50de6fce2b9596cfc111e5bbced8ba12We often wait a long time for revenge, to pay back what has been done to or slighted of us or someone we love.

Absalom didn’t say anything to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon since he disgraced his sister Tamar.

Two years later…

Absalom has planned this ever since the day Amnon disgraced his sister Tamar.” (2 Samuel 13:22-23a,32b)

Through the time we wait, the revenge, discontentment, and anger takes root. It not only affects us but also others. Whether we realize it or not, what is going on inside of us spills onto others, and it’s not pleasant. It might make us feel good, but feelings betray us. We might think we’re allowing for a safety release, but what we’re releasing isn’t safe. We might think we’re justified, but taking control rarely is. Self-control that’s God led? Yes. God-control? Yes. Control based on our own limited understanding, strength, and feelings? No.

Whatever is eating at you from the inside out is too much for you to handle. But it’s not too much for God.

Chocolate for Breakfast

Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. I was greeted by Ghiradelli chocolate strategically placed on my computer. My man knows me. (1) He knows I’ll start my computer within ten minutes after waking up. (2) He knows what kind of chocolate I like. Dark chocolate. He gave me an Intense Dark value pack, which includes 60%, 72%, and 86% cacao squares. I savored one for breakfast.

I haven’t always liked dark chocolate. In fact, I strongly disliked it when we first met. I was a milk chocolate girl. To be honest, I would have rather had caramel or mint meltaways. I liked white chocolate, too, although I know those of you who are chocolate connoisseurs will comment there’s no such thing as white chocolate. The point is, over time, my tastes have changed. My habits have changed. My sense of humor and priorities have changed. I’ve changed.

My husband doesn’t expect me to be the woman he married. He expects me to be the woman I’m supposed to be today. He loved me when we got married. He loves me today. He’s loved me all – well, probably most – the days in between. And I’m not always lovable.

I appreciate he knows to leave me dark chocolate now. Not because I wanted dark chocolate, but because it shows he has listened to me and grown with me. He’s gotten to know me day after day, year after year.

Are you loving the people around you as they grow? Are you learning about them – watching and listening? Are you asking questions and allowing yourself to be corrected when something changes? To love someone is to grow with her. When we love someone, we meet her where she is…and love her enough to be discontent to leave her there. From the depths of our love, we encourage growth.

God meets us where we are…and loves us too much to leave us there. He wants us to grow. He accepts you where you are but won’t accept your refusal to grow. He wants a dynamic relationship with you. He leads you into dynamic relationships with others. Growth isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Some mornings you’ll get to enjoy chocolate for breakfast.

I know I will stay with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith. Philippians 1:25