This morning I had a “discussion” with my wife. She advised me that I was grouchy… Of course I didn’t believe her – she was just tired and frustrated…
A little while later I got to my computer and checked my email. Each day I receive an email from dictionary.com and another from Matthew Henry – a method for prayer. Dictionary.com suggests a word each day – I like to expand my vocabulary. Matthew Henry is a daily prayer resource which encourages the use of the Scriptures to pray along certain biblical themes.
This is the gist of what I received today:
dictionary.com – word of the day: dowie – dull; melancholy; dismal.
Matthew Henry: Pray for Grace to assist you that you may be Cheerful in your Duty
That we may be pleasant and cheerful in our duty.
I’m beginning to get the picture. Everybody and everything is ganging up on me. It’s a conspiracy! Well, maybe that’s a little extreme. Perhaps God is trying to get my attention. So what should I do? What will I do?
As I see it, there are several options.
- Ignore it. This is a good and well proved mechanism. I’ve tried it before. Simply get busy with something else and try to forget the matter. If this doesn’t work, try the next option.
- Excuse it. Just consider all the reasons and excuses I can invent. I can surely invent a very good reason or two.
- Blame everyone else. Another useful approach – of course is not my fault. So what else is to blame, not me. Why is it always my fault?
- Be angry. Imagine the nerve and audacity – someone trying to pick on me.
- Combine all of the above. If each of these approaches are unsuccessful, I’ve learned that I can mix and match or even combine them all. For instance, I can become angry, blame everyone else, make excuses and get real busy with everything I can imagine.
- Finally, when all of these approaches fail, I can finish reading the email from Matthew Henry. I can let the words of Scripture impact my life. Warning, if you are thinking of following my example, this is quite humbling and convicting, but it is also the only effective remedy. (I have provided personal emphasis by using bold print.)
Lord, enable us to rejoice always, 1 Thessalonians 5:16(ESV) to rejoice in the Lord always, because he has again said to us, Rejoice; Philippians 4:4(ESV) that we may go on our way rejoicing, may eat our bread with joy and drink our wine with a merry heart, as we shall have reason to do if God has already approved what we do. Ecclesiastes 9:7(ESV)
Give us grace to serve you, the LORD our God, with joyfulness and gladness of heart in the abundance of all things; Deuteronomy 28:47(ESV) and to sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of our God. Psalm 138:5(ESV)
Let us have that cheerfulness of heart which is like good medicine, Proverbs 17:22(ESV) and deliver us from that anxiety which weighs down the heart, Proverbs 12:25(ESV) and that worldly grief which produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10(ESV)
Well, I think I figured out what I should do. Now, how long will it be before I actually do it? Will I remember how to do this in the future?
I am so very thankful that God has promised not to give up on me and will put up with me when I fail. Further, I am most grateful for the grace and patience he gives to others who live with me, especially my wife.