Words have power. They can build up or tear down; reconcile or divide; and offer hope or inflict harm. When you use words that tear down, divide or inflict harm, you are responsible for your actions. When you intentionally do so knowing the impact they will have on others, you need to repent. Saying you do not mean what others hear is not an excuse. In fact, it makes things all the worse. This is not a political matter. It is quite simply a faith issue. If there is any doubt, remember Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan. His piercing words remind you that you don’t get to pick and choose how you treat others. Rather, you are called by God to always act neighborly toward every single person you meet.
It’s tempting to put others under a magnifying glass, criticize them and compare yourself favorably to them. But that only creates a smokescreen that helps you avoid the most important thing you need to do – deal with you. But you never undertake this work alone. You always do it with God, who is in the business of transforming you from the inside out so you better love God, follow Jesus, love others and live joyfully. So go ahead and deal with you day today. And don’t feel guilty in the least.
You don’t have to prove yourself when your relationship with God is the heart and of your life – because you know God loves you unconditionally. You no longer feel like you have to change the world by yourself – because you know God’s already at work. And you no longer get distracted from keeping the main thing the main thing – because you know what your purpose in life is all about. So how do you get to this place? Just start with God. Even if it means you need to start over.
Sometimes it feels like you’re just too busy for God. But go ahead and make the time today – and everyday – because it’s that important. When you wake up, spend quiet time with God. When you eat a meal, give thanks to God. When you struggle with a difficult decision, ask God for guidance. When you struggle, share your heart with God. And all the time, seek God’s will. When you do, God will use these times to heal, shape and mold you from the inside out. After all, isn’t that the point?
There’s something in your life causing you problems. So much so, you may think your only option is to keep dealing with it the way you’ve always dealt with it. But there’s a better way. Let God help you. God’s eager to share in your pain, support you and work to resolve it. Even more importantly, God can’t wait to weave “your problem” into the story of your life in ways that allow you to live far more faithfully, compassionately, generously and abundantly than you ever thought possible.