Grabbing a few thoughts.
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11, NLT
Finding joy and enjoyment in tasks, others, this day. When things happen beyond my control–um, that’s a large category!–help me to hold onto what is true, righteous, pure. And if I can’t do that, I will take the simplest of pleasures–that cup of coffee this morning at 2 a.m., fall-like temperatures and a reason to wear a favorite cardigan, a song in my heart. I don’t want a day to go by where I’m not joyful over something. I have lost so much time to lesser things.
Grow to maturity.
Time spent in God’s Word. Letting (mentors, teachers, godly friends, circumstance) influence and shape me. Being open and humble to correction–to the point of change.
Encourage each other.
Look joyfully towards others and their talents–God-given gifts. Remembering the salve of encouragement at my lowest times–a friend on the phone when the moving van arrived; Reggie picking weeds with me in an overgrown garden; an enemy’s accusation buffeted by reminders of who I am in Christ.
Live in harmony and peace.
When conflict arises, asking myself what is it I stand to lose that threatens me to a reaction. What is it I ultimately want to gain for myself, for another, and for the both of us? How will my actions and thoughts achieve those means? Are these actions and thoughts God honoring? Will I regret them afterwards? Not always easy in the moment.
Paul wants these things for his brothers and sisters because he knows the danger of attitude, immaturity, discouragement, and disunity and discord. These are cancers that destroy from the inside–the very heart. First in one heart, and then infecting and affecting those around us.
Lord, help me to guard my heart.