Quieting the Shout of Should

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

 “As God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

—Colossians 3:12

Read Colossians 3:12-13

I took a walk around the soccer field the other night. I was trying to escape the swarm of hardy bugs that were enjoying the hot summer night and hoped to clear my mind while burning a few calories. The more I walked, the more my mind raced—from to-do lists to upcoming events to random bursts of conversation with God about frustrating situations to what to have for dinner. I was so lost in the noise of all the thoughts that I nearly had a heart attack when a bunny jumped out of the woods near the path.

I knew most of what I wished God could fix for me were things that I’d said “yes” to without consulting Him. I was overwhelmed and feeling frazzled. Instead of intentionally putting on “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12), I had chosen to start my days with a thick covering of crabbiness, fear, doubt, comparison, and pride. Choosing to listen to all the things I “should” do had taken me out of a place of peace. Instead of enjoying a lovely walk at the park, I was fearing death by small, furry wildlife.

Where the world says we should hold grudges, be the best, say “yes” to all the things, and fight for what we deserve, a little time in God’s Word will show us a different path. One that requires doing the hard work of forgiveness, staying humble, inviting others to participate in opportunities we don’t need to take ourselves, and leaving the fight up to God. It’s on that path, the narrow one, where we’ll discover peace and joy as we quiet the shouts of should.

Quiet Quest: Whether it’s in your living room, around the block, or at the local park, go for a walk today. No music in your headphones, no podcast to listen to, just yourself and your thoughts. Pray as you walk, sharing it all—the good, bad, messy, and confusing—with God. In what areas of your life have you put on something other than love lately?