I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 Timothy 2:1 (NLT)
“Mom, I think you remember that story very differently from how it happened!” Those are words I have heard a few times from my children after they have listened to me recount a family story. It is somewhat of a family joke that I have a tendency to exaggerate a bit. Of course, I call it thinking big. I love to use words like most, always, biggest, all, and every, bringing incredible drama to my stories.
I find it so interesting that God also uses words like always, all, and every. As a matter of fact, you will find those words peppered all through the word of God. There is a huge difference, however, to God’s use of those words and mine. GOD NEVER EXAGGERATES! Every time he says all, he means all. Every time he speaks always, he means it. When he says every, it means every single one!
Understanding and grasping that God never exaggerates has given me enlightened eyes as I approach His Word. You see, because Thanksgiving is approaching, I have been doing some searching for verses about thanks (I will, as always, quote these scriptures for my kiddos and force them to have a grateful heart.) Through my search I stumbled on this one, 1 Timothy 2:1. Timothy’s instruction is a tall order. Pray for all people and give thanks for them. By “them” does he seriously mean ALL people? I believe he does as God never exaggerates.
At this time of year, we find ourselves listing off the many blessings we have in our lives. We thank God for our protection, our safety, our life, our families, His word, and the list could goes on and on. There are many people that have been incredible blessings in my life and I treasure a season that reminds me to tell them how grateful I am for them.
But this phrase ALL people is throwing me for a loop. Seriously, does God want me to be grateful for those who are a thorn in my flesh? Does God want me to be grateful for those who repeatedly discourage me? Does God want me to be thankful for those who don’t even like me?
God said ALL PEOPLE. GOD NEVER EXAGGERATES! So the answer is YES!
God’s instruction for us is to pray for ALL people and to give thanks for them. This Thanksgiving season, as you list the many obvious blessings in your life, make sure to look around at the people that surround you. Notice the people with which you work. Recognize the people that sit on committees with you. Take note of the people that live close to you. No matter who they are and how they respond to you, thank God for ALL of them!
Digging Deeper |
Action Items |
As November approaches, take time to make a list of all of the people in your life. List them by category (i.e. family, co-workers, friends, etc.). Take time each day to thank God for the blessing of encouraging people. Then, take time to thank God for people who are not encouraging. Thank God that He is teaching you through those people.
Dear Jesus, thank you so much for your word. I thank you that you care enough about me to give me instruction in your word that makes my life more relevant, useful and contented. God, give me the courage to thank you for the people in my life that don’t love me. God, give me the strength to see those people through your eyes. Amen.
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