the words and the wolf

My heart these days, you guys.

My family.

My friends.

I will tell you that it’s been a rough season for people I love. That everything we said would never happened, has happened. Call it a deception or mere misunderstanding. Call it outright bullying or clash of personalities. Call it a concession for the purpose of unity, or an answer to fervent prayer.

Know what I call it? Division. In other words, the opposite of God’s will.

I’m not really sure how or when the ball got started rolling, but rolling it went, not stopping to care about anything but its own path, and leaving in its wake more hurt people than I care to know about.

But I know about them. And I’m sad.

“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” — 1Corinthians 13, vs 4-6

These words. They come to mind in times when I need to check myself.

I want them to always be true of my thoughts and actions, and yet I know that’s not the case. I get excited. I get upset. I get carried away, and I let my sights become fixed upon a particular situation rather than fixed upon the God in charge of it.

I want to weigh the risks vs rewards. I want to know all the facts from all the people. I want to have a logical, measurable answer before making a rational, calculated decision.

And I want to have good feelings after I make that decision.

But sometimes? The decision is not mine to make. And even when I have the facts, good feelings are nowhere to be found.

I’ve heard it preached, “Watch out for wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.” Those words have haunted me for almost a year. And I try. Skepticism comes quite naturally to me, so questioning a train before I jump on it is not much of a problem.

Faith, though, tends to be trickier.

Until recently. I have witnessed miracles in my life. I have seen the darkest of nights give way to the most glorious of sunrises. Tell me God can’t fix a problem, then get punched in the face.

I have faith in God. I have faith that He will heal His Church. I have faith in Jesus who unites us all. I have love for my brothers and sisters in Christ and I have a a deep appreciation for all the ministries that our church tries to offer.

There will always be wolves.

I will not hitch my wagon to any one person no matter how compelling a case they make, because I’m not at church to follow or serve one person. I will keep in mind that there are always many sides to a story–and then, there’s the truth. I will trust and respect the authority of those leaders–past, present, and future–that God has put in place to shepherd my church. I will do my very best to fear God and love God and love His people, though that love is sometimes peppered with a stick-it-to-the-man mentality.

I will beg forgiveness when I am not patient or kind, when I am jealous or way too consumed with the cleverness of myself.

I will not seek to blame others for my own failures, and I will not intentionally bring someone else down for my own gain. I will not celebrate in the shame of others, but I will rejoice when truth is revealed.

And I will try to serve His people with humility and enthusiasm. I will do my best to go and make disciples wherever God leads me. I will attend church and encourage my brothers and sisters, and worship The Holy God who sees all, knows all, and loves me even in spite of my mess and my big mouth.

Once I can get out of bed.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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