Summer is Coming! Step Away from the BREAD!!!
It’s that time of year again… I am preparing for summer! Knowing that I’d probably draw unwanted attention if I wore a wetsuit on my beach vacation, I’m once again laying off the CARBS!!! Ice cream, potato chips and even sweet tea (a southern favorite) are things I enjoy, but can resist! But fresh hot bread, from French bread to cornbread and especially homemade biscuits, make me literally have to silently yell at myself, “Step away from the bread, Lori!”
There’s actually a bread that’s more harmful than these that add inches to your waistline. It will keep you out of God’s best life for you, and we should step away from it year round!
Proverbs 31:27 (AMP) says, “She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent and self-pity) she will not eat” [emphasis added].
There’s a difference between setting aside time to replenish, and becoming IDLE: spiritually unemployed or underemployed! As leaders, we have all experienced partakers of the bread of idleness – those who have too much time on their hands, enabling them to sit around thinking about how we as leaders don’t measure up or don’t do the things they’d like to see us do…the armchair quarterbacks of church life! I remember coming home from the hospital after the birth of our second child, and one of our associate pastors came over to notify us that while we were experiencing one of the greatest events of our lives, that there was a meeting of church members, an open forum, for them to share all of the things they didn’t like about our leadership. It was hurtful and discouraging, to say the least. We were giving it ALL we had, and it didn’t matter to us that we were underpaid and on call 24/7 because we wanted to do our best to serve God and love HIS people! We never once woke up wanting to do anything other than be a blessing, and yet there was “gossip, discontent and self-pity,” and it felt like a knife! That goes with being a leader!
If we’re honest, we aren’t just the victims. Sometimes, we are the perpetrators. Even those who start the race so well, can become distracted and idle leading to gossip, discontent and self-pity. It’s toxic!
Jesus had a diet plan that we should all follow! In John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” When I’m on the “Jesus diet,” there are great results!
- I become more concerned about pleasing God than I am about pleasing people! People-pleasing is such a trap for those of us who’ve signed up to minister because WE LOVE PEOPLE!! So whether my actions draw praise one day or criticism the next, I must find value in simply pleasing Him!
- I become quick to be a contributor rather than a critic! When I’m invested and doing my part, it’s amazing how much I get done and how little time I have to complain!
- I am set up be a woman who walks in her calling and destiny, like the Proverbs 31 woman! Remember that murmuring and complaining kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land, but Joshua and Caleb had a good report, and they were able to see a great victory and inherit what God had destined for them!
So, this summer, I hope you have some great times of relaxation and rest and that it energizes you to fully engage in the great call of God on your life! And I hope that you enjoy a biscuit or two (with lots of butter) along the way! Carbs don’t count on vacation!