Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3

“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.  Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted.”  Paul to the churches of Galatia (Galatians 6:1)

What is it about the human nature that the faults of others can tempt us?  Is it our need to belong?  Are we so needy that we will lower our standards just to be accepted?  I do remember in high school being “ashamed” of my grades--not because they were bad, but because they were so good my fear was that my peers would be jealous and not like me.  Thankfully, this did not prevent me from striving to do my very best, but it did cause me to hold part of myself back.  This set me apart, but as a teenager, not in a good way.  I felt odd and left out.  Once I was an adult I found myself becoming critical of others in an attempt to make myself OK for being different.  My standards were always higher and therefore my life showed it.  My higher standards were often mistaken for arrogance, and truthfully, sometimes it was.  But as I look back I know now it was my attempt to compensate for not being accepted.  Now that I’ve matured and have seen more clearly I understand this verse in Galatians where we are told to be careful when we correct someone lest we too be tempted.  I believe the temptation is not to commit their trespass but instead the trespass of arrogance--believing we are above sin ourselves.  

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For that measure you give will be the measure you get back.”  Luke 6:37-38

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