Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 4:10-11, the grace of God, droplets of God’s grace, Leave a little sparkle wherever you go, keeping a journal, bullying, parenting a demanding child, Christmas shopping, dealing with a deman’

Jo 17I quite enjoy Christmas shopping, on the whole—although I may not like those crowds or those occasions when I can’t quite find the right gift for someone. But one thing I definitely don’t enjoy is witnessing those little family fights that seem to occur at times—like the one I saw last week in our local shopping centre:

Young boy in loud, demanding voice, clutching a particular toy:  ‘I want this, Mum!’

Mum, in tired, resigned tone:  ‘Well … you can’t have it.’

Young boy, now in bullying mode:  ‘But I want it. You’re buying it for me!’

Mum in angry, slightly fearful tone:  ‘No, I’m not! If you want it, then you have to use your own money. And you forgot to bring your wallet, so put it back!

Young, now very sulky boy:  ‘I’m not putting it back, so there! I’m having it—you buy it for me!’

On and on it went—until I decided I needed to leave. I felt embarrassed for this mum and sorry for her, but also a little sick. And, sad to say, I also suspect this young man did get his toy in the end.

As I went about the rest of my shopping, I decided to make a special effort to smile and encourage those around me, particularly any trying to shop with children in tow. To my surprise, those smiles often led to good conversations—even with a tired staff member at the check-out. All round, this made for a much more pleasant shopping experience, I decided.

The following day, my husband and granddaughter came home with a little gift for me from their own shopping venture. It was a pretty, spiral-backed journal featuring an interesting suggestion on the cover that read:

Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.

That’s a nice concept, I thought. It could even be one way to describe what I was trying to do at the shopping centre last week. Yet, was it really enough? In the end, I decided I’d like any sparkle I might leave behind not only to be pleasant and attractive but also to have a little bit of lasting impact from God. And that’s when I remembered some verses I love from one of Peter’s letters:

Each one should use whatever gift he (she) has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he (she) should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he (she) should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4: 10-11

Years ago, I remember hearing a speaker describe the act of using our God-given gifts as showering others with ‘little droplets of God’s grace’ and thus partnering with God in refreshing others. What a lovely image! And how privileged we are that God has entrusted us to administer or give out this amazing grace to those around us!

Next time I’m shopping, I plan to watch out for that extra harassed mum or that bored child or that exhausted shop assistant or that lonely person, pray for them, then shower them with those little droplets of God’s grace however I can. That’s the very best sparkle to leave behind, don’t you think?

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