The following is the devotion I wrote for our morning announcements, given last Tuesday. Enjoy!
“She hates me!”
While I teach English, many of you know my field of passion is the social sciences. A few weeks ago I attended a lecture by Dr. Bev Yahnke, a psychology professor at Concordia University-Wisconsin. She was teaching about putting the best construction on situations, specifically those that involved difficult people – particularly when those people are also Christians.
Gracious God, thank you for bringing us to the start of another day. We thank you for all the positive relationships in our lives, particularly those people who bring us joy and love us. We pray also for those with whom we don’t get along. Even in disagreements, help us remember that each human was redeemed by the precious blood of your Son Jesus. Remind us to be patient with others, especially those we don’t like, and to show Christlike kindness, even when it is painful to us. Thank you for your love, and help us to be that love to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I made a gaff when reading this last week – instead of saying “Jesus loves us,” I said, “Jesus hates us.” The word “hate” was on the line above on my printed copy, so my eye just slipped. Also, after reading “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon with my AP students last week, which contains the line, “God abhors you,” I think the line just rolled off my tongue a little easier than usual. So despite my best intentions, the only thing most students took away from this devotion (at least, the sleepy ones) was that Jesus hates them. Won’t live that down anytime soon…