Dad has coined a very helpful phrase: “Don’t go speck fishing in your brother’s eye when there is a home depot truck in your eye!” (Matthew 7:3). This Sunday he made a great point, turning that phrase on it’s head. “We should always be hunting for the minutest speck of God’s working in our brothers & sisters lives.” Do I point out and look for every possible evidence (no matter how small) of God’s grace in my friends lives?
Remember the commands in Scripture to love more and more? Dad asked a great question. Do I/we view them as commands (which they are!) or simple suggestions? Is laborious love a non-negotiable or optional? Darn, that’s convicting!
I think I was convicted specifically in the little things. When mom asks me to take out the trash, do I grumble inwardly or joyfully serve? Do I look for ways to clean up after care group? Do I eagerly reach out to newcomers in the church or default to friendships that are comfortable? Do I sit on my bed at 11pm gladly listening to my sister’s struggles (instead of wishing I was asleep)? Do I serve in secret, doing the “nasty” jobs at church (knowing this serves my church family just as much, or more, as any other service). Do I draw my friends out, even when I’m tired? Do I look for ways to bless, serve, and love my brothers and sisters?
I was encouraged that the answer to these isn’t always a no. Honestly, that is SO encouraging! But, I have such a long way to go. Thinking this way is very helpful. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit!!! This week as I’ve been tempted to be frustrated (ok, biblically speaking, angry) or tempted to be selfish, He has reminded me to “love all the more as you see the day approaching.” What a fresh reminder of the gospel. God doesn’t leave me to walk out my sanctification alone. Part of the glories of the gospel is that He is always with me. I can do NOTHING right without His grace and power (Romans 1:16, 1 Peter 1:5). And because I am His ransomed child, He is there with me along the journey. That gives me much hope. Change is possible (even in the little things that seem impossible to change in). My hope doesn’t rest in my abilities, but in the awesome God that calls me His child!
1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.