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Today’s Truth

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV).

Friend to Friend

As I sat on my screened-in porch early one morning, I was taken aback with the beauty surrounding me. I held a steamy cup of coffee in my hand and placed my open, well-worn Bible in my lap. As if on cue, as had been our routine for the past several weeks, a visitor hopped from the shrubbery and onto the night-cooled patio. “Good morning, Peter,” I cooed to the little brown bunny. “How are you today?” I just love bunnies, I mused.

Just as I was enjoying watching my furry friend, he hopped over to a flowerpot, stood up on his hind legs, and yanked a rather large stem from a plant.

“Good grief,” I moaned. “Stop that!”  Bounding down the steps, I came face-to-face with the wascally wabbit. “Stop eating my flowers,” I warned. “Get out of here. Shooo.”

Back on the porch, I grabbed my lukewarm coffee and placed my Bible back in my lap.  It wasn’t long before a dainty hummingbird buzzed up to the hummingbird feeder just outside the screen. I watched in amazement as its wings fluttered and it hovered in mid-air. Iridescent colors of green and blue glistened in the sun. I just love hummingbirds, I whispered.

No sooner had the thought entered my head than a second hummingbird dive-bombed the first. Quickly a fight ensued. Beak to beak, they fought over the food. “Guys, stop it,” I pleaded as if they cared. “There are six perches and enough nectar for everybody! Good grief!”

Taking a sip from my now cold coffee, I tried once again to concentrate on my open Bible. But in the corner of my mind, I saw our heron approaching. A beautiful heron lives on our lake and occasionally he passes our way. I marveled at his long legs pointing behind him and his slender beak leading the way. With exaggerated movements, he slowly flapped his magnificent blue-gray wings and glided before me. But then, like a Boeing 747 with a leak in the fuselage, a stream of poop fell from the bird and made a trail in the yard.

“Good grief,” I moaned for the third time in one day.

Back to the Bible. As I tried to concentrate, God began speaking to my heart about what I had seen. Are you willing to take the good with the bad? He seemed to say.

You love bunnies and they eat your plants. You love hummingbirds but they constantly fight. You love the heron, but he makes a mess in your yard. Are you willing to take the good with the bad?

“Well, yes” I whispered to God. “I am willing to take the good with the bad. I love your creatures!”

What about people? He seemed to continue. If you are willing to take the good with the bad with mere animals, are you willing to take the good with the bad in people created in My image?

And then, as God so often does in my life, He left me to think about it.

Paul’s words popped in my head: “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV).

I began to think about people in my life whom I have rejected or relationships that I have walked away from because of annoying behavior or emotional messiness. It seems I was willing to take the good with the bad with God’s creation—but when it came to people created in God’s image…not so much.

God always takes the good with the bad.

  • Abraham believed God, but he also made some terrible mistakes, namely Hagar.
  • David was a man after God’s own heart, but he committed murder and adultery.
  • Jacob was the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, but he was also a deceiver.
  • Martha was hospitable, but she was also bossy.
  • Andrew was loving, but he was also loud (he wasn’t called a son of thunder for nothing).
  • Thomas was dutiful, but he was also doubtful.

And then there’s the woman I look at in the mirror every morning. I’m not going to list my annoying qualities but let me tell you they are many. And yet, God takes the good with the bad. He loves me even when I make a mess.

So, here’s the question for us today. Are we willing to take the good with the bad? Are we willing to overlook the annoying behavior of others and embrace their positive qualities instead? I’m going to leave you to think about it like God left me to think about it that morning.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, all I can say today is HELP! Help me be patient, loving, and kind.  Help me to focus on the positives of others and shrug off the negatives. And Lord, help others do the same with me!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

During this holiday season, as you gather with family and friends, if you are committed to overlook the negative and embrace the positive, leave a comment and say, “I’m in!”

Think through your favorite Bible stories and recall how God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament took the good with the bad in people.

More from the Girlfriends

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© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

51 Responses to “Taking the Bad with the Good”

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m in.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’m in! I had a lesson in patient persistence yesterday with one of my 6th grade boys at school yesterday. It paid off when he commented that he wouldn’t have done the assignment had I not helped him! Thank you God!

  3. Lauren says:

    I’m in!

  4. Linda says:

    I am in!!!

  5. Nicole says:

    I’m in!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I’m in

  7. Carol says:

    Sharon,
    Just said a prayer re.: this, before I opened this msg.?!
    The Holy Spirit and I, are working on this: I’m in!

  8. Tonia says:

    Thank you for this message this morning. I really needed this. This is so hard. I am in.

  9. Laurel says:

    I’m In!
    Wonderful reminder of the love we should show others and not just those who fit in our “box.”

  10. Molly says:

    Will have to prayerfully work on it but I’m in.

  11. Anita says:

    Most every morning y’all nail it for me! Isn’t God wonderful! I’m in!

  12. Nancy says:

    Thank you for this message. Prayerfully, I’m definitely in!

  13. Sarah says:

    Yes, yes I’m in.

  14. Debi says:

    I don’t always realize I’m doing this, sometimes it is a subconscious reaction. I have work to do, but I’m in!

  15. Debbie says:

    I’m in!

  16. Edith says:

    I’m in! I pray that the Holy Spirit will remind me and help me with this every day! Thanks for this devotion Sharon! God Bless You!

  17. Teresa says:

    I’m In

  18. Candy says:

    I’m in

  19. Mercy says:

    One of the things that are easier said than done, but come to think of how the Lord loves us and accepts us for who we are as we go to Him with a repentant heart. I definitely am in by God’s grace and strength!

  20. Marianne says:

    This was such a good message and it made me chuckle. I enjoy the wildlife on my 20 acres and laugh at their antics and get frustrated with the destruction. When it comes to people I struggle and prefer the company of animals and the beauty of nature. Back to prayer for God to change my heart and attitude. I’m In.

  21. Mary says:

    I struggle with a critical spirit. This is a wonderful picture of how with God’s help I can change my thinking and hopefully become more loving and patient. Thanks!

  22. Susan says:

    I’m in!

  23. Bernadette says:

    “Are we willing to overlook the annoying behavior of others and embrace their positive qualities instead?” I don’t believe I should over look the annoying behaviour, I will try to have a conversation with the individual, however I won’t give up on the person. I will stick it out because God loves me and doing that will be honouring Him.

  24. Melissa says:

    I’m in

  25. Cheryl says:

    I’m in!

  26. Sarah says:

    I’m in! Thank you for the beautiful message.In this rush-rush world where we all have pressure and to-do lists that never end, this is a wonderful reminder that we need to follow Jesus’ second commandment to love others. I am working on strengthening patience.

  27. Erika says:

    Yes, I’m in.

  28. Kelly says:

    YES !!! I’m in.

  29. God help me.

    I am in !!!:))

  30. Judy says:

    I’m in. I keep trying but have a long way to go. I see beauty in the sunrise and find myself being judging by noon.

  31. Pam says:

    Lord i have been so annoyed with people i am in give me a clean heart🙏🙌🙏🙏🙌

  32. Maria says:

    I AM IN,, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME.

  33. Jacqueline says:

    I am reading this while on my lunch break at work. I needed this TODAY. I am in as I trust and depend on God to change my heart as I surrender my will for His.

  34. Teri says:

    I’m in!❤ God in REALLY speaking to me on this.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8