Monday, April 25 – “At one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3) Why is it that reality TV is so popular? Because it is, at our very core, who we are. We are “foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures”. We love drama. Especially other people’s drama. For it makes us feel that much better about ourselves. We naturally find it easy to build ourselves up by tearing others down. Re-read our passage for today. Notice that Paul is using the past tense. You can overcome yourself, your malice and envy, through faith in Jesus.
Tuesday, April 26 – “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5) You are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, in spite of you. Not because of you, but because of Jesus. Through Jesus, God has given each and every single person the same possibility – to be a new creation through the Holy Spirit. So, why waste the new creation in Jesus, that is you, by holding onto your old habits of gossip, revenge and arrogance?
Wednesday, April 27 – “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (Proverbs 11:13) Let’s make this really simple: What kind of friend do you want? One into which you can confide your deepest, darkest secrets with confidence? Or one that will constantly judge you and share your secrets with anyone and everyone? Easy right? Than why in the world would you be any different in your relationships with others? You know what you want. You know what is right. Now go out and be it.
Thursday, April 28 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Why do you gossip? Why do you judge others? Confession time. All of that comes from your “selfish ambition” and your “vain conceit”. You gossip to bring others down and lift yourself up. You judge others to bring others down and lift yourself up. Stop it. We are all flies stuck in the exact same Vaseline. And the only way out is to accept the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. Accept this truth for yourself and then turn around and offer this exact same grace to anyone and everyone.
Friday, April 29 – “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11) Wisdom has nothing to do with intelligence. Wisdom is about using the knowledge that you already have. And using the knowledge that you already have will yield patience. For you know where you have been, what you have experienced and the grace you have received from God. Thus, you will turn around and extend that exact same grace and patience to others. You have been taught to be easily offended. Time to learn a new lesson.
Saturday, April 30 – “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” (Matthew 18:15) Isn’t it time that you talked to the person that has offended you? As opposed to talking to everyone else about the person who has offended you? Many of your problems would be solved or at least cut short, if you would simply go and talk to the person with which you have a problem. Yet, it’s easier to talk to someone else about someone, as opposed to talking directly to that someone yourself. It might be easier in the short term, but how is it working out in the long term?