Today I came across a verse that left me mute. I’d read it a thousand times, had seen it emblazoned on mugs and posters and all manner of faith-phernalia.
But it is another thing to paint it across my heart.
Today, there are things I would like to address in a friendship, hard conversations I am ready to have. I didn’t sleep well last night, thinking about how I would phrase certain complaints. Instead of resting, I crafted my defense. This morning, I showered and readied, then sat down to read the Bible and pray, asking for His strength as I go about my confrontation later in the day.
Shh. Do not open your mouth to correct anyone. This is not the business I have for you today. I have other things for you to do, I heard Him say.
True, I had much on my plate, but I had planned to make the hard conversation part of it.
Shh. Do only what I ask of you, He said.
Uggh! Defending myself was not on the list of things God had planned for me today, as I was hoping it would be. I scowled a bit, turning the Bible page, thinking, If I don’t correct this behavior, then won’t it happen again? Isn’t Dr. Phil right when he says, “You teach people how to treat you?” This led me to bigger questions: Can I trust the Holy Spirit to handle my relationships? To defend me? Do I have to defend myself?
I didn’t like that God was asking me to overlook the offense, but I chose to obey and stay mute on the subject. Still, I immediately started to stew a little, thinking about how unfair it was to “just let something go.” Then my finger fell on the last verse of my Bible reading today.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
It would be my choice whether I would obey God with a smile or a scowl on my face. If I chose obedience with a smile, then God would use positivity like medicine for me, healing my hairline-fractured heart. If I chose to obey with a scowl, then what was broken would stay broken. I would lose strength by the minute, accomplishing very little today. It may not feel like it, but good cheer is a choice. In the hours since I found this verse, I have been tempted to wander back into a bad attitude. But I have too much to do today, and I need my strength for all it. So I smile on purpose and say this verse outloud and wander back into cheerfulness. The fake smile becomes genuine almost instantly.
God has business for us today. Holding grudges is not on the list. Making corrections may not be either. Let’s speak to Him before we speak correction to other people. The Lord may redirect us to more important tasks.
Let’s obey with smiles on our faces. We have quite a list of Things To Do. We want to have strength for all He has for us.