Secrets to Life
As summer begins to come to a close and as teachers and parents start to go back to work, I’m wondering what Scripture is fitting for this time of year. This time of year most families go through this change in a variety of ways. Some are happy to be back in school and with their friends. Others are sad to give up the precious time with their families as they each go their separate ways during the school season. As I pray about the difference between summer and the school year, ask God to give me a verse to guide my thoughts.
Here it is, in a few short verses, the secrets to life for so many of us, especially those of us who work with people. Have you ever had a saying or a verse that seems to follow you around? What I mean to say is that it continues to come up in your mind time and time again and it won’t go away. That’s the way this verse has been for me. I’ve read countless other verses since and this one is still ringing in my ear.
Romans 12: 6-13 (The Message)
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. 9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Stop right there, and read that again, this time for your heart. Now which saying stuck out to you? Now I would like to invite you to stop for one more moment. Say a prayer and ask God to point out the thing that you need to improve on the most. Now read it a third time and see if God can speak to you. What sticks out now, which part of this verse gives you pause or catches in your throat just a little bit? If you had something stick out, write it down. Put it someplace you’ll see it often. Let this be a Scripture that guides us on our journey together.