here have been times when I’ve felt I was playing a game of pretending to be a good person; for instance, when I was volunteering for relief work after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Part of me sincerely wanted to help and make a difference, but I also knew it was what I should want to do, and I was happy to be seen as someone who wanted to help.

At the time, I threw my heart and soul into relief work. It was nice to feel like I was serving. It was even nicer to be recognized for it. Soon I began questioning why other people weren’t doing as much as I, and I found myself looking down on others. It didn’t take too long before things started to unravel.

The breaking point came one morning when, ironically, I overslept. I was meant to be a driver in a convoy that was leaving for Tohoku at 6 am, but my alarm failed, and I was awakened by a phone call at 6:15. I jumped out of bed, scrambled around to get ready as fast as possible, wondering how I could have let this happen. My girlfriend was planning on coming along as well, but I was in such a rush that I didn’t wait for her.

As I drove off, I had a sneaky suspicion that something wasn’t right, but I also had a raging headache and a carload of eager volunteers talking nonstop, so I brushed it off. An hour down the road, however, I received a series of irate SMSs from my girlfriend ending with “I hate you.”

I had a five-hour drive to think about it, and the more I did, the more I too hated myself. Over the previous months, I had “left behind” other people too, because they couldn’t keep up or because I wanted to be all by myself out front.

I called my girlfriend that night and asked for her forgiveness, and then I spent some time talking to Jesus, asking for His forgiveness too. I like to think that a few things changed that day. Not so much in what I did, but in the way I did it. I still have a lot of goals, but I want to accomplish them the way Jesus would, lovingly and kindly. That’s the only way that what I build will last and mean something.

Psalm 34:7 ESV / The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Romans 12:19 ESV / Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Psalm 17:8 ESV / Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,

1 Comment

  1. kelly ramsey
    August 5, 2017, 6:40 pm   /  Reply

    Let me just say I have several devotional apps on my phone and enjoy yours as much as the others. The relatable stories, the humanness in which they are represented is palpable. I found this app a couple months ago and want to let you all know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for devoting your time and energy and being so self-revealing at times. God is at work in each of our lives and since being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer almost two years ago, for me, He is even more a part of my life than ever before. Thank you for all you do! Your devoted reader, enjoyer, and applier!

Leave a Reply