first read, today’s scriptures are pretty discouraging. Paul lists
out a long list of criteria to be a bishop. Not only do I have to be
a saint, but my children have to be saints. Scratch me from the bishop
list. And in Luke, Jesus says if I cause a child to sin, it would be
better for me to have a millstone around my neck and be tossed into the sea.
I am not perfect. I am a human being. I say and do stupid things.
I cannot live up to these ideals. The psalmist sings that we are a
people who long to see God’s face.
Jesus assures us that God loves us and tells us that we should
not worry. Easier said than done. In another episode I was simply
putting dishes away. A cup fell out of the cupboard and broke.
I thought my wife had put it there and I said some unkind things about her.
I assumed that I was alone. I turned to see my sixth grade son doing
homework at the kitchen table. The expression on his face told me he
had heard me. I am a firm believer that one of the best things I can
do for my children is to love their mother. I wanted so much to take
my words back, but that cannot be done. There is so much negativity in the
world. How do we counteract it? How do we avoid being infected
by it? Paul, the psalmist and Christ all show us the way. Be
an encourager. Speak words that build people up.
Paul speaks lovingly to Titus. He encourages him and gives
him instructions on spreading the faith. The psalmist sings praises
to God the creator. And Jesus encourages. Christ warns that things
that cause sin are inevitable. Be on your guard. If someone sins,
you should let them know it. However, if they repent, you have to forgive.
Over and over. Christ tells us if we have faith the size of a mustard
seed, nothing is impossible. My prayer today would be that I could
give and receive words of encouragement. That I would trust God and
not worry about things. That I would help someone to hear Christ’s
words of encouragement. It seems like a tough task, but Christ tells
us that with just a little faith, anything can be done.
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