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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - February 27, 2006

  • 2006 Feb 22
  • COMMENTS

 

2/24/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Telling our Friends the Truth”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor of “P31 Woman Magazine,” Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

 

Devotion:

It was a hot dusty summer’s day as my mother, little sister and I drove east across the Arizona desert after visiting a sister in California.   Lizzie and I were too young to help drive, so we occupied ourselves by reading Archie comics and library books.

 

At a stop for gas, Lizzie and I waited in the car, while Mom got out to fill the tank.  It was a windy day, and we could see the fronds of a few lonely palm trees waving as we looked out the window.   My mother tucked a strand of her long brown hair behind her ear as she leaned over the gas pump.  Within seconds a strong gust of wind blew through the gas station, and caught the edge of my mom’s wrap-around skirt. 

 

Normally, she would have worn a slip, but on this long desert drive, she shed the slip in favor of comfort.  Unfortunately, as the wind grabbed her skirt, it flipped it up over my mother’s oblivious back, revealing her panties to the other service station customers.  Unaware of the spectacle, my mother continued to pump the gas. 

 

My sister and I, on the other hand, saw the whole thing.  One would think that helpful and kind daughters would have rolled down the window quickly and told their mother to cover herself!  However, Lizzie and I were doubled over with laughter.  We were curled into balls with tears running down our faces; laughing so hard we couldn’t even rap on the window to get her attention. 

 

Thankfully, Mom finished filling the tank, straightened her skirt and we drove off, hopefully never to see those gas patrons again. 

 

Lizzie and I were just children then, and although we should have stopped laughing long enough to tell our mother what was happening, it was a relatively harmless incident.  However, it does illustrate what can happen when believers hold off bringing concerns about another believer’s life.

 

The Key Verse for this devotion is Galatians 6:2, which says, “Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  This verse comes right on the heels of verse one, which advises believers, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

 

As Christian women, we are called to lovingly guard our brothers’ and sisters’ backs as regards to sin.  When we see a sister in dangerous territory, we are to correct and bring that friend back into fellowship.  The purpose of this is not to create spiritual watchdogs, but to “carry each other’s burden.”

 

Telling our friends the truth about their attitudes or behavior is extremely difficult.  We don’t want to offend, or alienate someone we love.  However, believers helping believers stay true to their calling is God’s design for His church.  God’s goal is unity and purity (Ephesians 4) – but we can easily sacrifice purity for what we think is unity. 

 

Telling a difficult truth involves lots of prayer, affirmation of a friend’s strong points, and a gentle, loving spirit.  It’s not our job to convict our friend, only to help shoulder her burden, and keep her from further harm. 

 

It’s also a good idea when we see someone’s skirt lifted up over her back, to stop laughing long enough to put it back in place.  (Sorry Mom).

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your loving kindness.  Although You see my sin, You still love me.  Thank You for bringing brothers and sisters into my life to help me stay true to You.  I ask for a spirit of humility to receive their correction.  Also, if You are calling me to restore a sister in sin, I pray for boldness.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Identify a friend or loved one who may be treading on dangerous ground in an area of his or her life.  Schedule a time to meet with that person to share your concerns.

 

Reflection Points:

Has anyone ever corrected you, besides your parents?   What can you learn from their approach, both good and bad?

 

What are some sure-fire turn-offs when one adult corrects another?

 

What are some specific reasons you don’t share your concerns about a sister’s behavior or attitude?

 

Why would God want both unity and purity in His church?

 

What can you do to create a relationship of open honesty between you and your Christian friends?

 

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (NIV)

 

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” (NIV)

 

Luke 17:3, “So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” (NIV)

 

Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Leading Women to the Heart of God, General Editor Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_leadingWomen.htm

 

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

Sandpaper People, by Mary Southerland

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_sandpaperPeople.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm

 

 

 

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