I am grateful for frank conversations that help me see myself more clearly, and bring about more compassion for others.

My son is a truck driver. Most of our conversations are phone visits while he is on the road. I am grateful for each time we get to share our thoughts frankly with one another. Today we discussed a situation in which I openly voiced my beliefs. While I believe it is my job to accept and submit to God’s definition of what is right and wrong, I am not to be self-righteous about it. As we talked and afterward, I recognized myself, the pot calling the kettle black, because I am not without sin. What is right is for me to extend grace and loving-kindness, as I would like to have grace extended to me in my sinfulness.

As I pondered my judgmental-ness, I remembered the words of an elderly gentleman with gnarled workingman’s hands who came to the home church meetings of my childhood. He was a humble man and told my father that he did not come to the meetings because he was righteous, but because he wanted to be. I have thought of his words from time to time throughout the years and was grateful that they came back to me today. He has been gone from this earth many years, and his words reminded me again today that our hope is that God will grow and change us, not that we are yet what we should be.

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I need to encourage others, not condemn them.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the great Teacher, and He teaches me through the lives of many. Thank you, Lord, for what you taught me today through the conversation with my son, through the memory of an old man’s faith and through your everlasting Word.

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