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Pause and Consider

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:29-32 (NRSV)

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NRSV)

Jennifer Kingsley lives in Alabama. A friend was visiting, and they read The Upper Room together. The passage that day was the parable of the unmerciful servant, and the prayer focus was "Someone I need to forgive." We talked about the devotion, but Jennifer did not think much about it.

Later that day, they were shopping together when Jennifer received a rude message that made her angry. As she was fuming and complaining to her friend, she gently reminded Jennifer of what they had read that morning. She urged her to see the other person's side and to let go of her anger and her need to be right. Jennifer realized that it is easy to get angry, but her anger does not bring about the righteousness God desires. God gave her the exact words and company she needed that day, even before she knew it.

Sometimes. it is easier to get carried away by our feelings than to pause and consider what God is saying about our situation. We have to make a conscious choice to step back and see the situation in the light of God's word. Jennifer hopes the next time God speaks to her, she will pause and listen. This is a good lesson for each of us to learn.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to listen to your promptings through your word and those around us. When we face obstacles, help us to trust you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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