. . . (fill in the blank).
I caught myself saying that to my kids today and I realized it has crept into not just my bank of phrases of things to say when I’m frustrated, but it’s crept into my thoughts, becoming an overused excuse as to why my little life gets pretty messy sometimes.
“If you would just pick up after yourself . . .”
“If you would just treat others like you want to be treated . . .”
“If you would just be nice . . .”
“If you would just stop wasting time . . .”
“If you would just stop complaining . . .”
“If you would just say thank you . . .”
“If you would just mind your own business . . .”
“If you would just do what I tell you to do . . .”
“If you would just treat me the way you’re supposed to . . .”
“If you would just leave me alone . . .”
No, I don’t say all these things, but I have to tell you, I think them.
Matthew 5:42-47: “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?”
Matthew 7:1-4: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the same way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Dear God, forgive me for blaming others for the chaos in my own life. Thank you for reminding me that it’s easy to behave well when everybody is doing what I want them to do, but that you call me to behave well even when they are not doing what I want them to do. Thank you for never changing, for always loving, and for never wanting me to leave you alone.