Not My Stuff – One Year Devotions for Women

My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. – 1 Corinthians 4:4

There was a time in my life when I held myself responsible for every bad thing that happened. I used to take personal responsibility for trouble in the women’s work at church (I should have known what to do), the breakdown of other’s marriages (I should have given them better marriage advice), and even our golden retriever’s bad behavior in the neighborhood. Yes, I even took blame for the dog!

When we allow ourselves to play the blame-yourself game, the ensuing guilt dries up the soul, withers the spirit, and makes for depression. Don’t do it. As Paul put it, to let it be a very small thing to be judged by others. In fact, he says he didn’t even trust his own judgment about himself. He kept a clear conscience and would let the Lord show him the truth.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t own what is ours. As a young mother trying to be patient with my children, it was easy to blame the little imps for my impatience and irritation. However, I learned that the children did not create my mood, they simply revealed it. I couldn’t blame my children for my bad-tempered attitude—that was “my stuff” and I needed to deal with it. As Paul stated, God alone must judge each one of us. He will set the record straight. Some of us, however, need to stop taking responsibility for things that are not our stuff!

For Further Study: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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Telling the Truth Aug offer

Daily Strength for Daily Needs – October 3

October 3

Judge not, that ye be not judged.–MATT. vii. 1.

Why beboldest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?–LUKE vi. 41.

Judge not; the workings of his brain
And of his heart thou canst not see;
What looks to thy dim eyes a stain,
In God’s pure light may only be
A scar, brought from some well-won field,
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.

When you behold an aspect for whose constant gloom and frown you cannot account, whose unvarying cloud exasperates you by its apparent causelessness, be sure that there is a canker somewhere, and a canker not the less deeply corroding because concealed.

While we are coldly discussing a man’s career, sneering at his mistakes, blaming his rashness, and labelling his opinions–“Evangelical and narrow,” or “Latitudinarian and Pantheistic,” or “Anglican and supercilious”–that man, in his solitude, is perhaps shedding hot tears because his sacrifice is a hard one, because strength and patience are failing him to speak the difficult word, and do the difficult deed.

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New Life Daily Devotion – October 3

An Examined Life

He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’” – Luke 8:10One day a nearsighted elderly man who considered himself an art expert visited a museum. He’d forgotten his glasses and couldn’t see clearly, but that didn’t stop him from airing his opinions.What he thought was a full-length portrait soon caught his attention. He gazed at it a moment, then began his criticism.  “The frame is altogether out of keeping with the picture,” he complained, “The man is too homely and shabbily dressed.  In fact, it was a great mistake for the artist to select such a shoddy subject for his portrait.”He continued until his wife managed to discretely pull him aside. “My dear,” she whispered, “you’re looking in a mirror.”It’s important to examine your life, but be sure you’re using the only mirror able to both diagnose and heal–the life and Word of Jesus.The best mirror is an old friend. -George Herbert (1593-1633) To purchase Devotionals or other New Life resources please click hereTaken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.