Be LOVE

A first attempt at typing while walking…on my treadmill because the temp outside is around 1.  God is funny.  Write…walk….now he has me doing both at once!  Thank goodness for my “surf shelf” that holds my laptop securely to my treadmill.

You may have heard me say before that my son in love pointed out to our family how critical we had been to people we saw on tv.  We really were unaware of this bad habit (aka SIN) until he so graciously pointed it out to us.  As a result, several months ago my eldest daughter and I agreed that we would both cease and desist with the criticisms of others both the ones that came out of our mouths verbally but more importantly the ones we simply thought.  They both flow from our hearts, and I am ashamed to admit that this 25+ year Christian hadn’t understood what she was doing.

With God’s grace, I think I’ve been doing much better with this flesh problem.  But today God showed me something new about this that I was still missing.  Again, I’m ashamed to report that I have even memorized a verse about this not realizing it was me He was talking to.

The other night my family and I watched the live musical performance of The Sound of Music.  The lead singer (Carrie Underwood), who gave a fabulous performance, received a good deal of “criticism” to which she responded with a reminder of God’s grace and a verse from His word.  The verse she used was not the one that I had memorized, but it stated the same command.  Funny how God does that….if you miss it, He tends to repeat Himself!

Colossians 3:8 but now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these – anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.

The verse that precedes this says, “You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived.”  (Yes, Lord, I see the “walking” reference.)  Because of my past, I tend to hone in on the “filthy language” portion of this scripture.  But ALL of it applies to me.

OUCH.  Here are a few more:  Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Peter 2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

A critical Christian – what a witness.  With friends like that who needs enemies?

It amazes me how I can justify and rationalize my bad behavior.  Lord Jesus, please forgive me.  What I had been doing was not simple criticism, it was not intended to improve anyone; it was slander and malice driven by an ugly, legalistic heart.  Judgment based on my own rules and regulations that others were not meeting.

(side note – my cat is chasing his tail on the steps – very distracting as I keep expecting him to roll all the way down)

Yes, Lord, I used to walk in these ways.  Thank you God for revealing my sin to me.  Forgive me Lord and fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I may walk in the newness of life following after Jesus.  Let Your love lead my heart, my thoughts, my words and my actions.  Teach me to speak the truth with love to the one who needs to hear it not to others as criticism and gossip.

Be LOVE.  Be encouraged.  Press on.

1 Corinthians Without Love

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