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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Anne Robertson

Wednesday, February 16

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
—Proverbs 10:12

We pastors are always trying to avoid the trap of needing everybody to like us. There are times when we have to make unpopular decisions for the sake of the larger cause, and the element in worship that draws one person closer to God is often seen by someone else as the work of the devil. Those of us who are driven to please everybody only end up miserable and even ill.

And yet, when we are loved by others, they more often give us the benefit of the doubt and our gaffes are more likely overlooked. If someone really hates us, even positive actions and good deeds are attributed to selfish motives or devious schemes.

I try to remember this as I go about life in this world, because I too judge others by my own feelings. Those I love have a four-lane highway on which to travel. They have lots of grace and lots of latitude. But there are others who don't get even a dirt path. They have a tightrope, and they had better walk it carefully. There is no net.

How we perceive the actions of others has a lot to do with what is going on in our own hearts. Sometimes it is not others but ourselves that we refuse to give any margin for error. Perfectionism is a lack of love for ourselves.

Increasing the love in our lives has many benefits, and the God of love stands ready to help us to do just that. God is always giving us the four-lane highway, not the tightrope, so that we might travel life's road without fear. And God gets in the car with us, if we are willing, so that we might fill our tanks with love and arrive in joy at our destination.


Travel with us, God, and help us to extend your grace to others. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.