Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a mess of a woman

some days i feel like a complete mess and just overwhelmed by how yucky i can be. this morning i've been dumbfounded by how judgmental i can be to those around me, especially the ones i love the most. i received the email devotion below this morning from proverbs 31 ministries that gave me hope and opened my eyes up to some things i need to improve on as a woman who is earnestly seeking to improve herself. this devotion focuses more on mothers & married woman, but even though i am neither of those, it still hit home for me. some days i feel like my "yuck" is so overwhelming, i can't see through it, but then i remember that the Lord's love covers my "yuck" and guides me to improvement and gently shows me how to become a better woman.

April 29, 2008

Love Covers
Melanie Chitwood

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers…”
1 Peter 4:8 (NAS)

I’ve been thinking lately about how easy it is to judge others or to think I have the answers for others. For example, when I see a mother frustrated by her unruly kids, I might think, "She just needs to put those kids in a long time-out.” Another time I observe a couple having trouble in their marriage and I question their commitment to God’s ways.

In a nutshell, I can be self-righteous, just like the Pharisees. God has been making me aware lately of some of the unspoken yardsticks by which I measure others, such as: A good mom doesn't let her kids watch too much TV and doesn’t scream at her kids, or a godly woman has a quiet time every day and doesn't fight with her husband.

But then there's Jesus who turns these notions upside down when He says,” the greatest of these is love." What if instead of self-righteousness, we rained down love? It would sound like this: "Being a mom can be exhausting. Do you want to come over and hang out for a while?" or “I’ve had struggles in my marriage too. Do you want to talk about it?”

God’s Word reminds me that “love covers.” God is challenging me to examine my spoken and unspoken judgments of others. He wants us to come alongside others and help carry their burdens, rather than add to them with our criticism. Where the Phrarisees heap coals of judgment, Jesus calls us to be vessels of His love and encouragement.

Love covers. I'm praying that I will be like my Father who, instead of offering the yardstick of religious rules, offers the healing touch of mercy and love.

Dear Lord, Thank You that Your love has covered me and continues to cover me. Let me be more like You by offering the people in my life Your love, encouragement and help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Think about some of the key people in your life – friends, husband, children, pastor, boss, coworkers, neighbors, mother, sister-in-law, etc. Ask God to show you who you tend to judge rather than love. Ask God to change your heart to be more like His.

Power Verses:
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)
Matthew 7:4, 5, “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.” (NLT)

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