matterofprayer blog post for Monday, March 31, 2014
Praying Through the Negative—Admonition, That Is!
A good deal has occurred since I last posted on this blog—a mere two weeks ago. But I have a new job now! A job that suddenly popped up, and I took it. For the curious among you readers, a two weeks ago I began serving at a church in the Chicago suburbs. My position is that of interim co-pastor, and the whole set-up was providential, indeed! Amazing how quickly things can happen.
In my position as a spiritually-knowledgeable person, I try to stay informed about biblical things. So, I sometimes read things online.
For instance, I read a helpful post today on a biblical encouragement website. Last week, this website featured posts from Ephesians, where Paul is admonishing his readers to stay away from certain actions. Negative (“do not!”) commands from Paul seldom trigger positive emotions inside me! True, his “do not!” commands may admonish me—and be sure that I need regular admonishment. *grin* Instead, what works well for me is positive reinforcement, especially what this website mentioned in its post today. If I know that what I say or what comes out of my mouth has the possibility of giving God joy? Well then, I am strongly encouraged to keep on saying things like that! It’s the way I am wired. It works for me.
That’s one reason I get along so well with my partner in crime, my co-worker and co-pastor, Gordon. He and I have an excellent partnership being interim co-pastors of a small church in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove. He is so encouraging and positive to everyone—including me. And I am naturally encouraging and caring back at him (being a chaplain/pastoral care kind of gal). He and I work well, and reflect well off of, each other.
My encouragement to each of my readers is to consider Ephesians 4:29-32. Except in a positive manner. How can each of us do these things, live in this way, pleasing to God? Instead of getting bogged down in where I’ve fallen short, I can look at the positive, and strive to do more! Live better, and be an encouragement to others! Oh, walk more closely with God, too.
Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for the words of Paul that come to us in the New Testament. Forgive us for where we fall short, because we mess up every day. Thanks for loving us, anyhow. Help us to look on the positive side, give joy to others, and encourage each one we meet today. By Your help and power we pray, Amen.