Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
– Mark 3:5-6

     Jesus was doing good and the Pharisees wanted to kill Him for it. That seems strange to read, doesn’t it? But Jesus was hardly the first victim of this mentality, and He definitely wasn’t the last. If we’re honest, when we look around our world today, it’s really not that strange at all. That’s why we have the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished”.

     I’m not trying be cynical here, but it is true. Often we are attacked, not for the bad things we’ve done, but for the good things. Something about someone being too good makes the rest of us uncomfortable. It raises the bar for all of us. So if we can bring that person down, it makes all of us feel better. It may be the good-natured, faith and integrity filled football quarterback that is a money making machine, always seems to win, but yet can’t find a job. Or it could be when all of Christians are labeled as hate filled bigots though facts and common sense all point the opposite way.

     In our pursuit to follow Jesus, not everyone is going to celebrate our victories, but the truth is, we can’t control that. Also, there’s no use in fussing over those who don’t. Here’s what we can do: we can be sure that we are Jesus in these situations and not the Pharisees. We must be sure that we are looking for the growth in people and not there areas they are falling short. We must be sure to not be jealous or upset when someone is holier than we are, more passionate, or more blessed. Let it challenge us to grow, and not to grow spiteful. Finding people who can celebrate the successes of others can be tough. Maybe you can be that kind of person today.

Who in your life do you need to celebrate? Is there anyone who you need ask to forgive you because you were jealous of them or failed to celebrate their success?