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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Let God Choose

But let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:24

A new year is only weeks away. My plans to live by a specific “word” this year haven’t materialized. “Simplify” was my word this year.

Early in January I contemplated, prayed, waited, and decided “simplify” was exactly what I needed to put into practice.

But God had other plans for me. He started gently revealing to me that my heart was judgmental and critical, and based on the performance of others. When I had an unkind thought or comment, God allowed me to experience situations for which I had looked down on others. The Holy Spirit was quick and faithful to point out my lack of grace—but with kindness and patience—unlike me.

Look with me into some typical judgments from my heart:

How could she go in public with old food stains on the chest of her shirt? And then… my next meal in public, I caught myself dropping tidbits of food on my shirt front.

Why does he get angry so quickly at such insignificant things? And then… I choked on my cutting tongue as I blasted a co-worker for a tiny infraction.

I wish that my thoughts were limited to such relatively minor incidents, but they aren’t. My hard heart has contributed to two failed marriages.

Slowly, because of God’s unrelenting kindness towards me (see Romans 2:4), I’m able to acknowledge my wrongdoing, and humbly confess it to the Lord. As I see others through Jesus’ love my heart is softening. Increasingly, I respond with kindness.

God in His wisdom chose a better word for me to put into practice this year. Kindness comes to mind.

How has God been working in your life this year?

Heavenly Father, You are Judge and I am not. Your kindness gently brings me back to You. Thank You.

Karen Sims

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