As I journey through life, I am surprised that pain takes me so off guard. Pain is inevitable in a fallen world, stemming from Adams decision so long ago, and still reeking havoc in our lives today. The question is not if pain will happen, but when. Then the choice lies, how will we respond […]
Each day we have moments where we desperately need God’s forgiveness and grace. Wake up calls to our imperfections and depravity. Perhaps like me, you remember a season that you realized the depth of this chasm. God’s grace and mercy was not just the cherry on top, but the necessary glue to keep you together. We sometimes get so comfortable that I think we forget the love we had at first for the God who gave us hope. That elated feeling of peace and joy, when we tossed all our garbage aside and said, “I trust You.”
Sin corrupts our heart and draws our praise and focus away from a loving God. The people of Nineveh struggled with this depravity. Their harsh forms of dominance and control permeated who they were. Sin consumed them, and overflowed for all to see, blinding their eyes to truth. They worshipped false gods and goddess’ in order to fill their desire for worship, but this idolatrous lifestyle only drew them further away from the one true God.
These last couple of weeks have been dicey. The busyness that accompanies a transition to a new house has certainly effected me and my family. It has taken time to fall into a new routine; no wonder God reminded me to pray for patience this morning.
As a Christian, it is hard to assess how to handle conflict, at least it is for me. Verses like “keep no record of wrongs,” and “turn the other cheek,” play in my mind as I question how to deal with this mounting frustration. In a perfect scenario I would be able to overlook every offense thrown my way, unfortunately I have not reached that point yet. Things still bother me. I still have hard days where someone cutting me off on the coffee line could initiate the stink eye. So how do we address people Biblically? Does God expect us to brush everything under the rug?
Some Bible versions say honor, other translations say respect, but the underlining meaning holds the same, it is intended to place value on another human being. People we naturally respect may range from God to a family member, perhaps someone in an authority position. I admire when people show respect to others because it is just as much an earned privilege as it is a choice from the one extending this gracious offer. I feel there are those who earned respect due to noteworthy characteristics and then there are those times we show respect to another because it is the honorable thing to do, whether they deserve respect or not.
What must one experience before they bend their knee? Whether we are a Christian or not we still struggle with our independent ways. Although we may not think it, sometimes our actions portray that we think our ways are higher than Gods, as we follow our “own” path, whatever feels good or makes sense at the time, even if it is sinning, and not beneficial. God cares about us too much for that. So He will draw us to Him with whatever means necessary.
Love is the greatest commandment, the core and force of the Christian faith. In a world filled with pain and hurt we lose sight of this beautiful gift. We not only fail to receive, but we also fail to give. Then, just when we feel overwhelmed, we are reminded of Gods love through the joy of our children, the friendship of our spouse, the caring ways of a friend, or just a random act of kindness from a stranger. I step back and pause as I am humbled. These outward expressions remind me that I am not alone, that I am loved.
Receiving forgiveness is in many ways harder than giving forgiveness. You not only struggle with feeling unworthy of this undeserved gift, but also are dependent on if the person you wronged will forgive you. How can we transform our mind to release our heart of guilt and accept forgiveness?
I felt led to write about forgiveness. Not because I am an expert on the matter, but because I think it is so vital in living a joyful Christian life. Forgiveness is hard, nobody claims it is not. When somebody hurts us, it is hard to rebuild trust and move on from the wrongs that they committed. What reasons are we to give that would force us to forgive, instead of just abandoning the friendship, or avoiding the person all together?