Mending Power

Recently, my oldest son introduced me to the mending power of Gorilla Glue. He helped me fix a dining chair with a wobbly leg the week before Thanksgiving.

Then, when one of my new Christmas Santas was knocked over and broke in half, I knew that Gorilla Glue was what I could depend on to put it back together. It’s proven to be very reliable.

A few days ago, one of my flip flops broke. The little piece that fits between my toes snapped in half. That was the third flip flop I had broken in the last two months. I guess I’m pretty rough on my flip flops.

I was about to throw the flip flops in the trash and then I remembered the mending power of Gorilla Glue and wondered if it could fix my broken shoe. So, I decided to give it a try. I mean after all, what did I have to lose?

To my surprise, the glue worked and I am wearing my flip flops again. Gorilla Glue works great!

But what should we do about those broken non-material things in our lives? Is there a reliable mending source for those intangibles that are far more valuable than chairs, flip flops, and Santa figurines?

Yes! God’s word is the number one reliable mender of all things broken.

Do you have broken relationships? Any scripture about love and forgiveness will mend relationships if applied as directed consistently.

Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Is your heart broken?

Psalms 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Are you crumbling under the weight of debt?

Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Hebrews 13:5a Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.

Is your reputation broken?

Acts 24:16 “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and men.”

Is your career broken?

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Maybe you had plans for your life but something happened that was out of your control or you made mistakes that broke your plans apart.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

The list of broken things in our lives could go on and on. But the good news is that the Lord addresses all of those broken situations in His word. All we have to do is find the scripture that pertains to our particular brokenness and apply it.

What do you depend on to mend the broken things in your life? Alcohol, drugs, social media, complaining, or advice from others who are just as broken? Those are all temporary fixes that will only leave us more broken.

The mending power of God’s word is always reliable and lasts forever!

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

I have personally experienced the mending power of God’s word in my own life. I was once bitter, resentful, angry, and had trouble forgiving others blaming them for my problems.

Through the daily application of God’s word, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, those broken areas of my life are now mended. Now I live a life full of joy, peace, compassion, and love for others.

God’s word works! We just have to use it.

Pray and ask the Lord to help you with whatever is broken in your life. Then go to God’s word to find the solutions and do what God tells you to do.

Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Believe me, I know it’s not easy to do God’s word all the time but I also know that it is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to help us obey God’s word, so ask Him to help you. He will!

John 14:16-17a Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever–the Spirit of truth.”

I’d love to hear the go-to scriptures that God has used or is using to mend your brokenness. Please share them so we can benefit from them as well. Thank you and God bless you!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the Leader

You may know by now that my husband and I have a dog named Autumn. She has been the subject of a few of my blogs. Maybe you’ve read some of them. She definitely has some interesting behaviors.

Autumn’s newest interesting behavior is that she follows my husband everywhere he goes in the house. When he moves, she moves. When he is standing still, she stands still keeping her eyes on him and waiting for his next move.

Sometimes I’ll say, “Autumn is playing follow the leader again.” We laugh, but in reality, we know that she just loves my husband and feels secure in his presence.

Autumn’s behavior reminds me of a time when the nation of Israel was in the wilderness. God led them with a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.

When the fire or cloud moved, Israel moved. When the fire or cloud was still, Israel was still. The fire by night or the cloud by day was always in front of them. [Exodus 13:21-22]

The fire and the cloud were the presence of God. He was always with them. Leading them, protecting them, and providing for them. As long as they followed the Lord, they were safe, secure, and always headed in the right direction.

Israel was following the Leader!

Today, God doesn’t lead us with pillars of fire or clouds but He does still lead us. He leads us through His word-the Bible-and through His Holy Spirit.

Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

Maybe you have accepted Christ as your savior but you feel afraid, insecure, alone, and confused. You’ve lost your peace and your joy. Get back into the presence of God!

Keep God’s word before your eyes and in your hearing. Spend time worshiping the Lord, even when you don’t feel like it. Fellowship with other believers who will encourage you and pray with you and for you.

Maybe you are not a believer or follower of Jesus and you feel afraid, insecure, lost, alone and confused. You are not in the presence of God because your sin separates you from Him. I invite you to pray the prayer at the end of this blog.

There is only one access to God’s presence and that’s through Jesus. Jesus paid for all sin for all time when He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. When we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins we have full access to God, eternal life, peace, and joy.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

There is no excuse for any of us to not be in God’s presence. He invites us to be with Him. He’s made a way for us to be with Him. In His presence, we are safe, secure, and never alone.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Likewise, there is no reason for us to feel lost or confused. God has given us His word and His Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth.

Let’s follow the Leader. Let’s follow the Lord into the new year. Let’s resolve to stay in His presence and to allow His word and His Spirit to lead us and guide us into His purpose and His plan for our lives this year and every year.

I pray you all will have a safe and happy 2020. God bless you all!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone is Watching

Recently, while in the checkout line of a well-known store, I witness a little comedy-drama unfold. I was second in line. There was one lady behind me and one ahead of me. It seemed as though we were just in time for a cashier shift change.

I’m not familiar with the procedures of cashier shift changes but for this particular one, the new cashier felt the need to empty a whole box of new bags placing them in their proper place on the shopping bag carousel as we waited.

After a while, I decided to take notice of the reaction of the other two ladies waiting in line. The lady ahead of me looked at me as to say, “Is she really going to empty that whole box of bags right now?” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Then the woman walked up to me and whispered, “We have got to be being watched.” We both laughed. I knew exactly what she was referring to.

Back in the day, there was a funny TV show called Candid Camera. There would be hidden cameras set up to catch the reactions of people when presented with unbelievable scenarios. It was hilarious!

Her statement about being watched got me to thinking. We are always being watched. People are watching us and of course, God sees all.

Psalms 33:13-15 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth–he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

Patience is not only the act of waiting. We are all going to wait for something. But patience is more about how we wait. We can wait well or we can wait badly, the choice is ours.

Just remember, someone is always watching. And if we are a Christian (a representative of Christ) we have a responsibility to wait well.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

​Broken Ears

While recently participating in a local children’s book festival and enjoying the interaction with the children and their parents, I overheard a conversation between an adult and a child. The adult was explaining to the child that because her ears were broken, she needed a special device to help her hear.

What stood out to me was how she referred to her hearing impairment. She said her ears were broken. She wanted to explain her impairment in a way a child would understand.

When our ears are broken we can’t hear what is being said to us or around us. The inability to hear could result in confusion or a lack of understanding.

Thankfully there are devices to assist us in hearing better, therefore, eliminating much of the confusion and lack of understanding.

When our spiritual ears are broken we can’t understand what God is saying to us through His word. And trying to read His word can be very confusing.

Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”

Sometimes our spiritual ears may not be broken but we may instead have selective hearing. Having raised three boys, I am very familiar with selective hearing.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Or sometimes we may choose to stick our fingers in our spiritual ears while drowning out God’s voice with a loud la-la-la-la-la. Many times we just don’t want to know the truth because we don’t want to change or lose control of our lives, which in reality is a mess.

Isaiah 42:20 “You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”

Whether our spiritual ears are broken, being selective, or choosing not to listen at all, it’s because we do not belong to God.

John 8:47 “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Ouch!

But just as the woman at the Book Festival explained, in her conversation with the child, there is a way to help our broken ears hear. Even our broken spiritual ears.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand what God is saying and doing. He helps us hear God with our spiritual ears and understand what He is saying to us, therefore eliminating confusion.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10a However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The only way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is needed to hear and comprehend the things God is saying and doing, is through Jesus. Jesus is the only access to God and He is the only access to the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Do you read your bible but can’t understand what God is trying to say to you? Do you have selective hearing when it comes to the things of God? Or maybe you just choose not to hear what God is saying.

The Holy Spirit is the answer; the help for the spiritually hearing impaired. He will give you a better understanding of God and His word. He will give you a desire to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He will change your heart and mind and give you new desires.

All you have to do is pray the prayer at the end of this post and mean it with all of your heart.

Prepare to hear things you’ve never heard before. Prepare for new understanding. Prepare for spiritual assurance, certainty, and confidence. Prepare to be amazed!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 3

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between surviving and thriving. During difficult times I think it’s natural to think, feel, or say, “I just want to get through this; I just want to survive and arrive on the other side alive and well.”

I can tend to be one of those people that thinks and feels that way. I mean, don’t we all want to survive difficult situations? It’s not a bad thing to want to survive. It’s brave actually! It’s not giving up!

However, what if instead of just surviving a difficult situation, we decided to thrive while going through it?

Survive means: to remain alive or in existence; to continue to function [Mirriam-Webster Dictionary App].

Thrive means: to grow vigorously, to gain wealth, to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances [Mirriam-Webster Dictionary App].

Yes, I have breast cancer. Yes, I want to remain alive and continue to exist. Yes, I want to continue to function in all areas of my life. So, by the grace of God, I will do what it takes to survive. I will do my best and trust God with the rest.

However, I not only want to survive this disease, but I also want to thrive while going through it.

I want to grow vigorously spiritually and in character. I want to gain a wealth of things that can never be taken from me: faith and a better understanding of God’s grace and His love and mercy for me. I want to realize my goal to glorify God, build His kingdom, edify His Body, and point the lost to the cross despite and because of my circumstances.

I want to thrive while I survive!

This Spring I planted a garden in the planter boxes my husband built for me. Only the okra plants produced. None of the other plants produced. The other plants where alive. They were growing. They had flowers on them. But they never produced what they were created to produce. They were surviving but they weren’t thriving. Needless to say, I ended up throwing them away.

John 15:5-6 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

The way we are able to thrive and bear fruit, in this life and in every circumstance, is by abiding in Jesus, the vine.

Abide means: to remain stable or fixed in a place; to continue in a place [Merriam-Webster Dictionary App].

I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to remain in Christ! I am determined to stay fixed in Him and to continue in Him! I am determined to bear fruit despite and because of my current circumstances! And I am determined to allow God to use my struggle for His glory and for the good of others!

What are you trying to survive today? A difficult marriage? A devastating diagnosis? A wayward child? An addiction? A job you hate?

What if instead of just surviving your struggle, you thrived despite it or because of it? How could you allow God to use your current unpleasant circumstance for His glory and for the good of someone else?

You may be wondering what bearing fruit or thriving despite or because of difficult circumstances looks like? Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If these fruits are evident in you, in the midst of a crisis, you are thriving!

God has planted us where we are for a purpose. We have a decision to make. Will we thrive and be fruitful or just survive without much to show for it. The decision is ours.

Don’t allow your struggle to be wasted. Bear fruit! Thrive!

Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

What do you do with your Pain?

What do you do with your pain? What do you do when someone hurts you? How do you react when, out of nowhere, someone becomes Mr. Hyde?

What do you say when someone makes you feel insignificant…again? It’s hard, isn’t it? Especially when it comes from someone close to you.

Just as when incurring a physical injury, our first instinct is to recoil from what is causing us pain. No one keeps their hand in the fire once they have been burned.

It’s normal to draw back from pain. But once we recover from the shock, realize what has happened, and access the damage, then what?

Should we confront the person who has hurt us? Should we retaliate? Would telling others about it help? Should we ostracize them? What should we do with our pain?

If it is possible to approach the person to discuss the situation as two mature individuals, then, of course, we should try to resolve the issue. But what if we can’t go to the person that has hurt us and confront them? What if they are unreasonable?

What if we do approach them but they only blame us for the situation or deny responsibility and never apologize; causing more pain? What then?

Initially, we have a couple of choices to make: we could either lash out in anger, making things worse or remain calm, letting the incident go, until we have had time to think things through.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

When we don’t know what to do we should always go to God in prayer to ask for help and go to His word for guidance. Just like a good father, God always knows what’s best.

Unfortunately, God seldom gives us a convenient or comfortable way out of this sort of dilemma. He usually asks us to do something that is completely contrary to normal human behavior.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

In these painful situations, our human nature wants to retaliate, speak negatively about the person to others, shun them and refuse to forgive them. But that’s not how God says we should handle these types of situations.

Instead of retaliating against a person, Jesus instructs us to love them, do good to them and pray for them.

Luke 6:32-33, 35 Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? But love your enemies, do good to them.”

Instead of telling others about a person’s hurtful ways, tarnishing their reputation, God’s word tells us to show love towards them by remaining quiet about what they’ve done.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Instead of shunning a person who mistreats us, God tells us to make peace with them and treat them well.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Instead of refusing to forgive those who inflict pain, God tells us to…you guessed it; forgive them.

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

These are all very difficult tasks. When I am faced with a challenging assignment, I often remind myself that it may be tough but it’s not impossible. With God, all things are possible [Matthew 19:26]!

Through the power of God’s Spirit, we can accomplish God’s will.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

What if we remain quiet about the person’s hurtful deeds or words, pray for them, do good to them, forgive them and make peace with them but we still have a broken heart? What if after all of that we are still hurting? What then?

We continue doing what God has told us to do in His word and trust Him to heal our broken hearts. We do our part and God always does His part.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

God’s instructions may be difficult but they do not go without reward. The rewards of obedience to God and His word are blessings and spiritual growth.

Psalm 128:1 blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him. Romans 5:3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

When I find it grueling to follow God’s instructions on what to do when someone hurts me, I remember what Jesus did and said while He was being mistreated in the hours before He was put to death.

First He washed Judas’ feet knowing Judas would soon betray Him. During His “so-called trial” many false accusations were made against Him but He did not defend Himself.

Jesus was beaten, mocked and whipped and never complained. He had committed no sin or wrong and yet did not resist being nailed to a cross. And, after all of that, before dying, He prayed for those who had hurt Him saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do [Luke 23:34].”

No matter what anyone has done to you or me, we have never endured the sort of pain, rejection, or humiliation that Jesus has endured. He had every right to defend Himself or retaliate the wrong that had been done to Him but instead, He chose to forgive. How much more should we?

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Destructive Worms

Yesterday afternoon I went outside to do a few things. While I was on the back patio looking at my plants, I noticed that my rose bush’s leaves were nearly all gone. This was very confusing to me since it looked fine just a couple of days ago. As I looked closer and investigated I figured out what had happened. I found these worms that looked just like the leaves, eating the leaves. I picked them off one at a time and threw them into a trash bag and into the trashcan. I was so amazed by their ability to blend in with the rose bush and deceive me so well. Tricky little devils! I also noticed little black dots all around my rose bush on the patio. I later realized it was worm poop. Yuck! Apparently, they are also messy little devils.

This morning, as I was journaling about the worm discovery, the Lord began to speak to me about the worms that we might have in our own lives. One minute we may think all is well but unknown to us there is destruction going on. Just as the worms in my rose bush disguised themselves as part of the bush so they wouldn’t be seen, so it is in our lives.

What are some things in our lives that we can’t see that are destroying us? Could it be food, or relationships or negative thoughts? Maybe it’s a bad attitude or unforgiveness. Maybe it’s selfishness, greed or lust. It could be anything that we think is harmless. And as a result just as the worms left a mess of poop all around my rose bush we are left with a mess of poop in our own lives.

So what can we do about it? Well, first we have to realize we have a problem. Once we see the destruction and the poop mess that it leaves then we have to find the culprit. We have to examine our lives. What is hidden in our lives that looks like it belongs there but is actually destroying us and leaving a mess?

The way I find life-destroying worms in my own life is by asking the Lord to reveal them to me. The ways He uses to reveal them to me is through His Word, the conviction of the Holy Spirit or maybe through an honest godly friend. One of the greatest advantages of reading and studying God’s word is we can know Him and His character. So, when a worm (anything contrary to God and His character) sneaks into our lives we’ll recognize it more easily and more quickly.

Once we find the culprit, the next step is to do as I did with the leaf-eating worms, pick them off one by one and get rid of them. How do we do that in our lives? We deal with each issue as the Lord shows it to us. We pray and ask the Lord to help us to get rid of the destructive behavior through the power of His Holy Spirit. We can’t do it in our own strength. Will power will only get us so far. We need God’s grace! We need the power of His Spirit to do in us what we can’t do on our own. That’s grace!

The secret to keeping the worms out of our lives, once we discover them and do away with them/get victory over them, is by staying in God’s word and staying in prayer. Be watchful! Don’t think that just because you got rid of them once that they won’t be back. It may not be the same worms but there will be new ones. Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Then what? Watch your life flourish. You will grow new leaves and produce healthy beautiful roses. Isn’t that the goal? We want to bear a lot of fruit. Jesus said in John 15:2 He (God) cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

So let’s examine our lives and find the destructive behaviors that are making a mess in our lives. Let’s ask the Lord to help us change and to clean up our mess. Then let’s bear beautiful roses for all the world to see and enjoy. And when the people around us are enjoying the beauty in our lives let’s tell them about God, our Gardener, and how He helped us to get rid of the destructive worms in our lives. Let’s tell them about how He cleaned up the mess that those worms made and how He wants to do the same for them. Don’t keep your gardening secrets to yourself. Share the good news!

~Patrice Maguire

 

 

Honor One Another Above Yourselves

I learned a long time ago that if I focus on self-preservation God can’t use me. And as hard as it is to be transparent I know that it is required of me for the greater good of others. If God can turn my mess into a message then so be it. Every day I pray that the Lord will help me to use all that He gives me to glorify His name, build His kingdom and edify His body (the Body of Christ/the Church). That includes revelations about myself. So here it goes.

Those that don’t know me very well may think that I have it all together. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m literally a mess. God is never reluctant to correct me and discipline me. As painful as it may be I know it’s necessary to my spiritual growth. Like any good father, He does it gently and in love. I guess the worst part about the revelation of my sins is the ugliness of them. When He shows them to me I can hardly believe I actually did them and thought they were ok to do at the time. I don’t even recognize it. That’s scary!

Recently I was in Barnes and Noble checking on the sales of my children’s book, ‘The Many Fears of Miela the Cat.’ There was only one left on the shelf. I didn’t like where it was. It was all the way on the left end of the shelf and the side of the bookshelf was casting a shadow over it. I thought it should be in a more prominent position on the shelf. Seems reasonable right? I mean if you want to succeed in life you need to be aggressive right? So I saw no harm in moving my book front and center at eye level. The only problem was I had to move someone else’s book onto the shadowy end of the shelf to get mine where I thought it should be. So I did.

This happened Friday and it wasn’t until Sunday morning, while I was reading my morning scriptures and devotionals, that I realized my sin. Funny how God’s word has a tendency to do that. My sin literally shocked me. I felt like Urkel and found myself saying,  “Did I do that?” I felt so disgusted with myself. I repented right away and managed to not wallow in regret but instead got back up and moved on. That in itself is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit that I’m so thankful for.

The scripture the Lord used to reveal my sin to me was Romans 12:10. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I was not honoring, above myself, the other person who had written the book that I moved to a less prominent place on the shelf. I was being greedy and selfish. I was not treating that person the way I wanted to be treated (Matthew 7:12). I was not trusting God with all of my heart. I was leaning on my own understanding. I was not acknowledging Him in all of my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). I was wrong on so many levels. I cannot tell you enough how thankful I am for the convicting of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to stay in my sin and misrepresent God. I want to move up and onward.

How about you? Is there something that you do or have done that is justifiable in the eyes of the world but offensive in the eyes of God? Will you confess your sin and ask God to forgive you today? Don’t wallow in regret over it. Get up and move up and onward!

~Patrice Maguire