Routinely, after Bob turns the heat up, we start the day over a cup of coffee. We cover the mundane, the urgent, the things the Lord is teaching us, and whatever else eases into the conversation.
So, there we sat this morning sipping French Roast, enjoying the heat of the gas fire. Bob explained he was wide awake from 3:00am t0 5:00am. Somewhere in there he decided to pray…for me. He went on and, shall we say, exhorted me regarding my attitude. Now if you know Bob at all, he doesn’t point out the negative very often, and when he does he’s really very kind. And, when he has something specific to say, to me, I really listen. Besides, I knew he was right.
Sitting there listening to my husband of nearly 29 years, I reflected back over the years. I counted maybe 5 or 6 times in our married life when he actually sat me down for the purpose of reproof. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve haggled and fought many (many, many) more times than that, but I mean specific moments, for a specific purpose.
The first time was in the fall of 1982. We’d been married all of 6 months or so. He talked to me about pretty much the very same thing he talked to me about today.I remember that day really well – I think because I knew he was right, and I was so glad he had the courage to tell me.
I meditated on Ephesians 4:17-5:2 after our little moment today, certain portions stuck out to me: “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Or, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
In the now we continually experience the reality of our flesh and our sin. Interestingly, just because we grow older in Christ, it doesn’t mean we grow better. Today’s coffee chat was a good reminder. In fact, the older I get the more I can relate to the apostle Paul who, toward the end of his life, referred to himself as the Chief of Sinners.
If you could see me now you’d see me raising my hand. That’s me…the Chief of sinners.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The way of love is the way of sacrifice. Bob’s exhortation reminded me of God’s love. Gentle, kind, true – and sacrificial. God’s Word reminded me of His love expressed through Jesus who gave Himself up for us…a perfect offering to God.
Because of Jesus we can look forward to the not yet when sin is vanquished. Our flesh as we know it, gross as it is – gone forever. I look forward to that day, don’t you?