Kimberly Lawrence

Today's Scripture: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51, ESV

Theme: Jesus submitted to imperfect parents. Likewise, we can honor imperfect family members, authority figures, and bosses.


Obviously, nobody is perfect, right? As Christians, we acknowledge that we are backsliding sinners. We know it’s only by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus that we can come before the throne. No matter how prayerful I am about my areas of sin, I come again and again to God for forgiveness, often falling into the same traps. I pray for mercy, grace, and redemption, though I’m undeserving and flawed. My hope is in a loving God who will greet me with forgiveness, knowing I will never be perfect, but who will see beyond my mistakes and misgivings.

Oh, how thankful I am for that grace! Yet, something I so freely receive is much more difficult to give to those who are similarly flawed. But, why?


I can see it coming, can’t you? I know the things that rub me the wrong way and sometimes it’s all I can focus on! Those personality traits I find so off-putting, sometimes in the people closest to me, because I know them so well. The snarky and condescending tone. The “know it all.” The bully. The “little miss can’t be wrong.” The center of attention. The drama queen or king. When it becomes predictable, it makes it even harder to manage my reactions. But I do have a choice about how I react, and, in a single moment, I can choose to honor God by honoring His people.


What do my words and actions say about me? I need to choose them carefully. Sometimes how I behave seems so justified in the moment but makes me feel like a heel later. Was it so important to make my point? If so, was it delivered with love and respect? How I treat people in a difficult or disagreeable circumstance says far more about me than it does about them. Only my actions are within my control, and I must choose to honor God by treating others with respect and personal restraint. It’s not about them. It’s about what God demands of me!


Of all the people who ever walked the earth, there is only One who could have justifiably backtalked. It was Jesus. When You are the Son of God, why would you ever have to honor and respect another living soul? Yet, He did. In the story that begins in Luke 2:41, we learn that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem each year for Passover. One year, they (basically!) lost Jesus and had to journey back to find Him. Imagine the panic of parents who had no idea where to start looking for their son, who (let’s not forget) is God. The pressure! There were no cars to speed back to their previous destination. No cell phones to find out where he might be. No tracker in his backpack. No friends to call for help in keeping him safe. By the time they arrived three days later, I imagine it was an all-out panic! There, they found Jesus with the teachers in the temple courts, listening and asking questions. When they approached Him anxiously, Jesus certainly could have spat back a retort and justified what He was doing. Instead, Luke 2:51 says he was OBEDIENT. He honored the role of His imperfect earthy parents, despite already knowing the perfect picture.

Make It Personal: When we honor and respect others, it reflects our own faith. Are there people around you who you find trying and who make your blood pressure rise? Exercise your faith by focusing not on their imperfections but on God’s expectation of you as a loving Christ follower. If a difficult situation requires addressing, pray that God will give you the ability to speak the truth in love and with respect, out of your obedience to Him.

Pray: God, thank You for Your loving patience with me. I am a work in progress. Please help me keep my ego in check, be willing to submit to others, and love without condition, just as You have loved me. Help me to remember, especially in a difficult situation, that my priority is always to honor You with my words and actions. Amen.

Read:  Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:1-6; Colossians 3:12; Proverbs 16:23-24

Weekly Memory Verse: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’” Ephesians 6:1-3, ESV