2014-03-28 / Church

Today’s Meditation

Healing Hurtful Hearts And Homes
From The Upper Room
The World’s Most Widely Read Daily Devotional Guide

Read Romans 15:1-7

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

- Romans 15:7 (NIV)

The telephone rang at 2 a.m. “This is the police department. We’ve picked up a mother and three children. The kids are in pretty bad shape.”

Such calls have become a routine part of my life in my almost 30 years as a social worker. Witnessing the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or severe neglect inflicted by out-of-control adults has colored my world and filled me with deep anger. Sorrow followed anger as I saw many children had learned the defense, “I’m gonna hurt you before you hurt me.” I knew that without intervention, they could easily follow their abusive parents’ pattern.

Many of these adults had never experienced genuine love and acceptance. They didn’t know how to appropriately care for a child. Often I was tempted to go through the motions of trying to help them without showing genuine love and respect. But I learned that when I allowed God to love through me — to change me — I increased the likelihood of seeing lasting change in both parents and children. By confessing my own brokenness, I could more effectively minister to theirs. When we acknowledge our own imperfections, we can point others to God’s love, which heals the brokenness in each of us.

Diana C. Derringer

(Kentucky, USA)

Thought for the Day: In order to give love, we must first receive it.

Prayer: O God, work through me, love through me, heal through me. Amen.

Prayer Focus: Abusive families

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