If it stinks, it needs changing. If it’s rotten, throw it out.

A strong odor permeates a room. Rotten food can spoil food that is near it. Our stinky, rotten attitude, words, or behavior have the same pervasive effect. They fill the air with negativity, silence laughter, and create an environment that is unhealthy and unpleasant.

My words and actions have been stinky and unpleasant.

When I am tired or under stress I become downright irritable. I say things that aren’t thoughtfully worded. Other people’s feelings get hurt, and I am ashamed of the way I act.

I don’t take criticism gracefully. When others tell me I’m doing a poor job, I feel like I’ve let them down. I think they are angry with me, and I get defensive.

I work hard to make everyone happy and to make complicated situations flow smoothly. When I’m in charge of something that doesn’t go well, I feel I have failed. When I struggle unsuccessfully to fix it, I start to cry.

As a Christian, I want to model Christlike behavior, and this isn’t it.
I teach about patience but become irritable. I talk about peace but demonstrate stress. I tell about joy but show sadness.

This stinks, and I need a change. This is rotten, and I need to throw it out.
I can ask others to forgive me, and I will seek God’s help to live more faithfully.

Forgiving God,
I know I’ve messed up. I haven’t reflected your love in my words or actions. Give me a fresh start today to let others see you in me. Amen.

Create pure thoughts in me

and make me faithful again.

Psalm 51:10 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

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