Editor’s Note: She’s back again, our veteran writer with my favorite name! Maggie Meadows Cooper! While home on quarantine, I have had the privilege (and let’s be real…sometimes headache) of homeschooling my sweet babies. One is in preschool, preparing for the start of Kindergarten in the Fall. We have been working on addition and subtraction with numbers 1-10, and she had been doing great…when the problems were written down on paper. But after practicing a bit, I decided to ask her some problems out loud and see how she did. So I asked expectantly, “Ok baby, what is one plus one!?” And she answered, “Eleven!” Hmmm…a conversation ensued explaining that I could see how she got that answer, but it wasn’t correct because we had to add quantities, blah, blah blah, teacher talk, blah, blah, blah. So I tried again… “Ok baby, what is one plus two!?” Her immediate answer? “Twelve!” So we didn’t quite get it. But the Lord did open my eyes to a sweet lesson. Proverbs 21:2 says, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” Y’all, my preschooler thought her answer made perfect sense. She could explain it and stood by it boldly. In her eyes, she was so very right, but in truth, she was still so very wrong. How can that be? Because she took two pieces of information and stuck them together, without thought to the heart of the problem. And y’all, we can believe we are right with a wrong heart, all day long. We can appear to be Godly, when the truth is that our hearts are not pure in our intentions. We can serve others, simply to receive the world’s applause and get a good photo op for Instagram. We can give of our money and time, simply to get a pat on the back. We can quote or post scripture without having any idea what it really means. We can react with a comment or give advice on social media based on feelings, rather than waiting and responding with Truth. Hard to hear, right? But the beauty lies in the fact that God does know our hearts. The whole of our hearts. He knows the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. And even though our flesh wins sometimes, even though our selfishness can try to take over, if we know and love Jesus, He will draw us back to Him and His purposes if we let Him. Here are three ways we can get back on the right track when these times come: Invite the Lord to check our motives. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting…” Psalm 139:23-24 Check our words and actions with scripture. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…” 2 Timothy 3:16 Don’t forget that the Lord’s ways are better than our own…even if they don’t make sense. “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 My sweet friends, this world gives us so many opportunities to put our actions and opinions on display. But we must use discernment in these times. Many prayers for all of us to live a life pleasing to the Lord and shine His light in all we do, in word and deed. Maggie Meadows Cooper is a real-life wife and mom who messes up every day and needs Jesus to save her. She loves Auburn football (War Eagle!), real Coca-cola, and all things chocolate! She is the author of the children’s book Bumper, writes for Blogs by Christian Women, serves as a Parent Coordinator in the Opelika City Schools, and leads the FBCO Teen Moms group. She lives in Opelika, AL with her husband and three children. You can follow her at beautifulinyourheart.blogspot.com.
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