Who Am I Following?

Psalm 90:14a Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love.

A few weeks ago I had three of the four kids at Target with me. It had been a long afternoon full of errands so I decided to treat the kids. Each was allowed to pick out one grocery item they most wanted ($2 or less of course) and I promised to buy it.

Clara (4) is a natural leader and influencer. Knowing that Carynne (3) models everything she does, Clara went from item to item in the store and "chose" at least fifteen different things. She thought this funny because Carynne was right behind her changing her mind to Clara's selection time and time again.

It never occurred to Rynnie that day to ask herself what she really wanted. She had her eyes fixed on her sister. Carynne's treat turned into a trick when she ended with something Clara actually wanted instead.

This morning I read the final chapter of Romans-16. Paul sends his greetings out to many friends and family members, followed by one final admonition. He warns the Romans to guard themselves against those who:
  1. Cause Divisions - This person may portray herself as the peacemaker who's working for resolution. She spends time talking with people on both sides of an argument and secretly sows seeds of dissension. She feeds on conflict.

  2. Put Up Obstacles - This person has it "all together". If you stopped by her home for a surprise visit you would find every couch cushion in perfect position. She never leaves her home without every aspect of her person in exact order. She makes sure you know it too. She creates a standard no "normal" girl could ever live up to. She devours other's self-esteem.

  3. Use Flattery - This person may appear syrupy sweet. She compliments everyone and everything and is often the "most popular" person in the room. She uses insincere praise to gain the acceptance of others. She feasts on being shallow.

Clara used each of these tactics as she steered Rynnie to her snack of choice. Paul describes these people as "serving their own appetites". That is exactly what Clara was doing. She used her charm and influence to ensure that she got two treats not just one.

When I allow this to happen to me, the outcome is usually a lot worse than a pantry packed with two of the same snack. Instead it's my faith that's at stake. Will I allow those gorging themselves on conflict, flattery and false standards to derail my walk with Jesus? Or will I look beyond them to the One who loves me and them deeply? Will I see Jesus who mends division, loves the ordinary and celebrates the sincere?

Jesus, today I choose to peak around the corner past these type distractions so I can see the real attraction - You. You are the one who satisfies the cravings of my heart. Today I will not settle for these other substitutes.

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