The Could Have’s and Should Have’s

August 12, 2014

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You really should have done it this way…

We are always critiquing our food, finding ways to make it better.

The local church we attend is often the focal point of the “should have’s and could have’s”. I mean if they would just take our ideas everything would be perfect, right!?

We are a people who desire to innovate, improve, and enhance.

At its root, this is very Biblical. When God gave us dominion over the planet, we were tasked with improving it and making it better. Technology is a godly thing as we advance.

But should have’s can get us in trouble.

My family dinner table growing up was like this. Even if we fully enjoyed a meal, we would speak of all the things which could be done to improve it

I thought this was true of all families till I got married and began “improving” my wife’s meals.

Yes, you can see where this one is heading.

I had my wife in tears at the beginning of our marriage. Her family culture was one of “this is great, the best ever.” My improvements were not seen with the heart they were given!

With a need and desire to constantly improve, is it any wonder we struggle to see the favor of God on our lives?

We assume He is always up there saying. “That was ok but you could have…..you should have…”

– We will focus on the growth we still need rather than what we’ve accomplished. That’s our culture and our nature.
– We will challenge ourselves to do more and more, rather than enjoy the journey.
– As a church we always seek the new and innovative things. Traditional is a bad word in many circles.

How much of our culture influences our view of God?

The heroes in Hebrews 11 aren’t remembered for the ways they could have improved. Read about their lives and you will quickly see there were quite a few things those folks “should have done”.

God saw them as heroes of faith. He knew the “could have and should have’s”. But his focus was on what was done, not what could have been done.

Even as a father to my children, it is so easy to slip into pointing out all the areas they need to grow. If I do this as a dad, they will never feel my approval. This would be disastrous in their development and devastating to our relationship.

Don’t you think our Heavenly Father wants to say far more to us about our successes than our “could have’s or should have’s”?

The challenge for us is not to see God through our earthly grid of human relationships, but to see Him as He truly is. This is only found in the picture of Him as represented in Scripture.

That picture does not show a scolding father full of regret, but one beaming with pride, throwing his arms of love and acceptance open.

Take a few moments today and listen for the favor of God. When your mind starts drifting to what you could or should do better,….STOP!

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God