Thursday, August 7, 2014


2 Peter 1:5-11
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”

In my fight with chronic pain and chronic fatigue, I realized that I am fighting to do.  I want to do the things that other people can: clean the house, do the laundry, do the dishes, take care of the yard, move the furniture to clean behind.  In my chronic pain, these are the things that I have chosen to fight for.  Yet, as I consider my life in light of God’s Word (and more specifically, the verses above), I realize that these are not the things that a Christ follower expends all of his or her energy on.  It is my attitude that I should be fighting over.  Am I serving Christ in diligence, seeking His knowledge, holding myself to His standard consistently, striving to be more like Christ and to show His love (verses 5-7)?

These things are not accomplished strictly by doing.  In fact, were I a complete invalid, I could still possess and successfully portray these qualities.  Here’s where grace finally enters in.  I cannot possess these qualities on my own.  It is only Christ’s work in me that allows these qualities to blossom and grow.  Not my own pushing through the pain, nor my determination to do something no matter how much it hurts.

My job is to seek Him.  To seek to know Him, to put it a little differently.  Christ will reveal Himself to me, and will empower me through His grace to do what He has set before me to do.  I often get so caught up in my own agenda.  I reason to myself that as a wife and mother, my first ministry is to my husband and son.  Good so far.  So I need to attend to all of the chores, right?  Well… doing the chores is an obvious way to minister to my husband and son, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to do them.  The chores being done is not as important as the attitude that I portray to my family.  If I am allowing the chores to interfere with the ministry of my attitude, then I need to shift my focus.  (Notice I didn’t say don’t do the chores?)

Rather than a physical fight, I should be concentrating on the spiritual fight.  If, ultimately, the physical fight needs to stand aside in light of the spiritual fight, it’s worth it.  Honestly, this type of fight feels far more “relaxing.”  Far more doable.  Because I am not fighting on my own.  Christ extends His grace to me and empowers me with His Spirit and with His Word.  (He can use other things, too, but I would venture to say that these are the funnel through which all of His other tools flow.)

Where is your energy going?  You may not struggle with chronic pain or chronic fatigue, but the lesson is no less true.  Are you allowing the things that you do to crowd in and demand your focus?  Or are you seeking Christ first and how to portray His love in the things that you do?

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