Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 9, 2019
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
It is always easier to criticize what’s wrong than to celebrate what’s right. This is true in politics, family life, and the workplace. We live in a cynical society that conditions us at every turn to see the world through this lens. Without realizing it, a negative comment here, a cutting word there begins to habitualize and burrow its way into the core of our being. At the same time, daily decisions to see the good push against this cynical spirit and encourage you to call out what is good, beautiful, and true in our world.
The world doesn’t need another critic. If you aren’t convinced of this, five minutes on Twitter should be enough to change your mind! However, how rare is it to have people in your life who consistently and faithfully live their lives to encourage others and seek their good, fanning into flame the signs of the Spirit they see at work in their lives? Can you believe by faith that the Lord is calling you to be that person?
Much of the family and relational dysfunction I have seen in my life is rooted in a failure to see the good and a lack of grace and patience for the bad. Usually rooted in our own insecurities and fears, instead of praying for those we love and seeking their good, we gossip about their shortcomings and dysfunctions. Our words of criticism may be emotionally cathartic in the moment, yet they are toxic to everyone involved, including ourselves.
Often, a sign of the Spirit’s work in your life is your ability to be silent in the face of conflict. Rather than rushing to point out the failures of others, what if our first instinct was to quietly ask the Lord to search us and show us anything unclean within (Psalm 139:23-24). We would do well to take the Lord’s words to heart, “You who are without sin, cast the first stone” (John 8:7).
While this may feel overwhelming, the Lord uses small acts of faithfulness to mold and conform the whole of our lives into the image of his Son. This week, learn to be attentive to when you feel criticism, jealousy, or anger rising up within you. Tend to these emotions and lay them at the foot of the cross, believing that the Lord can free you from these patterns and use you as a source of great encouragement and blessing in the lives of others!
Father, heal my heart from deep-seated anger and bitterness, learning to see everyone as you see them, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Who most consistently frustrates or annoys you? Pray God’s blessings over them this week and thank God for the good in their lives rather than focusing on the bad.
The Lord uses small acts of faithfulness to mold and conform the whole of our lives into the image of his Son. #wisdomhunters #seethegood #Jesus
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