Have you ever felt justified in your harsh actions or words because of the perceived unforgivable behavior of another? I recently experienced this and let me tell you, God used it to circumcise my heart and brought me to my knees.
After pressing the end button on my phone, my heart exploded as raw emotions welled up in my throat and filthy, hateful words spilled from my lips, “How could they…don’t they know… this isn’t fair… I don’t deserve to be treated like this…!” And the accusations (and the bleeping) rambled on and on and on.
The more I ranted the more worked up I became and the more self-righteous and justified I felt.
Then a brilliant woman, softly whispered, “Amy, you post things on Facebook all the time about love, forgiveness, and grace. Don’t you think you should walk the talk and extend that same grace and forgiveness to this person?”
Ouch! Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but exactly what I needed to hear. Deflated, I knew she was right.
As I opened my Bible to Romans chapter 2, I silently prayed, “God let me hear Your voice. How do you want me to handle this situation?”
And in case you didn’t you know or have forgotten, God doesn’t mince words. The first verse read, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” – Romans 2:1
As a little girl, my mother warned, when you point the finger at someone you have three more pointing back at you. Meaning as we judge someone else, we hold ourselves to a higher standard because essentially we’re saying we’ve never committed that offense and never will. And Lord, help us if we do because His judgments are based on truths.
But thank God for His grace, patience and kindness that He so lovingly grant us.
God doesn’t care about our outward appearances. It’s the state of our hearts that interests Him. It’s easy to love someone when they’re lovable. But when they’re ugly, and you extend love and grace instead of hate, God blesses us.
“Not seeking the approval of men, but seeking the approval of God, walking after God in Spirit. It isn’t the life in the flesh that man sees that is important, it is the life in the Spirit that God sees which is important–my heart and the position of my heart before God.” – Chuck Smith, Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa
As 2015 draws to a close and a new year brims on the horizon, I’m declaring God’s blessing on this situation, and I’m trusting Him to work it out for the best.
I admit I am flawed and sometimes my first impulses are not always so admirable. But by the grace of my Heavenly Father, I am blessed and capable of loving everyone– even the unlovable. So as Jesus humbly demonstrated, I will practice mercy and forgiveness, starting with myself.
Happy New Year and may God bless you with unexpected blessings and abundance in 2016!
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