I’ve recently experienced a lot of newness and change in my living circumstances. And you know what? I love it. For the first time in my life, I’m remembering to give God praise! That’s right- not asking him for anything, simply giving him the praise he deserves for the many blessings I’ve received.
In the past, I liked to think that I only needed God and his help when things in my life looked grim. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Not only was I letting myself believe that I had control of my life and that happiness was completely dependent on me, but I was cheating myself out of true joy that comes with trusting the Lord and walking with Him daily.
I rejoice in how wrong I was, and I praise God for showing me how much more richly I could be living life.
My other epiphany was while I was reading my devotional this morning. I was upset with my husband for taking the keys to the old house with him to work for the 2nd time and then I read this:
“Where do we draw the line of forgiveness? ”
The devotional went on to answer this question with Matthew 18:21-35… Guess what readers? We DON’T draw the line. Christ did that when he died for and as us on the cross. If we think we have any right under any circumstances to deny someone forgiveness, we are foolishly denying forgiveness that Christ has already extended on our behalf and undermining his greatest sacrifice.
Let that sink in a little bit….
Are you getting it yet? It doesn’t matter what someone does to you. Christ has already extended his forgiveness.
Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother or sister in Christ who sins against him. Peter guessed, “seven times?”
Jesus said, “I tell you not seven times but seventy seven times…” and then went on to tell the parable in Matthew 18.
To Peter, 7 times was his maximum… think about it in terms of today’s society:
Your spouse cheats on you 7 times..
What are you going to do? Probably file for divorce.
Your best friend steals from you while you’re unsuspectingly giving to them freely… what are you going to do? Probably file a police report or lawsuit against them.
Your child gets in to drugs, alcohol and partying, maybe even gets arrested. What do you do? You probably feel like kicking them out of your home, cutting them off financially and pretending they’re not your problem anymore.
Those are our natural reactions. It’s in our sinful nature to hold grudges and hang on to anger. But I’ll tell you this, there is no room for malice or grudges where the Holy Spirit is present. Period. The two cannot coexist. In fact they do not coexist.
I’ve recently noticed a lot of people aspiring to be like Biblical figures… me for example- I aspired to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. Samuel, David, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Peter… It’s great to have a role model. But people, I think we’re missing the point. Re-read Matthew 18… Look at Peters words… Who did Peter model himself after? That’s right- Christ. So why do we settle for human, fallible examples to follow? Why aren’t we striving to be like Christ instead of striving to be like someone striving to be like Christ? Are you following me?
If it came down to it, would you rather be friends with Peter, who might forgive you 7 times? Or with Jesus Christ, who has forgiven you unconditionally?
Something to think about