The verses that are recommended reading today are what really got my attention. 2 Timothy 2:14-26 is an interesting passage that I'm sure I've read before, but one thing that is cool about reading the Bible more than once is that you notice different things each time. That link takes you to Bible Gateway which is a wonderful site for study because with one-click you can change translations to compare the passage in different versions. I like this because different word synonyms or sentence structures make your brain think. The version that spoke to me most was The Message interpretation (which is not a true translation, but makes for a great way to look at a passage with new eyes).
In verses 20 and 21, it talks about how every home has nice, special occasion dishes, everyday dishes, and containers for waste. God wants to use nice containers to share His story with others. He's asking me to be a shiny, silver platter so I can be a good example to the world. Much of the time I feel more like a garbage can because I know I make mistakes and don't put my best foot forward. But reading this analogy made me reflect on the fact that I am a silver platter and if I keep polishing myself clean daily, I won't tarnish, and God can use me in other people's lives. To come back out of the analogy, I need to make sure I daily read God's Word, talk to God in prayer, and work at being the person God created me to be. If I do those things, no matter how I feel, God can use who I am for others.
I wish I always said and did the right things. I wish I didn't hurt my wife's feelings or be condescending or do a multitude of other selfish acts. But if I can stay motivated and focused to keep learning and inviting God into my day, He can use what I perceive as a garbage can and make it into a beautiful serving dish. He can use me to show others that they are cared for and loved and have meaning.