Friday, December 7, 2012

Good Will To Men

I came home from the grocery store yesterday quite peeved.  It put me in a bad mood and as soon as I stepped in the door of my house, I blathered to my husband about my woes. 

Before the store I had been at a meeting I didn't care to be at.  A meeting which drained me of energy but was totally unneccesary.   I was only there because it was required by my school district.  After that I stopped to return an overdue book at the library and pay my fees, which never makes me very happy.  It was then that I made my stop at the grocery store. 

All I wanted was strawberries.  I needed them for my french toast breakfast I would be making for the Girl's Bible study Saturday morning.  I was on a 'spiritual mission'.  But the store was out of strawberries.  Grrrrr.  It was getting late and I had no dinner plan.  It had been a crazy day and I was exhausted, so I thought I would pick something up from the deli. 

The lady in front of me was indecisive, taking forever, so I waited patiently, all the while thinking, "How badly do I really want this?  Is it worth my wait?"  When it was finally my turn to make a request, another lady appeared out of no where, cut in front of me, and voiced her order.  I gave up, but not in a quiet reserved sort of way.  I simply left the scene in a huffy flourish. 

The lady noticed and sort of apologized, but I told her never mind, it was okay, I was done, and we parted ways.  Talk about elementary behavior!  I was being a total jerk about the whole thing, and over such a trivial thing as chicken!  I was so glad I was not wearing my 'Jesus' button.  (We had received buttons in church last Sunday to wear so that others would be pointed to Him during this season.) 

I've been memorizing the book of 1st Peter lately and it has been transforming my life.  Although you wouldn't know it by the scenario I just described!  But I just finished chapter one and was feeling rather smug about it when today I started chapter two, and wouldn't you know it.  God must have a sense of humor in these things, for the verses spoke convicting of this very scenario. 

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."  (1 Pet. 2:1) Wow, that "slander of every kind" got to me.  I used to think it was okay to gossip or bad talk others as long as it was only to my husband.  But in later years I've been convicted of that, and here I had come home from the store, slandering the other lady. 

The passage goes on to say, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual food, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."  (1 Pet. 2:2) I certainly needed to grow up.  I was acting very childish, having my little tantrum, and God simply wanted me to grow up.  How do I do that?  By craving the Word of God.  Getting back to not just reading the Scriptures, but really studying them, digesting them, and applying them in my everyday life.  

'Tis the season for good will to all men.  As we rush about our days, often in a flurry of annoying drivers, long lines, exasperated moms (such as myself), and tight schedules, I have to remember that the things I think are so important, often are not.  What matters is, am I living in right relationship with God?  Am I treating others in such a way that He is lifted high?  Am I being a worthy representative of Christ?  And if I am mistreated, do I simply react with my natural instincts, or respond by the supernatural power of God?  What opportunities I waste by my own selfishness and pride.

Praying I do a lot better in the future to create a little more of that peace on earth, good will to men. There is hope, for often God uses us in spite of ourselves and I know I am forgiven.   His favor, grace, rests on me still. 

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