Monday, January 7, 2013

Taking the City

My devotional written today for The Redemptive Pursuit.  If you want to receive these weekly devotionals for women you can sign up here:

"Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city."  -Proverbs 16:32

The TSA security line at the airport had a estimated wait time of 43 minutes.  My flight was departing in 45.  One lane was open to check passengers and baggage and I was becoming angrier with each passing moment.  I did not just complain to those around me.  I began lashing out.  At the TSA agents, the man who insisted he take another look at my bag, and when I got the gate I expressed my frustration to the ticket agent who had nothing to do with the security line.  She very politely let me know my complaints were not in her control.  Then I boarded the plane and expressed my frustration loudly and obnoxiously for all the passengers on the small plane to hear.

My temper may not have taken a city, but it certainly made everyone who interacted with me miserable for the time they were around me.  I was a warrior for my own cause.  And I did not care who it inconvenienced.

God cares more about my character than he does whether I am in the right or wrong in a given situation.  He is not impressed by how I let everyone know how inefficient their system was.  He was saddened that I couldn't control my temper.

Christ has nothing but patience for me.  Not just a patience that can wait through a long line but a patience that costs something.  He is gracious with me through my sinfulness.  Knowing he died for my sins should move me to love others out of an overflow of the love he has shown me.  And yet I am a slow learner.  But Christ did not treat those he disagreed with or those who wronged him with disdain or pride.  He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," and then he died to cover their offenses.

Perhaps next time I try to be a warrior for my own cause, I will remember that Christ in his humility was a warrior in his love for others.

God, forgive us for our self-centered tempers.  You have shown us that loving others should come before loving ourselves and we fail.  Thank you for caring for us so much that you cover our shortcomings and move our hearts to be fixated on you and not our own ambitions.

1 comment:

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