17 Jan Spirit-Led Nurturing
Carrie was a hot-headed mom who yelled at her kids when they didn’t behave just as she wanted them to; then she became angry at herself for being angry with them.
Once she realized how much she did not understand the gospel, she had a glimpse of hope for real change. She had been stuck on
the performance treadmill, falsely believing that she had to keep trying harder to be good enough, to God and to others. Carrie believed that her kids’ behavior reflected what kind of mother she was, and how “good” of a person she was.
2 Timothy 3:3,5 says “They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control…They will act religious but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” In this passage, Paul is describing people living in the last days. They have a form of godliness but really are ignorant of the truth. Carrie realized Paul could have easily been describing her on some days. She was not fully grasping the truth of the gospel and living it out in her everyday life. Carrie does not want to reject God’s power to bring about change.
Once she understood that she was trying to earn favor with others and with God, she saw how she was putting her hope in her own efforts, not in the forgiveness and grace that Jesus offers every day. What Jesus did on the cross was enough – she could never be “good enough” and she no longer had to try. She was free! Free to offer grace to her children because of the tremendous grace offered to her. Free to ask God to help her control her anger and her mouth. Free instead to nurture and love these children as God loves and nurtures her. Free to experience the joy of motherhood!
Does she still get angry? Of course! But it’s no longer who she is. She is a new creation. She knows that “by his divine power, he has given [her] everything [she] needs to live a godly life” (2 Peter 3:1). She can be kind and patient because God is kind and patient with her. She can live a life of self-control because God is never out of control. She can trust God and yield control of her life to Him. By trusting Him and relying on the Holy Spirit, God is slowly but radically changing her heart, her attitude, and her actions to be more reflective of who He is.
- What aspects of the gospel are you not believing? How is that unbelief reflected in the absence of fruit in your life?
- Have you experienced freedom in the gospel? How has that freedom transformed your life and your actions?
Father, thank you for the work on the cross that frees me from my need to control everything and everyone around me. Help me, Lord, to look to you and your power in changing my own sinful ways.~Women’s Ministry Team