{Ministry Monday} Dear Satan, Thank You.

I usually post {Marriage Monday} on every Monday, but today I feel led to make it {Ministry Monday}. I have been running away from writing on this subject for weeks…but God has been speaking to me this morning through text and email. It definitely wasn’t a coincidence that my text scripture this morning was 2 Corinthians 4:17.

 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”

Then my email subscription to Proverbs 31 sent me this devotion. {Here are some main points that really spoke to me…if you click on the passages it will take you to the complete devotion.}

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Righteous anger. Have you ever experienced it? That justifiable anger that rises up within you when you know someone is acting in a way that dishonors God. That anger Jesus expressed when He walked into the Temple and found the moneychangers doing business in God’s house, defiling Holy ground. Righteous anger is a good thing. However, what we do with it is another matter 

Was I gossiping? In the moment, I didn’t think so. In fact, I felt okay talking about this leader since they’d engaged in behavior I thought was “unchristian.”Everyone at dinner agreed with me and disapproved, which validated my feelings. I took comfort in how good it felt that I wasn’t alone

In the quietness of that moment in church, I felt conviction.
Not guilt. Not shame. But conviction.

I have written a post over {gossip} before, after my pastor preached on the subject a month or so ago.  I understood it then and asked the Lord to change my ways, but as I sit here now I am so much more aware of the difference between gossip for support and idle gossip for pleasure.  I am as guilty, if not more guilty, as the next person for spreading idle gossip to friends…even if in the moment I felt I was confiding.  What was I trying to prove? What was I trying to validate? It felt good that others felt the same as me…but what was really the point? My pastor spoke on God’s perfect plan yesterday at church. He said that God has allowed things to happen so you finally understand that scripture you have seen over and over again–to grab your heart and transform it from personal want-to’s to God-like desires. Situations I’ve had to face in past and present are molding me into who God wants me to be. Gossip about my adversaries was pleasure, not therapy…I see that now. It would be so simple to try and turn the table and say “Everyone does it!” I’ve wanted to, it has entered my mind, and I’ve done it in the past…but now I stay silent. I make it a learning experience… I know God’s perfect timing is happening, and there is a reason for hurtful situations. Like my devotion this morning said, righteous anger is a good thing–it’s just what I do with it that’s the issue. So, now I am TRYING soooo hard to:  

PRAY 
for those who don’t want to see me succeed
THANK 
those who consistently try to knock me down
LOVE 
those who plot against me

They have only made me a better person.  This blog is not to blow smoke to make me look better, I actually feel embarrassed and shamful that it took a hurtful/shocking/guilty-as-charged situation to open my eyes…to convict me to take responsibility for my actions. I am more than certain that God led me to share my shortcomings to help someone.  All the glory goes to God, He knew everything before it even happened.  Because I found a lesson in the pain doesn’t mean I am automatically perfect–No one is or will be until they walk in Heaven’s gates–. This just means that I am aware of one of the many faults I have and now can strive to notice and change.

I want to end by saying, the devil would love for me to get discouraged and stop blogging… I have news for him, “NOT HAPPENING!” I am not perfect, but I don’t claim to be. I fall short on many levels and have wronged people… I want to share that with others! You are not alone! Just because I put myself out “there” {here on PL} doesn’t make me any better than you…

I feel led to tell my readers to keep pushing on. I push on to share God’s love and words.  He wants a relationship with all of us, and if I can play match-maker with even just one reader…I’ve fulfilled my purpose.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God Bless & Keep On Keepin’ On,

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3 Comments

  1. December 3, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    Girl, I hear ya…it takes me a long time to sometimes figure out that God is talking to me. He has to slam me upside the head most times. But good for you, for sharing your heart. You’re right, Satan doesn’t want you to share those feelings, but I admire you for following The Lord and writing. :). I really appreciate your thoughts and have found much encouragement. By the way, what church do you go to? My husband and I are looking for a church again in the area…thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. Ang
    December 3, 2012 / 11:06 pm

    Jess, I cried when I read this. Knowing the situation you’re speaking of, I so admire you looking through the eyes of Jesus. I’m proud to be your Aunt and am excited for what and where the Lord is leading you! I love you!

  3. December 5, 2012 / 3:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing, stopping by from Good Morning Girls 🙂

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