In the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges, we find the angel of the Lord rebuking the children of Israel for making leagues with the heathen inhabitants of Canaan. In the third verse, He states that because of their failure to remove these people, He will allow them to “be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.”
As I navigated the zoo that is Walmart on a Saturday afternoon, I crossed paths with a woman wearing a shirt that said, “I’m not a nag; I’m a motivational speaker.” I had to chuckle as I passed, thinking how nice it would be if nagging could truly be interpreted that way.
However funny the saying may be, it certainly points out a truth that I need to evaluate in my own life. Am I guilty of nagging my husband and my children?
According to the dictionary, nag means, “to annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging; to scold, complain, or find fault constantly.”
The words that I use with my husband should be those of encouragement and support, not complaining or fault-finding. As for my children, I can correct them with a loving attitude and without repeatedly harping on their offenses.
In another lovely reminder of the passing of time, I went to my doctor’s office last week for my annual checkup. As I sat in the waiting room, I scanned a newspaper article about young, successful business men and women. Each was asked to give a piece of advice that he or she had found helpful. The following saying caused me to put down the paper and meditate on it’s words.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck
How ironic that on that very day I had used another quote from Bombeck in my blog post. As I considered her words, I questioned how I was doing with the talent that God has given me. Am I daily seeking to use it (or them) in the way God would intend?
Each season of life offers a different challenge and, I believe, a unique opportunity to make use of our gifts. Am I to be encouraging someone else through a thoughtful note, serving in a particular ministry at church, doing outreach in the community? Especially as a wife and mother, am I using the abilities I have been given to build a home that would be pleasing to God?
Whatever my talents, I pray that I will use each of them in a way that would be pleasing to God and accomplish the work that He has set for me to do. Today may I unwrap the talent with which I’ve been blessed and use it for His glory.
Visit Tuesdays Unwrapped hosted by Chatting at the Sky.
In yesterday morning’s message at church, our pastor gave an illustration about prayer and telling God, “If you’ll do it, I’ll tell it.” Well, I’m here to tell it!
Tomorrow morning my six-year-old is scheduled to have some dental work done. In the dentist office on Thursday I was given an estimate of what it will cost – basically a lot!
After trying to decide if this was something we really needed to do right now and reaching the conclusion that it is necessary, I was wondering if there might be any way to reduce the charges. I do not like asking for things; bartering has never been my thing! However, I decided that I would at least call and ask if there was any discount, especially since we will be paying for this ourselves.
Before picking up the phone this morning (and remembering pastor’s example), I prayed and asked God, if it would be His will, to allow them to give me a discount. After a couple of attempts, I finally reached the person I needed to speak with. We talked about my situation and she said that while the normal office policy was to give a 3% or 5% discount to patients paying cash upfront, she would give me a 10% discount for tomorrow’s services. She was very nice to deal with and I was thrilled!
Was this what many would consider a coincidence or something so small that God wouldn’t be interested in it? Maybe, but I believe that God answered my prayer! What an encouragement to me as I think about the fact that as surely as He answers such small and simple prayers, I can rest in the knowledge that He is also working in the bigger, more life-changing requests that I bring before Him.
Any answered prayer in your life lately? I’d love to hear about it!