Right where you are.
Scriptures: Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5, Psalm 103:11-14
I did it again. My husband asked a simple question and I became totally defensive. We were dishing up tacos for dinner and he asked, “Is this all the carnitas?” And by those five words he simply meant, “Is the pulled pork I see here on the tray all there is, or do you have more in the oven?” It wasn’t a trick question. But what I heard was, “You should have made more food. This is not enough. You failed.”
See the chasm between his straightforward intention and my assumption-laden perception?
I shot him a nasty look and in a rude tone answered, “Do you see any more carnitas?”
He wanted to make sure he was divvying up the appropriate portions between our sons’ plates. I wanted to make sure my culinary efforts were not criticized. Rather than checking myself and asking my husband to clarify his simple question, I let sarcasm fly.
I felt threatened, and there was nothing kind about how I replied.
More often than I’d like to admit, I operate in relationships through a lens of self-protectiveness. At its core, my defensiveness is a reflection of one main thing: I doubt that I am loved for who I am. In other words, I believe receiving love is dependent on what I do.
Yet I know this isn’t true. My husband’s love isn’t conditional on how many carnitas I fix. And even more, God’s love for me doesn’t rely on anything I say or do. He loves me because I’m His daughter. Period.
My lack of assurance over how deeply I am loved has a direct impact on my ability to show love and kindness to others. Ouch. It’s painful to confess that, but my taco-night tantrum makes it clear. However, I don’t have to stay stuck in that defensive, sarcastic, painful place. Neither do you.
It takes courage to face the reality of false thinking. It takes courage to trust the kindness of God. To trust Him to rewire what we believe and how we behave so that we can reflect the truth of who He is and who we are as people made in His image. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m ready to embark on this journey of courageous kindness.
‘But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ‘ Romans 5:8 https://my.bible.com/bible/1/ROM.5.8
‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) ‘ Ephesians 2:4-5 https://my.bible.com/bible/1/EPH.2.4-5
‘For as the heaven is high above the earth, So great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, So the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. ‘ Psalm 103:11-14 https://my.bible.com/bible/1/PSA.103.11-14
Prayer for today:
Father, thank You for loving me right where I am no matter what I’ve done. Thank You for filling in the gaps of my poor choices, defensiveness, and sarcasm with Your grace. Help me to understand the depth of Your love for me. Empower me to show that same love and kindness to the neighbors inside and outside my own walls today. Amen.