would you like to know my new favorite Bible verse?
first... do you know my old favorite Bible verse?
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
aah, the ole dog/vomit verse. love it. lived it. more than once. need to get it on a coffee mug or a t.shirt. but i digress. into vomit. again. so let’s move on, shall we...
here is my new favorite verse...
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
It teaches us to say "No"
to ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
i love this verse because it is SOOOOOOO easy to say “yes”, isn’t it? well, it is for me. and now i realize why... it is my default setting. my humanness wants to say “YES” to everything. only the grace of God can teach me to say “NO”. “YES” is automatic, “NO” is the result of being schooled. i never had to be taught to say “yes”. but a holy “NO”... that takes lessons. from God. i have to enroll in “NO 101” under God’s tutorage. hmmm, wonder what the syllabus is? will i need a book? i bet the pop quizzes are frequent...
it must take MANY semesters of lessons to say “NO”. many many many semesters. oh, how many many times i have failed the course. by taking the easy “AYE”. (wow. that was a fun pun).
i also love in this verse how we have two different things that God can teach us to say “NO” to...
- ungodliness: things that are downright sinful
and 2) worldly passions... things that aren’t downright sinful, things that i just want. things that are only of the now. things that i might emotionally want to say “yes” to, but shouldn’t. all those “good” things that aren’t the best.
this verse gives me SO much comfort (and ammunition) as a parent who wants to say “YES” to my three loving and wonderful children. “NO” when what they want is sinful (of course) and “NO” when it isn’t sinful but it isn’t the best for them or for our family. even when they bring on all the emotion that they possess. and they possess a lot of emotion sometimes.
having teenagers means really struggling to know when to say “YES” and when to say “NO”. to a thousand little questions that come everyday. with machine gun rapid fire speediness. a mom needs some ammo of her own. some Biblical bullets.
my favorite little saying to recall (sometimes out loud and sometimes just in my head) when i have to say “NO” is
“a no helps you grow”.
don’t you just know that they LOVE it when i say that out loud after telling them “no”? yeah, not so much.
then there are all the times i need to tell myself “NO”. and maybe say “YES” to something the kids or my husband want to do even though it means “NO” to myself. and my being able to sit on the couch and watch glee (like that was ever going to happen). sometimes saying “NO” to MY worldly passions means saying “YES” to serving someone else. sigh. it gets complicated really fast with these yeses and no’s flying around everywhere.
i have to rely on the Master Teacher to teach me how to say “NO” and when to say “YES”. glad He is always accepting new students. no class size amendment at work with Him.
i hear that He grades on a curve... or actually on a cross. where He said “YES”.