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The 15 Minute Challenge



I have a confession to make...

Throughout the years, when visiting a particularly difficult person in my life, I'd find myself thinking, "You can do this.  Just put your game face on."  I'd then proceed to literally count down the hours until the visit was over.  After leaving, I'd say to myself, "You could have won an academy award for your performance!"

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Boaz answered her, “Everything you have done for your mother-in-law
 since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me: how you left
 your father and mother and the land of your birth, and how you came
 to a people you didn’t previously know. May the Lord reward you for 
what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God 
of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
Ruth 2:11-12

The widow Naomi had two sons who married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth.  About ten years later both of her sons died leaving Ruth and Orpah widowed.  Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to return to their own mother's houses.  Orpah reluctantly did as Naomi requested, but Ruth chose to go with her mother-in-law, selflessly leaving behind her family and what was familiar.

"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, 
I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and 
your God, my God.  Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus
 may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” 
Ruth 1:16-17

I have always loved the story of Ruth.  Her selfless love and servant's heart are character traits I'd like to emulate.  But sadly, as I pointed out earlier, selfishness too often rules my actions.

Throughout the story of Ruth, she consistently looks to the welfare of Naomi in humble submission.  

In one such instance, Ruth asks her mother-in-law if it is okay to go into the fields to glean the leftover grain.  {These were the very fields that belonged to Boaz who would ultimately redeem Ruth.}

 Ruth the Moabitess asked Naomi, “Will you let me go into the fields and 
gather fallen grain behind someone who allows me to?”
Ruth 2:2

When Naomi realized that the fields belonged to Boaz, their kinsman, she instructed Ruth specifically in order to seek security for her.  Ruth obeyed.

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?  Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.”  She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”
Ruth 3:1-5

Ruth's most incredible act of love and selflessness was presenting her own son to her mother-in-law.

 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.  May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse.  The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Ruth 4:13-17

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If Ruth were to enter the scene I confessed to earlier, her thoughts, attitude and response would be QUITE different.

Ruth would try to understand the deeper meaning behind why the person behaves in a hardened manner; looking to see that person through the eyes of Christ, and love that person as Christ would.

Ruth would have an attitude of respect and unconditional love for the person, no matter their difficult nature.

Ruth would be genuine and intentional during her visit, looking to bless and serve - not merely endure...

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who has difficult people in their life...

But what if, when we are in those situations, we purposed to...

"do the right thing for the next 15 minutes; have the right response for the next 15 minutes."
{Anna Duggar quote}

In my situation, instead of thinking "I have to put my game face on", I would be intentional and genuine with a positive attitude.  Instead of counting down the hours until I was leaving, I would be mindful of how I spent every 15 minutes, ensuring that I took every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and that every word and action showed the love of Christ.  And finally, after leaving the visit, my only thought would be, "Did I bring glory to God?"

I am happy to say that during a most recent visit, when I chose to do the right thing for the next 15 minutes and have the right response for the next 15 minutes,  I saw a change in the person from hardness to softness.  But more importantly, I changed...  In humility, I saw this person as someone who just needs to be loved and to have someone listen to them.   It then became important to me to do the right thing for them!  

I don't know if I will ever be a Ruth, but I feel like the Lord is using this situation in my life to bring her out in me...

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How about you?  Is there a person or situation in your life where doing the right thing for the next 15 minutes or having the right response for the next 15 minutes would help you cultivate an attitude like Ruth's.

I promise you that if you take up this fifteen minute challenge, the Lord will bless you abundantly.  You will develop a Christ-like habit of communion with the Father throughout the day; you will testify to the love of the Father to all you come in contact with; and you will bring Glory to God.

Father, please help me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, every minute of every day.  Lord give me wisdom to know the right thing to do and the right response to have in my day to day interactions that will allow the light of Christ to shine brightly through me.   Thank you Lord that when I seek you, I will find you.  You are my ever present help and guide.  
In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays Let Us Grow

Comments

  1. I love the story of Ruth, and I love how you thought about her attitude in your situation. Great encouragement today. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Judy, Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them!

      You are very welcome. :-)

      Delete
  2. Karen - such a great reminder to take things slower and bite sized - one step at a time ... 15 minutes at a time and then another. I so appreciate your honesty, but also how God changed your heart when you changed your view and things changed too. Blessings. Your neighbor at #MeCoffeeandJesus

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    Replies
    1. Debbie, Thank you for sharing your own insight. Indeed, it is so much easier to break down "life" into slower, bite sized pieces.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Blessings to you too! :-)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this post. Yes, I could use that 15 minutes when I'm subbing in an especially difficult class. Maybe it will change my attitude, and maybe let us all have a better day.

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    Replies
    1. Brenda, You are very welcome!

      Sounds like a plan. :-)

      I'm so glad you stopped by.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for the sweet comment you left on ~ My little old world ~, I truly appreciate it so much for it filled my heart with such a deep joy !

    Hope you're enjoying your week,
    I wish all my best for your days to come,
    sending you love and smiles

    Dany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dany, Awe, you are welcome! I'm so glad. :-)

      I am!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words.

      Blessings to you Dany. :-)

      Delete
  5. Hi Karen, hmmm, I felt quite convicted reading your post! Sigh... There is someone I avoid at all costs. I never used to, but much hurt has interfered. Time to take it before the Lord and open my heart to them.
    Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

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    Replies
    1. Tracy, I think we all have someone like that in our lives.

      In fact, My 15 Minute Challenge will be tested tomorrow as I will be attending a function where a person who has hurt our family very much will be present. I can appreciate how you feel.

      May the Lord help us both to have the do the right thing and have the right response, for the next 15 minutes.

      Delete
  6. The story of Ruth and Naomi is always an excellent one to hear. How wonderful for you to apply this response to someone who is hardened, and to see the amazing outcome! God is good! Hope you have a wonderful day :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing in the conversation. :-)

      Blessings to you and have a wonderful weekend!

      Delete
  7. Such wonderful, edifying advice! Oh, my, there is a person who came to my mind, as I was reading this, and I thought of the many times he has caused my family and me spiritual battles, because of his actions and attitudes. I will try to keep this advice in mind the next time I have to see him and be around him. I am glad the dear Lord gives "more grace" during those moments that just a small amount of grace is not enough! LOL! There will always be those difficult people, but as you said, we can do the right thing, through Christ's power within us. I LOVE the story of Ruth...her and Boaz's love story is one of the sweetest I've ever read. So touching and heartwarming. God bless you for sharing this, dear friend. You consistently bless my life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Cheryl!

      You are so right about the Lord giving us "more grace" during those moments that a small amount of grace isn't enough. :-)

      So true, there will always be difficult people in life. It convicts me that I don't ever want to be "that difficult person" in someone else's life.

      Cheryl I always appreciate how much you add to my blog posts with your comments. They encourage and bless me so much.

      You are such a sweet friend.

      Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!

      Delete
  8. This is REALLY good. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you for sharing encouragement via the story of Ruth. It is one of my favorites! And thank you for linking this week at the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

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  10. Karen, 15 minutes ... I like that. It's so much like what Jesus talked about in Matthew 6 when He said "take no thought for tomorrow for each day has enough trouble of its own." I think sometimes it's not just each day, but each hour, or as you pointed out, each 15 minutes of time. When we focus on the whole thing we can get overwhelmed, but when we just trust God for His grace right now, it's much easier. Thanks for such a great suggestion! Blessings my friend!

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    Replies
    1. Donna, I appreciate so much your added insight to my post - "trusting God's grace for right now" not just the whole day.

      Thank you for your kind comments. :-)

      Blessings to you too!

      Delete
  11. Hi Karen as usual I love the honesty in your posts. Yes may be Ruth would do a lot different than I would. I'm not there yet with difficult people. I prefer to sneak back door and run🐥

    Thank you for your encouragement.
    God bless

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    Replies
    1. Ifeoma, So good to hear from you! :-)

      Thank you for your encouraging comments.

      It is definitely a case by case, day be day struggle. I can totally relate to your sentiment.

      Blessings to you dear friend.

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  12. Karen, such good perspective here. How much of the grace of God have I let fall to the ground by preferring my own "grin and bear it" method.
    Thank you so much.

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    1. Michele, Thank you for your kind words.

      I especially appreciated your statement, "How much of the grace of God have I let fall to the ground by preferring my own "grin and bear it" method." What a great word picture to bring conviction and spur us on.

      Blessings,

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  13. Oh, yes, I sure do have a difficult person in my life! Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth. I enjoyed your post...very good. The ultimate goal is bringing God glory not so much as to have a perfect relationship with the difficult person.

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    1. Aimee, I think we all do. As long as it isn't us who is the difficult person in another one's life. lol.

      Indeed, we can glorify God without being disingenuous.

      Thank you for sharing in the conversation. :-)

      Delete

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