Want more Good News? Go here.
Want more Good News? Go here.
As the accuser, the enemy of my soul is continually at work chipping away at my identity in Christ. He accuses me of how I never change; how wretched I am; how far I fall short…and he is right – I am and I do!
My performance, however, doesn’t make God’s Word about me, His love for me or what He has done on my behalf more or less powerful. It isn’t based on ME – my ability to live up to a standard, to do “this or that,” to achieve a certain level of performance or perfection. He came to seek and to save the lost! And I qualify!
THIS is Good News!
Simon and I are practicing something new this Thanksgiving season, a variation of an idea I found here.
During the the entire month of November, we are paying closer attention to all the little things our kids are doing that are “praiseworthy” (like holding the door for someone, taking the garbage out unasked, remembering to use good manners, holding their tongue when treated harshly, or any number of other character qualities we want to encourage in our next generation). Each time we witness such an act, we are writing about it on a fall-colored sticky note and sticking it to their bedroom doors when they aren’t looking. (Example: “I was so thankful when I saw you offer to help the man in the wheelchair get a refill of his soda at Sam’s today.” True story. Cue Mom tears.)
Seems simple enough, I know, but I confess that I am too quick to point out the negative while being too slow to praise the positive. And a month focused on thankfulness seems like the proper place to change that pattern, don’t you think? After all, we are encouraged in Philippians 4:8 to do this very thing…
“whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable – if there is any moral excellence or if there is any praise – dwell on these things.”
How are you shifting your focus to one of thanksgiving for the little things this season? Please share your creative ideas (or links) in the comments.
I am a highly impressionable person. I believe we all are in varying degrees. What we read, what we watch, the company we keep – all of these have a hand in shaping our perceptions and perspective. We vicariously learn through the experiences of the characters we come to know on the screen or in the pages of a book, whether for good or evil. One such character that has shaped my perspective on relating to others is Lorelei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls.
Gilmore Girls was a fast-paced, cleverly written show littered with pop culture references and witty banter. I was drawn to the main character (Lorelei) from the first episode in 2000. Lorelei, having become pregnant at sixteen, was now the mother of a sixteen-year-old daughter herself. What drew me to her character was that she accepted people at face value, for who they were at present, not who she wanted them to be. This was starkly contrasted against her own mother’s character whose snarky comments usually left little room for doubt that Lorelei was a constant source of disappointment to her. Lorelei usually managed to find humor even in the most humorless of people or circumstances. She was keenly aware that she didn’t have it all together. That perspective freed her from easily taking offense when those around her didn’t have it all together, either, allowing her to accept people as-is.
Romans 15:7 – Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
PONDER: If you have trouble accepting people as-is, ask yourself this: How did Christ accept you? (Hint: Read Romans 5:8.)