You Can Turn Guilt to Thanksgiving
I get a kick out of this testimony. I had a foolish moment, and I’m not ashamed to share it with you! Maybe it will help you navigate your own shortcomings…
I was at a church service one evening when the guest speaker stated we’re all too tightly wound up and quick to take offense! He had us vow not to get offended for the next thirty days! Seriously! We raised our right hand and repeated our promise to not take offense!
I remember thinking smugly to myself, “This will be no problem. I don’t take offense at people.” Ha! I barely made it thirty minutes!
On my way home that night, I made a stop at the grocery store and when I checked out, the bagels got ripped open as the cashier pulled them from the cart and rubbed the bag against a sharp edge. She looked at the freshly torn bag and said, “Oh, this bag is torn. Do you want to go get another package of bagels?”
That’s not a big deal, is it? But, considering the vow I had taken a mere hour or two earlier, I was in a test. How do you think I did?
I grumbled in my thoughts all the way back to the bread department. How dare she ask me to replace the merchandise when she obviously tore the bag. This is the store that has amazing customer service, and I’M the one retrieving the bagels? My next thought tried to balance all the negativity: Renee, stop complaining. It’s no problem to walk back to the bread department. What’s the big deal?
A minute or two of this mental spewing led me to fit of rage. I could feel the anger within me as I returned to the check-out line and completed my transaction. I’m sure there was no detection of the normally friendly customer who enjoys sharing a smile and kind word with those working hard.
Failed to shine the Light.
Oh, the devil had a grand time with that the next morning. I was getting beat up over my poor witness. Then I remembered the vow. The enemy delighted in my breaking a promise to not get offended. At the realization, I shouted aloud, “That’s right! I broke my promise. I failed to follow through. But I serve the God who never fails, who never breaks a promise!”
And that was it. Taking my eyes off my shortcoming and placing them fully on my faithful Father in heaven totally renewed my heart. I was forgiven and free from guilt.
I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. But the God I serve? Perfectly perfect! Let’s keep our eyes focused on that.
With a humble and thankful heart,