Ramblings from the past few months.
The past several months I’ve experienced MANY ups & downs. Maybe you can relate to ups & downs. . . .
Your kids keep talking back
Your best friend does not discipline their children when they hurt your child
Your husband is not interested in spiritual things
Your family judges your decisions, especially in homeschooling
Your church does not pay attention to your sorrow or grief
You have no one checking on you when you’re struggling, in crisis
You feel alone
You’re not alone!
So, what is God teaching me (or you) in these hard situations?
Most of all, God is showing me to be compassionate, offer grace, extend acceptance & be humble when circumstances seem to go south. (These are my ups!) Sounds easy, but it is sooo hard for me.
What I’ve found is …
When I swallow my pride (my #1 sin), these character traits come a little more easily.
When I swallow my pride, I must depend on the Holy Spirit.
When I swallow my pride, I exhibit humility which is the basis of compassion, grace, acceptance, forgiveness & unconditional love.
To be honest, my nature is to argue, to point out my friends’ or family’s problems, or to offer solutions (disguised as encouragement, right). What God is teaching me is to let things go. Let them go & let God work.
It certainly isn’t easy. But I’ve been trying to look out for others’ interests more than my own. Maybe you can relate to this, too.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 NLT
I’ve always struggled with these verses because I am very judgmental. I want to figure out how to fix things or how to help make a situation better. As a leader, I want to change the way our Sunday School operated or the way our homeschool co-op was set up. Or, I want to change the decisions my husband made in our family. I was taking the speck out of someone else’s eye, instead of taking the log out of my own eye.
The past couple months, God is telling me that it’s not my job to fix situations, even if my idea might be better. In putting down my offenses with others (leave alone the speck in my friends’ eye), God is showing me how to reach out to others in compassion. Forget their offense to me & accept who they are, offering grace.
I can only change or control myself. I can never change someone else. So … I’ve been looking for ways I can love unconditionally, showing compassion, grace & acceptance. This flies in the face of our society.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
The only way I can not copy the ways of the world is through the Holy Spirit. I recently read an excellent book about the Holy Spirit working in me called Spirit Rising. I highly recommend it.
Next time, I’ll share ways I am not copying the behavior of the world.
Question: How do you show humility & unconditional love? grace? compassion? forgiveness? (I’d love some of your real-life examples) You can leave a comment by clicking here.