Growing up, Little House on the Prairie was one of my favorite t.v. shows. I could relate to Laura as someone who struggled to do the right thing when her feelings tempted her to do the opposite. One such example was from the first season. Laura and Mary had just experienced the first of many unpleasant interactions with nasty Nellie Olsen. Sitting on the stairs of the mercantile, Mary commented to Laura that she could never be as mean as Nellie.
Laura’s unforgettable reply was, “I could, if Ma and Pa would let me.” As she lived with her beloved parents’ daily influence, they molded Laura’s actions and reactions. In the same way, we have God’s Holy Spirit living within us.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. – Ezekiel 36:27
His Spirit is constantly available to influence the choices we make and daily mold our actions and reactions, as well. While our feelings may echo Laura’s sentiment, with the Holy Spirit on duty within our hearts, our reactions can be more like Mary’s.
PONDER: In what situation are you most tempted to react in your flesh? Choose to submit your will unto God’s, allowing the Holy Spirit to mold your actions & reactions.
PRAYER: Father, I confess that my actions and reactions are more in line with Laura’s. Help me to be more like Mary, slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit living within me, teaching and guiding and directing me as I walk with You.
I removed my review of a Bible-themed movie from Facebook this morning. Yesterday when I wrote it, my goal was to give a thorough, thoughtful and clever review from my Christian perspective to help believers who were on the fence about supporting it financially. By last night, it had become all about me.
One person in particular criticized and belittled me for my opinion – not just once, but repeatedly. I felt marginalized, my perspective somehow rendered invalid by his comments. By the time my head hit my pillow, I was angry. I prayed until I fell asleep.
I awoke this morning with cleared vision. What had caused such inner turmoil last night wasn’t the other person’s opinion. It was my pride.
Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18
Pride is a sneaky enemy. It manifests itself many ways – complaints, anger, being consumed with what other’s think, defensiveness, impatience, jealousy, disrespectfulness, an unwillingness to forgive. I displayed them all. Pride pushed God off the throne of my heart and sat myself down in His place, arms angrily crossed.
PONDER: How does the sin of pride manifest itself in your life?
PRAYER: Father, I desire to have less of myself and more of You interacting in this world through me. I want to be a conduit for Your love instead of my own agenda. I want to be a means through which You bring healing and restoration to a sick and lost world. Please forgive me for choosing self over You.