I Ate the Cookies by Jill Briscoe

I Ate the Cookies - With God there is always a second chance.
Jill Briscoe

   I have a confession to make…I ate the cookies and felt diminished. (I’ll explain more about that later.)

   Have you ever felt diminished? Do you ever feel small? Humiliated? Have you ever said: “I’m a Christian! How could I have acted that way, lost it that way, spoken that way, thought that way?”

   Of course, you can feel diminished not only because of what you say or think or what you don’tsay or think, but because of what others say or think. When people count you of little importance or worth, you can’t help but feel diminished, even if you know a lot or all of it is untrue. That feels horrible.

   The dictionary defines diminishing as “to make smaller or that which reduces or makes of lesser degree,” as opposed to being enlarged and growing bigger and better and of more value.

   People can diminish you. Life can diminish you. You can diminish yourself if you listen to negative messages. The devil himself is the author of diminishing. He doesn’t care how the belittling comes. He’ll use any person or any thing to do his horrible work.

   Sometimes people’s worth is found in what they earn or achieve in the world. Our worth can be all wrapped up in the house we live in, the dishes we eat from, the way the drapes drape, or even if the basement is finished or not!

   Driving to church a few months ago, I was listening to stories about the plane crash in the Hudson, the miracle story of the new year. All were saved by the heroism of the pilot. Interspersed with the man’s amazing skill in this true story of life and death was the news of the cease-fire in the war in Gaza. The killing had stopped for a while. But news followed of atrocities in Africa and danger in Afghanistan for our troops. Serious stuff. When someone tries to kill you, you feel diminished all right.

   A musical jingle began on the radio. The lively group sang, “Do you feel diminished when your basement isn’t finished?” This seemed incredibly incongruous in the light of the really important stuff, but some people really do! Do what? Feel diminished if their basement isn’t finished and their neighbor’s is! Yet even though it’s silly to feel belittled by what is seemingly trivial, it isn’t trivial if it sidelines you or if your self-worth is wrapped up in material success, whatever it is.

   The devil doesn’t care about the basement. He doesn’t care about war or the really big things going on around our hurting world. He just cares about making you lose respect for yourself as God sees you. Don’t let him get away with it. The Bible says he is the “accuser of the brethren& ...

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