Today’s blog is a guest post written by Rachael K. Adams, author, speaker, and founder of The Love Offering podcast. I had the honor of being a guest on her podcast a few years ago, and immediately recognized her genuine joy for Jesus and gentle heart for encouraging women in their faith. In her words, Rachael loves “dreaming up ways to remind women like you that your life matters.”
You can connect with her using the links at the bottom of this blog.
Would you want to be a student in your classroom?
I was seated in the lobby of my children’s school waiting for records when I spotted this question posted outside the school counselor’s office. It was intended for the school’s teachers, but I immediately knew God had also intended it for me. It made me think: What kind of environment do others experience when I’m around? I wondered how my children experience me as a mother, how my husband experiences me as a spouse, and how my friends experience me as their sister in Christ.
How about you?
What kind of environment do others experience when you’re around? It’s a rhetorical question, but it’s one worth reflecting on. Just as I did, I believe you will benefit (and so will the people in your life) if you would spend some time with the Lord in prayer and take an honest assessment of yourself and your relationships. Then ask the people in your life if their feelings about you concur with your own evaluation.
Would you want to be friends with you?
Would you want to be parented by you?
Would you want to be married to you?
Would you want to be employed by you?
Would you want to spend time with you?
Of course, I hope your answers to all of these questions are a resounding yes! It’s not prideful or arrogant to believe you are in a sweet spot in your roles and relationships. I pray that you are! But as your friend, would you allow me the privilege of sharpening you (Proverbs 27:17) There is always room to improve—not in a striving way, but in a sanctifying way. God is in the process of making us more like Him, refining us day-by-day through the work of the Spirit (1 Peter 1:2). His desire is for us to be holy in all we do, because He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
“But just as he who called you is holy,
so be holy in all you do;
for it is written:
“Be holy, because I am holy.””
1 Peter 1:15-16
If by chance you answered no to any or all of the above questions, know that you aren’t alone. These questions aren’t meant to induce shame or discouragement in you. None of us are perfect, and we all fall short (Romans 3:23). That is why I’m so grateful God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). There is grace for ourselves and others. But just because there is grace doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow. We can allow this time of reflection to help us to be realistic about the current state of our inner selves and how that is expressed outside of ourselves. Rather than a sense of condemnation, I’m hopeful that your responses induce holy conviction resulting in repentance and sanctification.
Thankfully, we aren’t left to attain this lofty pursuit on our own. God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us and empower us to do what we can’t do on our own. As believers, He produces the fruit of the Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should be enjoyed by and be evident to those around us. The more time we spend in God’s presence, in His Word, in worship, and in prayer, the more likely it is that others will want to spend time with us in every role He has entrusted to us.
We don’t have to stay stuck and discouraged with the state of our current relationships and circumstances. Others may not want to always be around us and honestly, we may not always want to be around ourselves! Nevertheless, God always wants to spend time with us—at our best and at our worst. He loves us regardless of our ungodly behavior. However, He also loves us too much to leave us there. Fortunately, God gave us His Word to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in righteousness so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
About the author
Author of A Little Goes a Long Way and host of The Love Offering podcast, Rachael hopes to help women realize their God-given purpose and significance. She and her husband, Bryan, live in Kentucky with their two children, Will and Kate.
Her work has been featured on Crosswalk, Proverbs 31, Today Parenting, and YouVersion.