An Insane Waste of Time

Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139: 12 ESVI

I was having a tough week with my oldest daughter one of these days. Her attitude wasn’t good and it kept getting her into all sorts of trouble.

Now, this is a good kid we’re talking about. The kind of kid who would easily have apologized for someone else’s mistakes just in case she didn’t notice she did something wrong. And because she is like that, I couldn’t really track her attitude. Why was she so angry?

I finally sat her down by the dining table in desbelief. I had just watched her try and cover up from having slaped her sister in the face. That was it, she found no more tolerance in me. My planet-saving child, who couldn't even kill a bee after it stung her, was now hitting her younger sister. And she was hitting her hard. We were going to have the talk.

I pulled out some of my best mom cards and talked non-stop about advocating for your reasons without being aggressive. I talked about the use of words. I offered help… She looked angrier than before.

I hated that she was angry. Why wouldn't she easily surrender to my love?

I kept going on and on until she asked me "Can I go?". I gave her an obvious no and finally said: "Well, tell me then, what is going on?" (I know, I should have just listened to her before). She hit me with the unexpected answer, "I know what I did. I know I didn't get better this week. I hate that I am still doing that. I am really angry at me, because I am never like that. Something is going wrong and I am not good anymore!"

Oops.

She cried and sobbed and finally rested on my shoulders. I opened the Bible with her:

As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one.
Romans 3:10 ESV

"None of us: God, mommy, daddy or your sister (okay maybe your sister) expect for you to do everything right all the time. You just need to ask for forgiveness and ask God to help you get it right the next time". She looked relieved. She prayed. She was back to her happy self and her grumpy cloud was gone.

Here is what I learned: we try hard to be perfect.

We assume that is the way. We forget who we are and how we are only reflecting light, not emiting it. We end up not needing God so much, because after all, we are so used to being good. That is, until we face darkness, when we see bad coming out of us.

Sometimes you and I need to be put in the dark, where we start to get confused and let out some of the hidden stuff from within our hearts. THEN we understand that there are none who are good. And we stop trying so hard.

And that's when He works, and we feel relief.

Remember: believing we can be essentially good is like having a fake sense of righteousness and it is an insane waste of our time.

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Aline Meyer

Aline Meyer

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Christ follower, mom, wife, teacher and writer. Writing four-minute devotionals to inspire you to get started with your quiet time!