephthah immediately embraced the new relationship. ‘Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?”’ (Judges 11:12 NIV) Note the words ‘me’ and ‘my country’. He put the hurts of his past behind him and fully embraced the cause.
Deborah Pegues writes: ‘He was ready to walk in unity. And a unity walk requires unity talk. You would be surprised at the impact unity talk will have on your attitude and relationships. You’ll find yourself being less critical of others once you make such “team talk” a habit.’ That doesn’t mean you’ll always see eye to eye on every issue. It just means the cause and the vision you share are greater and more important that your differences of thought and opinion.
The Bible says, ‘Make every effort [you’ve got to work at it] to keep yourselves united in the Spirit [not necessarily in opinion], binding yourselves together with peace.’ (Ephesians 4:3 NLT)