Ditch Called Attitude

1 Thessalonians 3: 13 “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

Oh that sounds so good! I want a heart that is blameless and holy. If I was blameless and holy, wouldn’t my kids want a faith that has made their mom’s heart blameless and holy?

Sometimes, though, my heart is anything but that!

This is the challenge Jesus brings to me through the 1 Thessalonians 3:13: honor Me with your attitude.

Solomon experienced a huge loss because of his attitude (1 Kings 11:11 NIV).

 It’s clear to me; this attitude thing is very important to God and needs to be very important to me as well. My journal entry last week read: “Lord, this is the ditch of my life; my attitude. Often I do the right things with the wrong attitude. Please open my eyes, Holy Spirit, to see my attitudes for what they are – gross, ugly sin.”

At 12:40 p.m. I noted in my journal – “Having a great attitude!”

By 5:00 p.m. I was in the ditch. I allowed a piece of mail, a garden full of weeds and an interruption to lead me right down to it. And from my ditch, my sweet youngest girl heard my unlovely tone answering her question.

Today, He beckons me to try again. With the opening verse, He promises to strengthen my heart so that I will be blameless and holy.

Not all that sure what “holy” means, I check it out on my LOGOS Bible software. I am so encouraged by the definition of holy I find there:


* free of wound or injury; unhurt
* recovered from a wound or injury; restored
* free of defect or impairment; intact
* having all its proper parts or components; complete

Matthew Henry describes 1 Thessalonians 3:13 this way in his commentary:

He (Paul) desired to be instrumental in the further benefit of the Thessalonians; and the only way to be so while at a distance was by prayer for them, together with his writing or sending to them. He desired that their faith might be perfected, which he could not be the proper cause or author of; for he pretended not to dominion over their faith, nor to have the donation of it, and he therefore concludes with prayer for them.
Henry, M. (1996). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Th 3:11–13). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Some days, I feel so dismal in my efforts to be what I thought the definition of holy was; perfect. I wonder at my attempts to be a mom that my kids will want to model. Then I am encouraged by my Jesus. Yes, He wants me to be holy – unhurt, restored, intact and complete…by Him.

So today, I’ll take my cue from Paul. I’ll recognize that no, I am not perfect in front of my kids. No, I can’t have dominion over their faith (though I want to!) I may not be such an amazing woman that they have to have the Jesus in me, but as Paul did for the Thessalonians he loved, I can pray. I can pray that just as He is doing for me, Jesus will strengthen their hearts so that they too will be blameless and holy in His presence.


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