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Saturday, July 19, 2014

When you know better…

Do everything readily and cheerfullyno bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so Ill have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. Youll be living proof that I didnt go to all this work for nothing.
Philippians 2:12-14 (MSG)

I excel in the art of quiet but biting sarcasm. I yell less now than I have in the past, but I am not yet delivered of my inclination to let my family know when they’ve really ticked me off.  Slyly. Acidic. It’s a ugly habit and I need it gone. When you know better, you do better. I know better. (Note-I wrote this a while ago, but God led me back to it again. I needed to relearn the lesson.)

Grace measured in degrees. 
Center your actions and thoughts on pursuing Christ. 
Know Better. 
Do Better.
After not doing things well one morning, despite deliberate intentions to the contrary, conviction and encouragement came courtesy of a lesson on Philippians 2 on the radio. (Direct hit) I do not believe I am a bad person. Neither were the members of the fellowship at Philippi. From Believersweb.org. we have this overview of a small but earnest fellowship,

Philippians is the epistle of joy and encouragement in the midst of adverse circumstances. Paul freely expresses his fond affection for the Philippians, appreciates their consistent testimony and support, and lovingly urges them to center their actions and thoughts on the pursuit of the power of Christ. 

Focus. This is Grace measured in degrees. Centering your actions and thoughts on pursuing Christ. When you know better, you do better. I am taking Paul’s words absolutely seriously…

                “Do everything readily and cheerfully.”

You know when you’re being ugly. Nobody needs to make you feel any worse about it.  And neither do you need to spread the ugly when things go awry, when people do careless things, ridiculous things and your saltiness hurts, healing nothing.  If it's already a struggle, you certainly don't need the addition of sharp words from me (or anyone). Each time I open my mouth I have an opportunity to bless or curse, and I choose badly, more often than I care to admit. My takeaway, particularly after a reread of Philippians 2, is to not mutter (or think) anything I may regret, or that may cause harm and do no good. Paul’s admonition continues…

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society.” 

If I am living authentically, shouldn’t my life make the case for Christianity? There’s enough crap out there. Live different.

“Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the Living God.”

If you’re not in worship, not writing, not teaching, not “doing” Christian, there should still be something peculiar about you. Let’s be caught in the act of doing God’s Will. Always.

“Carry the light-giving Message…”

I’m letting my little light shine. On my children. In my home. When I open my mouth. When I don’t. 

I am grateful for Grace measured in degrees. I am thankful for knowing better. Thank God for the Word that guides me; encouraging me. Today, I'm giving myself Grace, to develop the habit that I might extend it liberally to others. Because they deserve it (we all do). Because I should.

We know better. Do better. Do Grace, because where would you be without it?

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