Happy 2020, friends! It’s been a minute since I’ve had a chance to write, but I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and your new year is off to a great start.
Things have been wild here at the White house with our fast-moving, fast-climbing, fast-growing little man! He definitely keeps us on our toes, and we love *almost* every minute of it! (Just keeping it real for y’all. 😉)
Now, on to what inspired this post…
When I sat down tonight to do my Scripture writing for today (and to get caught up on the last couple of days because life), the Lord really helped me, and I wanted to share it. The theme I chose for this month has been “Cultivating a Quiet Heart.” I couldn’t think of a better way to begin the year than to focus my mind on Scriptures to help calm my heart.
The first ones I wrote tonight were Romans 12:18-19. It begins:
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (vs 18)
As I wrote that verse, my mind began to wander a bit…
The other day, I ventured out of my hermit hole, into the world where other people live, and actually went shopping. Since 90% of my shopping is done online (including groceries – shout out to Amazon Prime Pantry and Walmart Pick-Up for making introverts happy), this was actually a big deal for me.
I recently got a new shirt that says, “Kind People are my Kinda People,” and that’s the one I put on that morning. While I was out, I had 3 or 4 different people comment on my shirt. They told me they liked it, how true it was, and how this world needs more kindness.
I smiled and agreed with them.
These people were not people with whom I would probably have much in common. Some of them live lifestyles I wouldn’t agree with and hold beliefs I do not hold, but do you know what? It didn’t hurt me one bit to be kind.
I know some people who make it their mission to set everyone straight who disagree with them. In fact, I can hear some of them now… “Well, what if it isn’t just me they disagree with? What if they disagree with the Bible and aren’t living the way the Bible dictates we should?”
I’ve said this many times before, but I don’t mind saying it again. Kindness is not compromise. We can still hold firm to our beliefs as a Christian while smiling and showing genuine kindness to those who believe differently. That isn’t compromising or being a hypocrite; that is being obedient to God’s Word.
Do you think being harsh and rude to someone will make them see our point and change their mind? Of course not! They would (accurately) think we were a jerk and not listen to anything we had to say. Christians get a bad rap sometimes because so many act this way. We’ve earned our reputation, and only we can change it.
Please don’t contribute to this problem. Be kind. Remember Romans 12:18. Also remember Ephesians 4:32 – “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
As much as possible, we are to be kind and live peaceably with all men…even ones with whom we disagree.
I then began writing the second verse in Romans 12:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (vs 19)
Okay, this one stung and brought comfort at the same time.
Do you ever read a verse and immediately have certain people spring to mind? I do.
This verse sprang a few people I’d rather not think about into my mind… mainly people who have hurt those I love dearly.
It’s easier for me to forgive someone who hurts me than someone who hurts my loved ones. I want to see the hammer fall and them immediately get what they deserve. (It’s a good thing I’m not God, right?)
Then I remember: Vengeance isn’t my job; it’s His…and just like all His other jobs, it is one He does very well. God may not fulfill this promise to repay in the way we think He should or when we think He should do it (like, right now), but rest assured, He *will* take care of it in His time and His way.
What does this have to do with cultivating a quiet heart? Well, kindness, gentleness, living peaceably with those around us, even forgiveness…those are our jobs. We are responsible to obey those directives, and God will take care of the rest.
There is a quote I think of often:
“God is God, and I am not…and God is very good at being God.”
As one who tends to over-think and worry, that really calms my heart. ❤️