“Woe” Is a Horrible Thing to Waste on Whining

“Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (first of all, to myself) 1 Cor. 9:16

Lord Jesus, if “woe” is an expression of lament, “may-it-never-be,” or dread, then I’ve certainly done my share of “woe-ing.” Self-referential living is easy. Cutting up the confetti for a pity-party comes naturally. That’s why this “redemptive woe” from the Apostle Paul is so refreshing. “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”—especially to me.

We’re not all called to be vocational preachers, but all of us are called to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily—to blast our heart with every good thing we have in you, Lord Jesus. For if the Gospel doesn’t capture our attention, imagination, and heart, then some less worthy storyline, narrative, or worldview will.

Lord Jesus may our identity be defined by the riches of the Gospel; our thinking be shaped by the truth of the Gospel; and our days be filled with the hope of the Gospel.

Forgive us for “wasting our woes” on the “if only’s” and “what if’s” of life. Forgive us for “boo-hooing” our name didn’t make it onto a party list, or isn’t where we want it to be on the “org chart,” more than we rejoice our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20) and on the palm of your hand (Isa. 49:16a).

Jesus, adjust our “woe-gauge”; and intensify our love for you, joy in you, and peace from you. So very Amen we pray, in your most worthy and loving name.