My 28 Thanks:
This morning, I got up early and read my Sparkling Gems devotion by Rick Renner. The title read, “A Bitter Root Produces Sour Fruit.” Hebrews 12:15 tells us that we should look out for one another so that none of us fail to receive God’s grace. We should also watch out and make sure NO poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble us, corrupting not just our lives, but also the lives of many.
God’s grace is sufficient and it is freely given out to us. Because it is a gift freely given to us, we should also give grace freely and sufficiently to others. Remember the principle…”to whom much is given, much is required.” When people hurt our feelings, mistake our actions or words, or cause us harm, we can give out grace, knowning that we have sown it, so we should also reap it. Trust me, I definitely want to receive grace from others…so, I am going to dish it out.
Dishing out grace helps me uproot bitterness. Bitterness is a poison and it not only affects me, but it can also affect those around me. Check out this make believe scenario as I explore this topic further.
Person A walked by me in the hallway at church and didn’t smile or say hello to me. I can’t believe Person A would be so rude. I bet they are mad at me. I am going to go ask my other friend, Person B, and see what he thinks. “Hi, Person B. So, I have a question. Person A walked by me, didn’t smile and didn’t say hello. Do you think something is up? Haven’t you noticed them acting weird lately? Regardless, I can’t believe they would hurt me like that.” Person B replies, “You know…now that you bring up that situation, let me tell you waht Person A did to me the other day. I tried to get a hold of her on the phone. She didn’t answer, didn’t call me back, and didn’t bother to send me a text. Some friend she is. She can’t even return phone calls.”
Unfortuntely, this silly scenario plays out in some form all the time. Instead of going to Person A and seeing what is up, the Narrator allows a seed of bitterness to take root and from there her thoughts flourish into all different directions. Her thoughts and actions are poisoned and then she spreads that poison to those around her.
Bitterness traps you and it keeps you from finding out the truth a lot of times. You see, if the Narrator and Person B would just approach Person A in love, they would discover that Person A has been overwhelmed with the care of her sick, dying mother. They would find out that Person A has been taking 24 hour care of her mom, as well as two households, working full-time, and still trying to maintain a life of some normalcy. And, Person A didn’t even realize she didn’t smile or wave or say “hello” because she was in deep thought about the whole situation. Or, Person A is overwhelmed with the news that her husband received deployment orders. Or, Person A is saddened by the results of blood tests. Or, Person A is having trouble with a teenage son. Whatever the case maybe, Person A is in a season of life that needs grace to given out.
Don’t allow bitterness to take root and sour your fruit. Give out grace instead.
My 28 Thanks:
1. My morning walk was chilly and made a great start to my day.
2. God’s Word is a daily Gem.
3. Gary and I had some quiet time with the Lord before Judah woke up.
4. Gary is off work today and can take Judah to school for me.
5. Judah is learning so much about the Bible at his school. He has a triple dose-Home, Church, and School.
6. Christian Education.
7. Oklahoma is still a fairly conservative state.
8. I won fantasy football for the 4th week in a row. I am the only one in my league undefeated. Yes, this is a fun year!
9. A simple wave, hand-shake, or smile can change your day. I love to give those out. They are such easily delivered expressions.
10. Gary and Eric mowed my in-laws grass. So, when they got home from their trip, their yard looked lovely!
11. Judah loved his lunch. His daddy surprised him with subway meatballs. He ate all of them.
12. Judah made a creation book at school.
13. He told us the story, word by word, several times.
14. He let me record him telling the story.
15. Technology allows me to send videos to my family who lives away.
16. Judah’s grandmas take great interest in everything he does. I am so thankful that my son has two sets of awesome grandparents.
17. I am completely prepared for staff chapel.
19. Because Gary had the day at home, he cooked dinner and I got to play outside with the cutest 3 year old. We had fun with the frisbee.
20. We played with side walk chalk.
21. The evening weather is perfect.
22. We met some new neighbors. They seem like a really sweet couple who loves Jesus.
23. The opportunity to meet new people.
24. Family hide-and-seek is so fun. We play it often
25. We had an evening away from technology.
26. Old fashioned games like frisbee, side-walk chalk, hide-n-seek, and tag are fun, never get old, and took up our evening.
27. We love the front yard. Often, we have back porch mentalities. I love my back porch too. But, there is something special about the front yard. Time spent there communicates availibility, community, and conversation.
28. I get much accomplished on Mondays.