Attitude Adjustment

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV).

Jesus’ words jump off the page as they diverge from what we routinely witness in today’s culture. We see that Jesus had God’s agenda in mind. He knew he would face death on the cross—the ultimate act of service for us. In contrast, I’m observing and reading a lot about entitlement these days. We’re seeing a coddled generation, but how many of us who are older have adapted this same behavior? Are we expecting others to serve us, meeting our perceived needs and demands?

Consider this passage from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón:

“Sometimes we think people are like lottery tickets, that they’re there to make our most absurd dreams come true.”

As we jockey to promote ourselves and our desires, this sense of entitlement often leads to irritability over minor inconveniences, or when things don’t go our way, or even when we have to wait for something. This, in turn, breeds grumbling, complaining, unkindness, misbehavior, and the list goes on. We are continually dissatisfied; but let’s face it, we will never be content in this life without God.

Scripture counsels us to display Godly character, not self-importance. Allow the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). Let’s commit to put into practice 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV): “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love … But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” May we not forget this freedom from our sins. And, as we pray for the capability to demonstrate holy behavior, we will witness God’s transformational power in our lives. He will heal our hearts.

In addition to this scriptural admonishment, a recent article, “An Attitude of Gratitude” in The Wall Street Journal, details some of the benefits of having a thankful rather than a demanding heart:

  • Excel at life management
  • Enjoy stronger relationships
  • Exhibit positive social behavior
  • Evince emotional well-being

Do you desire, along with me, to see these blessings in your life? Thankfully, God’s abounding grace offers a way out of our entitled, me-first, others are there to serve me, mentality. As we fall on our faces before our Father, He will stoop down to us, pick us up, and restore us through the blood of Jesus. He served us so we can serve others.

Father God, Forgive me for adopting the entitled mentality which is so prevalent these days. I confess it has affected my attitude, and I seek your transforming and restorative power. Help me to view others as you do and for me to align my wants with your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Matthew 23:12 (NIV): “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Ephesians 4:1-2 (NIV): “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

James 4:6b (NIV): “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

1 Peter 2:21-24 (NIV): “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

© 2018 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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A Letter to My Grandchildren

 

Dear Ones,

I had the privilege to hold each of you within those first tender days you were born. My love runs deep and even though there are five of you, I’m amazed at how much love I have to spread around to each one of you. Now you are all in elementary school and I marvel at how quickly you are growing up.

I pray for you—prayers certainly for your safety and protection, but oh, my prayers are much more. I pray specifically that you will come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life. That you will be so filled with the Holy Spirit that you will desire a deep intimacy with him.

The world doesn’t always like to use the word sin, but it’s something you need to confront and deal with in your life. Because no matter how good you are most of the time (or bad on some days), we all do wrong things, think bad thoughts, and say unkind or untruthful words. That’s what sin is. The Bible tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If we skip a few chapters over in Romans you will see that God understands that and has a plan for us: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). You may be wondering what that means. Well, God is holy and because we (all boys and girls, men and women) are sinful, we cannot stand in his presence and have a relationship with him. So, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to live on our earth as a man and die a painful death on a cross to bridge this gap with God. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We will someday die and if we die without accepting Jesus Christ as Lord we will not be with God in heaven. However, you can have eternal life in heaven with God the Father if you, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

It may sound like a lot, but it’s very simple. There’s nothing you can do to earn or buy salvation. It’s a free gift from God because he loves you so very much. Even more than I love you. That’s what God’s grace is. Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Many times you will hear that there is more than one way to know God. But that simply isn’t true, as Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Remember the Bible is truth and all truth is from God. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

While I desire to see bright and successful futures for you, I know only God can provide you with the true desires of your heart. As you rely on his guidance and follow his ways, you will find doors opened that you never fathomed or imagined. Seek his wisdom and pray for discernment. I also pray for these two things every day for myself.

Granddaughters, I pray you will grow into strong women of faith. Strong enough to say no to temptation—boys who want to use you, alcohol and drugs, and unwholesome entertainment. God has so much more for you—a compelling femininity—which will take you far as wives and mothers if that’s in God’s plan for your life.

And grandson, there’s only one of you in this bevy of girls. I trust this will foster in you an added dimension of sensitivity enabling you to softly submit to Jesus and make him Lord of your life. At the same time, may you grow into a strong young man full of respect for women and may you deal honestly with all people. This integrity will prove to be a true indicator of your masculinity.

I will continue to pray for each of you because I love you.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

All My Love,

Gramma

© 2018 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

 

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Soil Conditioning

Gardening is one of my pleasures in life. This spring I’m busy transplanting rose bushes, adding hydrangeas, and calculating what herbs to grow this season. It’s my version of “crop rotation.” As we dig the holes for our shrubs I’ve learned the importance of digging a very large hole, and since we live at the coast, it’s important to amend our sandy soil with rich, fertile loam. If we don’t take that precaution our plants will never thrive. Continue reading “Soil Conditioning”

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Lean on Me

Smitten. That one word sums up how my husband and I feel about Remy, our rescued standard poodle. And Remy delights in us, confidently knowing he hit the jackpot the day we adopted him and took him out of what had been a painful situation for him. Leaning against us whenever the opportunity presents itself, he demonstrates his total devotion and affection for us. This is no gentle lean against our thigh, but similar to Velcro, he adheres his whole 65-pound body to us, leaning so “hard” that we can easily topple over. We’re Remy’s protection and his safe place.

Do I lean into God and is He truly my safe place?

Continue reading “Lean on Me”

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Out of the Box

Hanging in a bag tucked away in the rear of our closet, surviving many corporate moves, was my wedding gown. After about 20 years I finally took it in for professional cleaning, preservation, and had it boxed. Unfortunately, the process took its toll on my gown as many of the decorative pearls fell off. The lady performing the work was distressed and took it upon herself to hand sew new pearls onto my gown. Upon final receipt of my wedding dress, I couldn’t believe my eyes—it was better than it had been when I handed it over to her. Fully restored, my wedding gown surpassed how it originally looked.

Fast-forward many more years and a couple more moves. The box has transferred neatly from one closet to the next as we’ve moved across the country. Finally, in what we hope is our earthly “forever” home, I wondered why in the world it’s primly placed in a box. So, the next time we had some of our granddaughters over I asked if they wanted to play dress-up with Gramma’s wedding gown. Imagine their excitement over donning the gown and veil and feeling so very special.

So thankful I didn’t keep what had been made new and better stashed away in a box!

Continue reading “Out of the Box”

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