“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“Nice cross.” Randy conjures a tight, insincere grin as I pass by her section of tables; her eyes continue to sear right through me.
While thrusting her poisonous eye daggers, Randy leans in closer to her captive table of customers. It’s clear that she is about to share a juicy secret. Ironically, she makes certain to speak loud enough for anyone within earshot to hear her precious tidbit.
“Julia is definitely not a saint, that’s for sure.” She snickers while coughing gruffly.
Feeling the whole table of eyes join as her disgusted stare penetrated my back; I dashed up into the break room. It was unbearable to listen to another word, even if everything she spoke was the truth. Grappling with my shame and sadness, I gathered my thoughts in the silence. I chalked it up to another excruciating lesson of learning not to share my past–even with people who claimed to be my friends. This would be the last time that would ever happen. I felt my heart contracting in size and warmth.
All the bad feelings that I had pushed to the back of my mind loomed over me as if they were there the whole time, waiting for the perfect moment. These thoughts seemed determined to ensure me that they weren’t just random ideas of insecurity.
I was garbage. This was a fact. No matter what I did or where I went; the evidence could be proven by the agreement and solid confirmation of many. There simply was no lack of it to dispel my thinking! Tucking my legs tightly to my chest, I stared at my fresh white sneakers, captivated by their whiteness. How I longed to feel that clean.
I had just stopped dancing at the strip club when my parents found out two weeks ago. The heartbreaking news nearly destroyed my mother. With my limited education, skills, experience and direction, I headed off to the local Hooters restaurant. Until I found a better plan, waitressing seemed better than not working at all.
But, no matter what I attempted, my efforts never measured up to everyone else’s high expectations for my life.
I wondered if I would ever be “good enough” to amount to anything. Unhooking the clasp on my rhinestone cross, I tossed it into a plastic cup that was filled with cigarette butts and Diet Coke.
Who was I kidding? Apparently, I wasn’t smart enough to go to school while holding down a steady job. My father had been right about that. Maybe Randy was right as well; I was even too dirty for God.
The echo of my shadowy past seemed to follow me wherever I went. This was even more humiliating than the skimpy orange and white tank top I had plastered to my chest.
In 2 Timothy 2: 23-26 Paul instructs the church of believers on how to handle unbelievers. We are told how crucial it is for the salvation of others for us to maintain a humble heart. Only when we carry this gentle spirit, can God use us to inspire, give hope and encourage the ones who are hurting.
Cruel, thoughtless and hurtful words can work serious damage. But, the continual, genuine and consistent love that Christians should be offering has the power to melt the coldest of hearts.
These selfless acts of love can be the beginning of an unbeliever receiving the truth in God’s word. After the truth is heard and received, then healing can happen.
Believers were always meant to be a part of the healing process of others; we carry the solution to their pain! How can anyone know this if we don’t bother to show it? The love of God truly is the spoonful of sugar that will help the medicine (truth) go down.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Who in my life am I not noticing? Is there a person that you have put into my care that I am not taking care of?
Show me what my responsibilities are. Give me a passion that runs so deep that following through never feels like work for me. I want to serve you with a joyful and genuine heart.
Give me the selflessness that I need to serve others. Help me to see another’s pain, and feel it, too. For then, I will have a heart of true humility and empathy.
I cast out the spirit of religion, spiritual self-righteousness, pride and arrogance. I throw myself down at the mercy of God. Lord, help me to show mercy just like you have given to me.
I am not worthy of it, yet you died for me. The least I can do is be a genuine encourager to another. In Jesus’ precious name, thank you for the honor of bearing your name. Help me to wear it well. Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: 2 Timothy 2:23-26
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan