Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Love To Hear The Story"1 (Lyrics)
John 14:26 – But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV 2011)
Once upon a time, I lived under the illusion that we should treat people as they deserve. It was a simple law which I easily grasped: Be nice only to nice people. Thankfully, my illusion got shattered — all because of one dozen eggs.
That was many years ago. I had a friend who raised chickens and would give away the extra eggs. One day, when I was riding with her, she stopped at a neighbour's place to drop off a dozen eggs. This disturbed me intensely, because the neighbour was a disgraceful person and did not deserve those free eggs, in my view. Other people were far more deserving — and needier. My friend's kindness seemed inappropriate. But obviously, she never even entertained such reservations. Generosity was simply her nature — but not discernment, so it seemed.
Yet, I especially admired my friend for her insightfulness. That's why I found her gesture so unsettling. The episode just wouldn't leave my mind. Thankfully! The Spirit strategically used that to expose my faulty assumption. Afterwards, with newly opened eyes, I saw that I had secretly condemned my friend for her act of kindness; I had judged her neighbour as undeserving of love; I had judged myself as more deserving of those eggs; and I had opposed God's law, "Love your enemies". That's a lot of misjudgments tied up in one bundle!
Oh, I certainly knew Jesus's teaching about loving our enemies. But I couldn't connect it with life. That's because I was shaped by the world in which I was immersed. It is said that whatever we do or experience repetitively becomes right to our consciences. That's why an untuned piano or a wrong note sounds normal after a while. It's why a faulty assumption feels right, and why we'll defend it ferociously. Such embedded habits are resistant to change, even if we know otherwise. No wonder I disapproved of my friend's kind gesture. No wonder I needed the Spirit to reprogram my mind, to remind me anew of what Jesus taught.
I got thinking, if God can use a mere dozen eggs to overhaul my entire sense of justice, He can surely use anything to change you, me, or anyone. God is good at it! That shouldn't be surprising. After all, this was His covenant plan through the miracle of salvation: "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts." (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV 2011)
Prayer: O Lord, teach us Your way by Your guiding Spirit. Train us to think and act more and more in accordance with Your eternal truths. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
Good food for thought Diane.
Amen Diane, great story and application.
Another excellent lesson, Diane! Thank you!!
Just finished reading your devotional. Well said!
Thank you for writing the devotional about the eggs. I learned from it.
You encouraged me to take a second look at a situation I am involved in!
Your devotional this morning was a blessing to me and many others. Thank you. GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.
Goodness, Diane, did you have to speak to me so effectively?? Thanks for the marvelous reminder.
Thank you, Diane!
Your message was eggsactly what I needed to-day!
Thanks Diane. Reminds me, his thoughts are not my thoughts but that renewing our minds is a challenge.
Oh Diane, isn’t God’s grace wonderful! None of us are deserving. No, not one. Only through Christ are we made acceptable. Thanks for reminding us. Blessings.
Diane – a fitting illustration of how we can all make assumptions and judgements without really intending to do so. God Bless you for reminding us that He is the only judge.
Good story. Amen to your prayer. I love the way that the Spirit of God brings to memory a teaching that happened so many years ago. We may not see it right away, but at the right time, He will reveal what needs to change in our lives.
Thank you for the eggs of grace. People can need grace more than everything. God is gracious. He gives, and gives, and gives again to us undeserving people, and it behooves us to pass on his grace. He even gave his Son that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.
Help us to be gracious, Lord, so your grace will become known and passed on again and again. Amen.
“Whatever we do or experience repetitively becomes right to our consciences. That’s why an untuned piano or a wrong note sounds normal after a while. It’s why a faulty assumption feels right, and why we’ll defend it ferociously. Such embedded habits are resistant to change”.
Good morning Diane and thanks to you and all the PresbyCan staff! Thanks for your devotion this morning! Thanks for the wording that changes my belief system. I realized I have, I had, adjusted God or redefined the rules to fit my circumstances.
Thanks for the “One dozen revolutionizing Eggs”.
That is SO cool! And so true that we have been trained by our environment, programmed. And need and overhaul, like me upgrading my computer. New program and have to learn a whole lot of new stuff. And it comes little by little. My laptop has such a different feel to it. And files I can’t open on my old computer but this one opens up new vistas. Discipling is just that: learning to think as Jesus did and living it out as he showed us. And Holy Spirit continues the work in us if our hearts are open to it. It’s why ministers get frustrated with congregations that are so slow to change. But change they do as they begin, as you did, to see themselves through Jesus’ eyes. Blessings.
Hi Diane. This really made me think. If I, like the lady in your devotional believe only “nice” people deserve nice things to happen to them, where would that leave me in the overall spectrum of things? After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we all may have a different set of values when it comes to defining exactly what makes up ‘nice’ and deciding who is deserving. I am so grateful God does not operate that way.
I really need to give this a lot of thought because I have never been challenged on this idea before.
Thanks very much.
It is difficult at times to be nice to people who don’t like us or have hurt us at one time or another.
Really good thoughts. Thanks.