Wednesday, December 29, 2010
You know how they say (whoever "they" are) that if you spend enough time around someone, you'll find that you begin to act or even look like that person. Isn't this true of our children? I hear my words and humanity coming out of them, well embarrassingly more than I'd like because not everything I say and do is great. Are you shocked? Doubt it. Because I'm sure I can't be the only one who is guilty of this... (am I?). Well, I love to surround myself with people who I respect and want to be like. Now of course, ultimately I long to be like Christ and I can become more like him by spending time in His Word, in prayer and with His people. I have this group of ladies that I get to hang out with Wednesday mornings. The group is a ministry at our church called MIP or Moms In Prayer. I LOVE these ladies, not only for our time together praying for our families and for the fun and encouragement I receive from our time together, but mostly for WHO they are, HOW they live and WHAT they live for. Their testimonies and personal experiences have been a great inspiration to me. They share the good, the bad and the ugly.
My good friend Kathy S., refers to some people as "step-ford Christians". (You know the type: seem like they were cut out of a holy-er cloth, never struggling with motherhood, family or life, always have the pat answer or verse. Aren't we supposed to be joyful in our tribulations, encouraging one another in love and living lives worthy of respect and like that of the Proverbs 31 woman?? Yes. But, living in apparent perfection is less than, um...relatable.) I love my MIPS ladies because they ARE relatable, and real and completely human. Had it not been for them and our time praying, I would have despaired so many times. This is the intent for the church body, I think. To inspire and encourage each other and to pray together learning to lean on Christ more everyday and not despair while living in a fallen world.
So, my question back to myself is, who do I inspire or encourage? Do I live a life worthy of example? Do I exemplify Christ through my trials and testimony or am I a whiner? I fear often times I am the latter. Am I constantly in a flux thinking that when I "get through this", then I will be in a position to serve and encourage others or is it just now when I should be encouraging. We ALL have lives, families, struggles internal and external that we have to deal with...what makes mine any different? Am I encouraging anyone through their "this" and inspiring them to do the same for someone else. Are we inspiring the youth of our church to be the next generation of leaders and encouragers or are we or rather, am I still expecting to be on the receiving end. Still feeling like I need to be served?
Dear Lord, thank you for your Word and for the examples of your servants who were human and weren't perfect, yet inspired. Thank you for the people you have placed in my life (specifically: my MIPS ladies) who I get to fellowship and pray with and for their love for you and encouragement for me. Thank you for the people in my life who I get to interact with, work with and spend time with. Help me to be an encouragement, to have my eyes fixed on you, to respond well in my hard times that my example would only ever reflect you. Help me to see those in need of encouragement and to stop focusing on my needs but seek to meet the needs of others. Help me to love others and to see them as you do. Amen.