This morning I saw a post by a previous co~worker who shared she is turning 50 this year and still feels old baggage from childhood creeps into her life. I so understand!!!! And I told her so…and encouraged her to reach out if she ever needs a friend to listen.
My scripture this morning comes from Romans 3. Verses 3 & 4 jumped right out at me:
and I immediately thought of what my friend had shared earlier on Facebook…that even though we slip up now and again (who doesn’t) as long as our faith and belief in Christ is there HE will never leave us and HE will always love us. I took it even a bit further…I know what is right, I have learned some great new appropriate coping skills but sometimes what I know goes right out of my head and the old, familiar coping skills come right to the surface. Does this make me a bad person…NO NOT AT ALL…it reminds me I am human and it is only with God that I can make changes in my life. And that each day I need to make the right choices to make the right decisions. And I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy.
Another thing my friend wrote about was “being a people pleaser” and how I can relate. I remember one time I was part of a support group and I was constantly bringing goodies to share and one day I brought a jar of homemade soup to one of the facilitators. Janice thanked me for the soup in front of the group. After the meeting she came up to me and said I wasn’t allowed to bring her any more goodies ~ even though she loved them ~ why you may ask, just like I did…I looked at Janice and said “why?” and she replied. Because you don’t have to always be doing things for me to like you. I like you for you!!! That was so hard for me. I love doing things for people, I love making food gifts or crochet gifts for others…but sometimes I have to check myself and ask..why am I doing XYZ??? Is it because I want someone to like me, to pay attention to me or is because I just want to bless them…no strings attached.
Do you know how freeing that is??? I am able now to do things just because without expectations. Now, for the most part I do things just because with no care about what the results or outcomes will be. Yes, sometimes I will do something for someone to say “I’m sorry” for hurting their feelings or for making them uncomfortable but it’s for them…not for how they will respond to me.
Back to verses 3 and 4 – there is nothing I can do that will turn God against me or like me any more or any less. He loves me for me!!!! Just the way I am.
Continuing in Romans 3: 22-24
Just another reminder of God’s grace is so freely given. I think of all the verses in the Bible I cling to…the ones that remind me of God’s grace is the one we share the most with the kidlets in our care. We try to show grace and mercy with our kidlets just as Christ has with us. The other day we had to have a chat with one of our boys, C, age 9 who is a pretty smart cookie, sometimes too smart for his own good 🙂 C was arguing with both Ron and I, got mad when I told him to get into the van and he said “I’m not getting in the van till you apologize.” Me being me, (we were in the parking lot of the Tampa Bay Rays) I turned and said, “C I am not going to argue with you. You need to get in the van.” He mustered up his stature (as much as a 4′ 10″ chunky little guy could and said “I am not getting in the van!” So I took my purse, put it on the floor of the van, pulled my phone out of my back pocket and said “well you leave me no choice but to call the police.” I think it was 2 seconds and he was in the van.
Once we were home, showers were had, snacks had been eaten, Ron and I called C into the office and asked him to sit down. We talked about following the rules and our expectations of behavior especially when we are out on an outing. Then Ron asked him if he knew what “grace” was. C replied “it’s a holy word.” Ron and I both smiled and said “well sort of.” Ron then told him what he wanted to tell C was that we were unhappy with his behavior at the game and that we just wanted to send him right to bed BUT just as God extends grace to us, we were going to extend grace to him. That grace is giving forgiveness even when we don’t want to. So he didn’t have to go to bed right away and in fact, he could stay up an extra 30 minutes. BUT the next time we are out on an outing and he misbehaves there will be a consequence of an early bedtime. And then Ron asked him if he understood. C replied, “Yes, I was rude in not getting into the van and you are being nice and letting me stay up.” Well sort of 🙂
We have talked a lot about grace this week while we have been working. Not only as reminders to the boys but to ourselves that God gives us grace ALL the Time!!! And usually we don’t deserve it.
Romans 3:28 ends the chapter with
I believe this verse ties right into what I was sharing with my friend (mentioned above) that it is not what we do (WORK) for others, its’ that we do because God calls us to love one another and to keep our faith in Him. And it reminds me to keep my eye on my relationship with the Lord!!! To keep the faith, to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, to remember whatever I am dealing with will pass, that nothing stays stagnant.
What Bible verse has spoken to you that you try to emulate in your own life and with others you come into contact with?