By Jennifer Slattery, Crosswalk.com
(Taken from Wholly Loved Devotionals on Crosswalk. Find them HERE.)
My heart, when left unprotected, inevitably begins to decay. The busier I am, the greater my stress, the greater the threat. If I want to remain strong and filled with the love, truth, and peace of Christ, I need to guard against negative influences while soaking in all that is good and right and true.
When my daughter was young, I ached for adult conversation. She was an only child, and I worried she was lonely as well, so I began signing us up for low-cost activities and social clubs. I became deeply engaged with one group in particular. We met numerous times each week, for outings and park days or to simply sit in one another’s homes. Unfortunately, our discussions often centered on life’s difficulties and how terrible or inconsiderate everyone’s husband was.
I’d like to say I managed to listen without getting sucked into the toxic vortex, but I didn’t. I always left frustrated with my life and marriage.
Then, one day, reality hit. I realized I always left those interactions crabby and dissatisfied, with life and my husband. These “venting” women were actually harming my marriage. I needed to be selective with my influences—to guard against negativity while intentionally studying and contemplating and learning to live in truth.
The winds may blow, but the woman anchored in Christ has deep, immovable roots. Drought may come, and a heat wave may beat upon her branches, but though these outward challenges are unpleasant, they won’t and can’t destroy her, because she is continually fed by the sweet, pure stream that will never run dry.
Her fruitfulness isn’t dependent on her circumstances or outward influences but the strength, wisdom, and power of God’s Spirit welling up within.
This is God’s call for all of us.
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