December 18, 2021

Shoe Shine Boy

Final thoughts from Brennan Manning . . .

“In 1980, the day before Christmas, Richard Ballenger’s mother in Anderson, South Carolina, was busy wrapping packages and asked her young son to shine her shoes. Soon, with the proud smile that only a seven-year-old can muster, he presented the shoes for inspection. His mother was so pleased, she gave him a quarter. 

I Done It For Love

On Christmas morning as she put on the shoes to go to church, she noticed a lump in one shoe. She took it off and found a quarter wrapped in paper. Written in a child’s scrawl were the words: ‘I done it for love.’”


I began to wonder “What would people do for love?”

I came across a post online where someone asked that question then rated the answers people gave. His favorite answer was “Die”.

Still Sinners

That came as a total surprise to me but then my thoughts went immediately to Jesus, and Paul’s words in Romans 5:6-8: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  

What would Jesus do for love? Die for us.

It’s a sobering thought when you realize the reason this little baby was brought into the world some 2,000 plus years ago was to die for you and me. And he did it while “we were still sinners."

When’s the last time you demonstrated God’s love to someone who was still sinning against you?

There’s no way I can love like that in my own power. How about you?

Lay Down Your Life

Ask God to help you surrender to the Holy Spirit today so that you can experience the sacrificial love of God in a more personal way — by dying to yourself, by laying down your life and your interests for someone who has sinned against you.

Brennan Manning

Brennan Manning was a laicized Catholic priest (meaning he “left the priesthood”) who became an influential Christian speaker, author, journalist, husband and father. 

About the Author Mary Goldring

​In my faith journey God has always used the writings of other Christ followers to encourage, inspire, and challenge me to a deeper walk with Him. My desire is that He might do the same for you as you read the writings shared in these devotionals. Blessings!

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