A READER ASKS

Simple Grace - - Mood Index -

“Dear Lord, I was ea­ger to serve You when I took over as vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tor at a lo­cal ser­vice mis­sion, but it’s mak­ing me a worse Chris­tian in­stead of a bet­ter one! The gen­tle­man who han­dles the in­ven­tory of do­nated goods is in­cred­i­bly dis­or­ga­nized, the woman who comes in to do crafts lets the chil­dren run all over the place, and the news­let­ter ed­i­tor…well, let’s just say her skills leave a bit to be de­sired. I should be glad these peo­ple are help­ing, but I find my­self out­wardly forc­ing a smile while in­wardly I think mean and mock­ing thoughts. They’re all kind in­di­vid­u­als who blos­som un­der my com­pli­ments, not know­ing I’m be­ing in­sin­cere. I’m no paragon of virtue, and I cer­tainly don’t need to add hypocrisy to my flaws. Please help me see be­yond the flaws of oth­ers and gen­uinely ap­pre­ci­ate their ef­forts!”

—Paul in his first let­ter to the Corinthi­ans, 12:4–6

Wis­dom of the Word

Now there are va­ri­eties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are va­ri­eties of ser­vice, but the same Lord; and there are va­ri­eties of ac­tiv­i­ties, but it is the same God who em­pow­ers them all in ev­ery­one.

We un­der­stand and yet…

We strive to keep our hearts open and lov­ing, but still feel ir­ri­tated by the short­com­ings of oth­ers. We crit­i­cize them in­wardly on the ba­sis of our own tal­ents and abil­i­ties, though we know we’re not per­fect ei­ther. Why do we keep do­ing this? And how can we stop?

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