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March 22, 2013

Verna Davis: Questions good if you follow right answers

I’m usually introduced to people as “the preacher’s wife.” No name, just “the preacher’s wife.” But I’d prefer being known by what I call my “I am” statements. For instance, I am a wife. I am a speaker, I am a writer. I am a mother, I am a mother-in-law, I am a grandmother.

Those are good things to be, for each one of those things are facts about me. Each of those “I am” statements can be proven. But what about those “I am” statements that can’t be so easily proven?

For instance, I can say to someone, “I am your friend.” But will that person agree? Do I act like a friend? Do I encourage that person? Do I speak ill of that person? Do I allow others to speak negatively about that person in my presence? Do I pray for that person? Am I a friend? Or do I have room to improve in that area?

I can also say, “I am a Christian.” But am I gracious towards others? Am I slow to anger? Am I quick to forgive? Do I believe that God will fulfill His promises? Do I believe that He will answer prayer?

Every once in a while, it would do all of us a lot of good if we stopped to ask ourselves a few questions? Am I doing what God intends me to do? Am I being a witness to those around me? Am I being a light in a world of darkness?

Am I praying for others as I should? Or are my prayers more like requests that God will change people to be the way I want them to be? Am I examining the sins of others with a stronger lens than I am examining my own? Am I being the kind of person God wants me to be? Am I daily improving my relationships with God, His church, His people?

The Message translates 2 Corinthians 13:5 this way: “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.”

In other words, if we don’t like the answers to the questions we use to examine our lives, we need to do something. Change habits. Develop new attitudes. Study the Word. Mend our fences. Whatever it takes to do it, we need to make it happen.

“Rejoice in the Lord always ... Let your gentleness be evident to all ... Do not be anxious about anything ... And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy “think about such things ... The God of peace will be with you,” (Philippians 4:4-9).

Hmm...the God of peace will be with you. I am sure of it.

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at VRDspeaks@yahoo.com.

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