Day 234: Me First: Refining (August 22)

This morning while running, I was reflecting on some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned during marriage.  In a flash I saw one memory after another.  God reminded me how in the early years of marriage, I would go to Him complaining about Chris and the things I felt he needed to change.  Places where I had decided he needed more Jesus. Ha ha.  I was quite oblivious.

It wasn’t too long before God gently corrected me.  I was not intended to be Chris’ Holy Spirit.  God can cover that.  Furthermore, He showed me that instead of coming to Him with the list of things wrong with Chris, I needed to first ask myself a question.  “I see this problem in my husband, but where do I need to change first?”

Instead of insisting that all those around me change to accommodate my demands or expectations, first I need to search my own heart and see where I may be falling short, or if my own behavior is encouraging bad behavior in those around me.

To put this into a simple analogy, I can’t sit around and gossip with someone and then complain that they are a huge gossip, because clearly, I am also part of the problem.  So instead, if I don’t like gossip, then I should strive to stop gossiping and see how it changes those around me.

I know that’s over simplified, but I hope you get the point.  We are often facilitating the behaviors that we are less than pleased with in others.

I encourage you this morning to take the “me first” approach to this problem.  When you are faced with a person who is challenging for you to be around or a spouse who you are fed up with, take a moment and step back and say, “God, change me first”.

God, please forgive me for my arrogance in assuming others are wrong, when I’m also at fault.  Please give me grace for those around me and the humility to examine my own heart before I point out fault in another.  I want to be pure of heart, Lord.  I want to by fully Yours, in Jesus name, Amen

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:5

What then?  Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?  By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  Romans 6:15-18