Maximum Benefit

This is my last post about my doody duty story (it all began with “I’m Sorry“) – I promise. I quickly realized that my so-called “repentance” was infuriating to my wife. Why wouldn’t it? It wasn’t hard for Aleta to figure out my heart wasn’t into what I was saying and doing. Thankfully, I was able to catch myself playing false with my wife, and I began doing what I should have done at the very beginning. I began to actively listen to how she felt, and listen to the reasons why my mistake bugged her. As I really listened, I began to understand that no matter how little a thing I thought this was, this really bugged my wife (she got to decide what really bugged her, and I didn’t), and if I wanted peace I’d better understand her. In that moment, I put my hands, that had been raised in false surrender, down and said, “I didn’t realize this really bothered you and I’m sorry. I will do my best to not let it happen again.”

The next week I when mowed the lawn again I could have ignored our previous conversation, but instead I got a plastic bag, collected our dog’s special little gifts, threw them away, and then mowed the lawn. Why the change? Because I really love my wife! She has showered me with more grace and more love than any other human being has ever given to me. Why wouldn’t I care about something that bugged her? Why would I want to wound her any more? So it is with a God who loves us so relentlessly.

When God corrects me and redirects me, I’ve found it’s a good idea to ask myself an important question. “How much benefit do I want out of this correction?” I’ve found that I get maximum benefit when I don’t say what I think God wants to hear, but tell the truth. I get maximum benefit when I don’t put on an act to just get God off  my back, but respond as He’s asked me to respond. When I respond in this way I’ve found that my recovery and healing proceeds much more quickly.

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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