Welcome back to A Good Bible Study!
Let's pray and get prepared for God to speak to our hearts:
Lord, thank you for helping us make time for you even though we feel there is so little time to be had. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit who continually ministers to our hearts when we are not even aware of our need. And thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, who makes it possible for us to have this wonderful relationship with You. Please help us to give you back just a portion of the time You give to us. In the name of Jesus, amen.
What's the toughest part of being you? _______________________________
I started out with a blunt question because I don't want you to think about it, just answer.
If you are under stress, I bet one of the toughest things you have to deal with is ingratitude. I bet most people don't have a clue how much you do for them, or sacrifice for their needs. There are some days when it sure gets tempting to let someone know a thing or two, am I right?
We'd all like a little gratitude now and again. How do you respond when you are bending over backwards to help someone out and they treat like they are doing you a favor breathing the same air? ________________________________________________________
Read Matthew 5:43-48
What does it say to your situation?__________________________
Read Proverbs 19:11
What is to your glory?___________________________________
Read Luke 23:34. How did Jesus respond to those who were literally killing him? These same men actually mocked Jesus while He was laying down His life to save their souls, if only they'd ask Him. _______
Would anyone one of us have greater reason to take offense and act on it, than Jesus?
Now, I'm not Jesus and I am not saying any of us are going to have His patience, or His ability to see into one another's hearts. But, it is good to know that whatever we have felt, whatever we are enduring, He has felt it, and endured it, first. And He forgave.
He recognized our ignorance, our insecurities, our need for grace, and though none of us deserve it, He gave it freely and with a full heart. He asks us to love each other, give each other the benefit of the doubt, and do it for Him. Not because that snarly teen or huffy customer will appreciate it (may be), but because He will.
"Dear brothers, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humble help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong." Galatians 6: 1 The Living Bible
"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:40 New American Standard Bible
If all else fails, you can silently recite my mantra when I am really tempted to just let someone have it (verbally). It's a southern term that all Mamas tell their kids when they are getting ready to throw a good old fashioned fit. She'll give them the look and say, "Don't show your butt."
Believe me, you'll feel better if you just smile and say "Praise Jesus, this is for you Lord," and go on your way, lip buttoned up. See if I'm not right.
Lord, help us not to show our butts today (and help anyone who took offense at my butt comment to forgive me.) In Your name, amen.
Photo by Hunta, courtesy of http://www.photoxpress.com/