Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

A Resolution to Live Today with Tomorrow in Mind

Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.

A good [woman] leaves an inheritance. Proverbs 13:22

In the final section of The Resolution for Women, Shirer shares a story about her aunt, a woman in her mid-fifties has lived life to its fullest in spite of the fact that she’s never married and has never had children of her own. As I read her testimony, I could not help but be inspired. My life, up until this moment at least, has wandered down that same path. I too, do not have a husband, nor do I have children…yet. I’m still young. I still have time. Granted, I’m not guaranteed tomorrow and the work God has called me to complete could be accomplished today, but still…I have time. So do you.

We are all called to leave a legacy behind. We are called to set this in stone; to journal it; to keep it however you keep it.

Personally, I journal. It’s great, being able to look back over the years and see God’s hand weaving through the pattern of my life. I’ve even been able to come to an understanding of certain circumstances and trials I had to face to get to where I am today. It’s amazing how He works.

Shirer points to the spiritual legacy her amazing aunt is leaving behind and she points to the spiritual offspring that us singles (and non-singles) tend to forget about. Each of our lives impact other lives. God created us to be relational creatures and it naturally happens. We are surrounded by people waiting to be filled with our wisdom; to learn from our own lives. “As women in whom God’s Spirit lives and has borne fruit, we have each been called to leave a godly legacy, to pass the baton of His grace and truth to others who will then take it to lengths and destinations we will never go ourselves…This is a heavenly mandate…Your lifespan is simply not long or large enough to contain the heights and depths of [God’s] activity, then to swallow it whole without offering anyone else a bite.” (p. 257)

Think about that for a moment.

In looking over my own life, so many women have left their legacy’s imprint in my own life (not just my mother). I’m speaking of Connie, Bethany, Brandie, and many other young women from Brookings, SD. I’m speaking of my very first piano teacher, Bertha, and so many other wonderful people who have touched my life. This thanks goes to the men too…that you Dad!

Are you making today’s decisions with their impact on tomorrow in mind? When you’re arranging your priorities and forming your habits, do you think about your children, your grandchildren, people you inspire, about the kind of character they’ll remember about you and inherit from you? When you spend your money, or sport your fashion sense, or speak you piece, or spare you time, does it ever occur to you that you’re not just making a choice for yourself, in the moment?  That you’re making a choice which impacts people who are following behind you? That you’re perhaps playing a role in the attitudes and observations of a young woman you hardly know, maybe even a total stranger who one day hears someone telling what you were like?

People tend to spend more time planning on their physical inheritance rather than their spiritual one. I’m asking you to choose to live today as though someone’s tomorrow depended on it. Putting it in that light changes things, doesn’t it?

Let me put it this way. Are you going to choose life? Or choose death?

We all have a legacy to leave (whether we have children or not). Find your way to leave it. The questions I posed at the start of this entry…they are the kind of questions you need t o keep in mind when thinking about what you will do today; how you will respond in this moment; what type of resolutions you will make and live by. These decisions matter right now, and they keep on mattering.

They are your legacy.

Love Does Not Delight in Evil

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV

Love does not delight in evil.

Evil takes on many forms. It can be seductive and alluring. It can present itself as entertaining and harmless. It can make us feel good for a moment. In the end though, evil in any form is destructive.

The devil is constantly at work all around us; purposing to drive a wedge between us and God. That is evil.

Humans are twisted creatures. We wish harm to come to others. We participate in inflicting damage upon them. We enjoy knowing someone has reaped the consequences of their actions. These tend to be people who have wronged us in some way. This too, is evil, and yet, we’re all guilty of it.

Put yourself in this scenario.  Think about a time that someone reaped a consequence of their own actions and you delighted in knowing that they got what was coming to them.  You can admit to doing it, all of us have at some point.  You, whether you knew it or not, were condoning the wrongdoing because you praised the results.  That’s not love.

Love, instead, would mourn that the person had made an unwise choice and saw things play out badly.  Love would seek to bring the person to righteousness through truth.  Then, when truth spoke into that person’s life, someone who loves them would be glad for them.  Jonah didn’t get this one right.  When he preached to the people of Ninevah, they repented and turned to God (Jonah 3:10-4:1).  If he loved them, Jonah would have praised the Lord that these people had been saved from destruction.  But instead he grumbled because he didn’t want the Ninevites to avoid God’s wrath.  He would have rather they fall because of all their past sins.  He didn’t know how to delight in truth.

The statement in 1 Corinthians 13 is full of meaning. Here are few of my thoughts as I read and re-read that statement (Love does not delight in evil):

  • In love, we do not rejoice when we witness evil.
  • In love, we do not find pleasure in seeing someone else come to harm.
  • In love, we do not relish in knowing that someone is hell bound.
  • In love, we do not desire wrong (actions, things, thoughts, etc.).
  • In love, we do not eagerly partake in harmful behavior.
  • In love, there is no delight in destruction.

Let me get one thing straight. Harm and destruction do happen, but love does not delight in it. Some will embrace evil and suffer its consequences, but love mourns their loss.

When we say love does not delight in evil, we mean that a loving person does not focus his/her attention on the wrongs others have committed against them. Love recognizes that only God knows the hearts of people. It does not hastily assume sinister intents lie behind another’s actions.

We are also called to be discerning. If we have strong evidence of evil, we must act accordingly. Even as we do this, we must be careful to be as impartial as possible in our evaluations of others.

Otherwise, we run the risk of rejoicing in wrongdoing, something Christian love would never do. When we quickly assume ill of others, we invite the temptation to gossip and slander. The human heart loves to hear salacious stories. In doing so, we end up rejoicing in evil – not truth.

I can’t help but think of the words Jesus said during His journey to the cross in Luke 23. Battered and beaten, abused and ridiculed, rejected and crucified…Jesus held on to love. He did not delight in the evil which they had embraced. He found no joy in knowing they did not know Him. He was not pleased to know they were bound for hell. He was filled with sorrow for the very same people who had placed Him on that cross. He mourned their ignorance of God’s love. He cried out for their forgiveness. He did that for you; He did that for me.

Thinking of that brings David Crowder’s renditions of How He Loves to mind. Enjoy the video – lyrics:

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all

We are His portion; He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way…

What wondrous love! God’s love!

Just as He loves, we are called to love.

Scripture for encouragement today:

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices. Colossians 3:9

But now you also, put them aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Colossians 3:8

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Today’s Challenge:  Remove anything that is “evil” from your relationships. Stop tallying up the wrongs people have committed against you. Forgive and let God love them through you.