Ever since I can remember, I’ve gone to church. There was a time in my life I “took a break” to test what I believe, and found what I was looking for. If you were like me, as a child, going to church was much like making the bed or doing homework. It was just something I did because it was expected. I was raised to respect my parents, and I was an obedient child. While others my age were experimenting with smoking and drinking, I was at home with family, shopping or hanging out with my girl friends. I guess I was a “goody, goody.” Mostly, I was afraid of my dad! He was tall and a superintendent of a prison. He had my respect and I didn’t want to displease him.
Our family went to church just about every Sunday, and each one was much like the last, prayers, hymns, offering, sermon, and finally the hymn of response. It’s interesting that the hymn after the sermon is always called the hymn of response. It’s the congregation’s way of admitting our flaws and sins. Humbling ourselves and showing gratitude to a God who loves us anyway. It dawned on me how the hymn of response should be practiced everyday. Not that we shouldn’t hear a sermon each day, but with our current level of life, that would be difficult to obtain. We live in a reactive world. This culture says to “get even,” “don’t judge me,” “don’t tread on me.” I say the hymn of response is one that says be kind, considerate, and loving to everyone. Praise the Lord in ALL ways and in ALL situations.
The car won’t start, praise the Lord, because He knows what’s best; and there is something to learn. You got a raise today! Praise the Lord, because now you can be more generous! This practice will take time and discipline. The response to situations is watched by others around us. Children watch their parents driving skills. A reactive, aggressive driver will raise a reactive, aggressive driver. A disrespectful parent will raise a disrespectful adult. A parent who shows patients and kindness toward a stranger will raise an adult who will be the same. Are you seeing a trend here? We are placed here on earth to praise and worship our Lord, Jesus Christ. He owes us NOTHING and we owe Him EVERYTHING! This life is only temporary. Live each day to please God…you’ll be surprised with the amount peace you will find in your heart!
Health-bite: Respond with gratitude in ALL situations