Washing My Mouth | Devotion

A senior real estate manager called me into her office for correction. Little did I realize I was about to fall down a slippery slope. She influenced me with her superior title and position. And so, I followed her authority.

“Christine, you are being too soft and too nice. I want you to call your agents on a group message. And I want you to yell at them for underperforming. You need to use cuss words. Get mean and get mad.”

My cheerful chin fell lower on my face. I was at the crossroad of disappointment. Would I disappoint my boss or my agents?

“And, Christine, when you make that call, I want you to copy me on the message. And send a  copy of your message to the owner of the brokerage. Do it today or you will lose your job tomorrow.”

Obedient to her demands and motivated to keep my job, I made that call. On a group message with 250 real estate agents, I cussed them out for not meeting expectations. I used words that were washed out of my mouth with Irish Spring Soap when I was a child.  This was acceptable for adults in leadership.

The next day, one of the real estate agents walked into my office and closed the door. He was a retired police officer and old enough to be my dad. “Christine, we all talked about that call you made. We know it was not your true voice or even your words. We think (name of the boss) told you to make that call and to cuss at us. And we are disappointed that your character is changing because of her.”

He was correct in his assumption. And thankfully, he called me out. Disgusted with my character transformation under the leadership of my boss, I quit my role as a real estate manager. I found comfort in being myself and standing on firm ground. Shaking off people’s approval, I discovered it was okay to be myself. Made in the image of Christ.

BIBLE STUDY

“If we are going to hold a seed in our hand…make sure it will be one that will bear much fruit, fruit that will last.” -Kelly Minter, Nehemiah Bible Study

TODAY’S VERSE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

LIVING FOR TODAY

I am living for today when I seek to please God, not man. People can never be satisfied no matter how hard I work to fit into their box. It’s my choice today to allow the character of Christ to reflect in me. Wherever I walk and whatever I say, may my words magnify the One who is my love. May His Word always be upon my lips.

©2023 Christine Abraham Devotions

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

Confessions From the Prayer Closet | Devotion

My best friend lived two doors down the street. She saw the ambulance and firetruck in front of my house. After the emergency team drove away, she pounded on my closed door. Still hyperventilating, I confessed a weakness I could no longer hide. My prayer closet was now a war room.

After sobbing through a long story about low platelets and a rare blood disease, she boldly said: “Chris, you’re a private person. Get over yourself and tell people what’s going on so they can help you.” So, I told her my husband turned purple… head to toe, unknown cause. He was in critical care. His platelet count was ONE.

Before this, my neighbors only saw Living Room Christine. I typically greeted them with the smell of clean furniture and freshly baked cookies. It was unconventional for me to greet them with a messy home. And heart.

Getting over myself, I dumped my misery with each sob from my mouth. She heard… “he’s going to live… no longer dying… they moved him out of intensive care. He will be home soon.”  It was on the downside of my crisis when I finally opened my heart.

Then I understood God planted me near Christian neighbors. When they heard my story, they started bringing meals. Mowing the lawn. And saying words that cut to my heart: “We’re praying for you.”

The day my husband came home from the hospital, neighbors placed Welcome Home banners across the lawn. Multi-color balloons decorated the garage door. My three-year-old daughter cheered like a happy toddler. The baby in my womb wiggled a bit.

This is the first of many war room moments. God’s heart and tenderness became more visible in my life. Leaving the comfort of my living room has helped me overcome enemy attacks from Satan. Here I learned to get over myself. And trust God again.

BIBLE STUDY

“Does your prayer closet look like a war room or a living room?” -Priscilla Shirer, Armor of God Bible Study 

 TODAY’S VERSE

The good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. (1 Timothy 5:25 NLT)

LIVING FOR TODAY

I am living for today when I trust God with all my heart. Pouring out my feelings today helps me accept my weakness and embrace comfort. My spiritual war should not isolate me from people who are called to love their neighbors. Confession, weakness, and getting over myself bring me to peace with God.

©2023 Christine Abraham Devotions

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

Truth Will Set Me Free | Devotion

When I was younger, I was blinded by lies and chose the prodigal path. Sunday Morning sermons told me I was a worthless sinner, unworthy to sit in a pew with saints. Weekends with young men told me I was valued for being physically attractive. Finding the balance each week, I was lost somewhere between sinner and saint. The truth was hiding from me. Because I had no desire to seek it. The world told me I was free to be me.

Setting my identity in world values, I found acceptance. The more I looked like the world, the more rewards I gathered on my shining star chart.

My interior soul was crushing from the weight of being me. Self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-focused as a young adult, I had no room for Jesus in my heart.

A worldview mindset presented me with false identities. I was a prisoner bound with self-imposed chains. In bondage to pleasing others and pleasing self… I grieved my Groom.

Jesus loved me and watched me self-destruct. When the Groom reached out His hand, I turned away from His love. What kept me from accepting myself as His Bride? Shame.

I was unable to set myself free from shame. Seeking my identity in my education, career, friendships, and intimacy. These chains could not be broken until Jesus- my Groom- showed the Truth and set me free.

BIBLE STUDY

“If you want to be set free, you have to understand the truth.” -Angie Smith, Matchless Bible Study

TODAY’S VERSE

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 CSB)

LIVING FOR TODAY

I am living for today when I live as the Bride of Christ: loved, and treasured for who I am. By letting go of worldview identities, my heart opens today for an identity in Christ. My chains are broken when Truth conquers lies.

©2023 Christine Abraham Devotions

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.