Are you familiar with this acronym for “Shaking My Head”? “SMH” is an Internet abbreviation trend used for shaking your head to express disappointment.
I don’t often shake my head at people I’m disappointed in. Well…wait…maybe I do that to my kids when they disobey me! I’ve probably used the acronym for it a few times while texting or on social media. Perhaps more often than these, I might have an internal posture of “SMH”.
This past week I was made aware that I had that internal “SMH” posture going.
The riot in Charlottesville, resulting unrest in our country, and some of the unreasonable responses to it that I saw on social media made me “SMH”.
The “SMH” continued as I encountered a few people who just didn’t respond to me as I wished. It’s not unusual to be disappointed a bit in a person’s response to us in life. Maybe a friend doesn’t respond the way we wish or perhaps someone we meet doesn’t smile or make us feel as welcome as we think they should. This sort of thing happened to me a bit more than normal this past week though. Too many situations left me internally “SMH”.
It culminated in me waking one morning with a clear sense of anger. I wanted to say something or do something. I wanted to just stop being nice when people were thoughtless or unkind. I wanted to let the people know how rude or disappointing they were. Thankfully, I was made aware pretty quickly the dangerous and immature road I would be pursuing!
When we want to stop doing good, even good to the people we perceive are hurting us, there is a gospel problem. We are forgetting who we are.
We are children of the living God. This God of ours never stopped “doing” good even to those who would harm Him, turn away from Him, and disrespect Him. How much more then, should we do the same?
“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.” (Acts 10:36-38)
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” (Jeremiah 32:40-41)
Indeed, we are not just His children, but we are called to be conformed to His image. We are not just part of the family of God if we are His, but we are also called to act like we are.
Now I’m “SMH” at the wonder of His amazing grace!
Not only are we called to be conformed to the image of Jesus, but we are called specifically to not become weary in doing good.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galations 6:9-10)
“We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit convicted me of all of this as I turned to Him, SMH. He reminded me that my attitude was not like one who is a part of His kingdom. That joining the ranks of unkindness is not appropriate or good for expanding His work or bringing Him glory. After taking all of this in through His Word, He sent me someone to solidify it.
I took the dog outside for some fresh air and as I stood in my front yard, a woman drove by in her car. I didn’t know her, but she smiled and waved. That was it. That’s all it took for me to be inspired. The words “YOU be the one” came to mind. I realized right then and there that I am not always the one who extends a smile first.
As followers of Christ, we must be the ones who risk a wave, smile, or a spoken good word even when we are not sure how the receiver will receive it. We must be the ones who step forward first. We are His ambassadors to those outside the family and even those IN the family.
We must be what we don’t see in the world around us.
We must be what we want to see in the world around us.
We must go beyond ourselves and love when others don’t or won’t.
How do we do this?
-Recognize that we too need grace for when WE aren’t kind and thoughtful. We needed Jesus’ work on the cross. We become weary of doing good and even turn away from it at times. We must forgive as He has forgiven us.
-Know Whose we are and our calling to be conformed to His image.
-Fix our eyes on Jesus, be in His Word. We must not allow Satan a foothold through anger and disappointment.
-Look around to find the people who are doing good. They ARE there! Be inspired!
-Just BE the one!
Will you join me in turning away from SMH and turning toward Jesus, His grace, and His kingdom? What might that look like in your life? I’d love to hear from you!
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Do you know someone who needs quick encouragement in this? Here is a short video of the main points of this post and couple of the scriptures.
Linking up this week with these amazing ladies!