John 13:34-35 When I was a kid, I was quite a handful. Without many other kids my age to hang out with in my neighborhood, I found myself constantly getting into trouble. I would break stuff and mess things up. Whenever I did something wrong and my mom would question me, I would always insist that it was my little sister who was guilty or at least the instigator. Of course, my sister rarely did anything that would warrant getting in trouble, but I would blame her to try to wiggle out of punishment. As you can imagine, it never worked. Despite my lack of success when it came to making things better for me by shifting the blame for my situation to my sister as a child, I still try to do the same thing today. So often I find myself blaming and lashing out at those who are closest to me when my life gets stressful, hectic, or tough. We snap at our loved ones even though they’ve done nothing wrong. We allow the stress in our life to affect our relationships. In the Bible, God repeatedly tells us that we should show love and be gracious to one another. When we allow stress to overcome us and affect how we relate to others, it keeps us from loving and caring for people the way God would like us to. // TWO-A-DAYS // GO A LITTLE FARTHER WITH YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS // Go through these questions with your spouse, kids, or friend, or you can even journal about the answers to these questions:

  1. What was the best part of your day?
  2. What was the toughest part of your day?
  3. Where did you mess up today?
  4. Where did you see God today?
Reflect: How often do you allow the stress of your everyday life to affect your relationships? Why do you think it’s so easy for us to take stuff out on those we are closest to? Pray: Spend a few minutes today talking to God about the times you allow stress to affect your relationships. Ask God to be with you through your stressful times and help you love and be gracious to others even in the middle of stressful times. READ THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT: Today’s Reading: Acts 3]]>