Skip to main content

Aw, God, Do I Have To?

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

I had a bad day. You know, one of those where even the dog doesn’t cooperate? Well, ‘round about 10 a.m., I exploded. I screamed at everyone within a two-mile vicinity. And regretted it afterward.

You know the drill. “I should never have … and now they will always think of me like …”

Regret is a good thing, though, because it got me thinking about forgiveness and repentance. “Lord,” I said, in a sort of prayer, “Seventy times seven is REALLY hard to do.”

It looks good on paper. As Christians, we should be all “turn the other cheek,” “love the unlovely,” etcetera. Except I’ve seen anger and offense creep into the church. Someone lit into me the other day over something trivial, and I was taken aback. But struck harder by the thought I was supposed to pray for them and move on.

And I don’t mean pray they’ll trip.




The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rm 12:19) We love to quote that, picturing lightning bolts striking someone and God up there beating his chest, “Bwahaha!” Truth is, He’s more apt to show them mercy if they’ll receive it.

Fixing the other person is not our job.

I heard speaker, Joyce Meyer, say she spent years trying to fix her husband, Dave, only to realize it didn’t work and she was the only one who was miserable. This helped me with my own relationships. I am apt to blow up first then swim in my regret for several days. But if I let God handle the one who’s antagonizing me, if my prayer is, “Give me a clean heart, O God,” and not, “Let Sister So-and-so stump her toe,” I can place myself in the Holy Spirit’s control and overcome those awful moments.

Overcome them and defeat them. Because God’s instructions to us are tougher than simply not fighting back. God said to forgive “seventy times seven,” then He said to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Mt 5:44)

“Aw, God, do I have to?”

Yep. And notice, all of those things require ACTION on our part. To DO GOOD we must actually DO something. To BLESS someone, to PRAY for them, we must speak peaceful words. To show God’s love we must be the antithesis of everything our flesh and mind asks us to do. I heard a preacher say, “The nose doesn’t have to associate with the armpit,” referring to the body of Christ. So, take comfort that your prayer doesn’t mean you have to spend a day with Mr. Grumpy, it does mean we must seek to react differently. To actually crucify our flesh. (Gal 5:24)

And become like Jesus, who loved the least of men, but faced the devil in faith and power and won. We grow strong in Christ. Strong enough to love when, at that moment, it’s the last … the hardest thing we will ever do.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Christians and Books

The very spring of our actions is the love of Christ. (2Co 5:14 PHILLIPS)
There are Christian books and also Christian authors. These two can function together – a Christian author can write a Christian book. Or separately – a book is written by a Christian author. Neither one is right or wrong. A Christian writer can market their book AS Christian. Or choose to NOT place their book under the Christian genre, without guilt, if it doesn’t go there.

Following this same thought, some Christians, who read books, prefer books targeted for Christians, whereas others have an interest in a wider scope of literature, not all specifically Christian. There are also non-Christian readers, who will read a Christian book if it’s presented in the right way. In any of these cases, as in the two groups of writers, no one is wrong.

Christians have a tendency to put people in a box. We create a set of rules and try to cram everyone inside. But God has made us all unique. As in normal, everyday items, what …

Book Spotlight - THE GREAT THIRST BOXED SET - Mary C. Findley

http://amzn.to/2gJ2Add
https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/
“Come on. Come on. Come on!” Talia chanted, until the messaging application appeared. The characters she typed were not English.

Arrived stateside. Keep your word.

The response came after a long lag.

How many lies told to pull that off?

Talia ignored the taunt and repeated her message.

Location of artifacts?

Proof of life first.

You withheld dive info.

Proof of life.

A video link appeared after some delay, time-stamped to within moments of the current time in western Syria. Talia forced herself not to react to the sight of her aunt and uncle in a small room half-filled with sand, lit only by slits near the roof, and no apparent water or food. Remmy paced like an angry bear, but very slowly and clumsily, slipping on the sand. Sophia sat huddled in a corner. The video clipped off abruptly. Talia typed in co-ordinates of the dive site off Ugarit.

What recovered? the question blinked into view.

Nothing. 5 witnesses can confirm. You sea…

I Feel Better

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

Have you seriously tried that?

Which time did that insult spat from careless lips sit right with you? Number forty? Number two-hundred and twenty nine?

Speaking from my own experience, it gets harder and more painful each time, not easier, until hearing the same person make the same negative remark becomes too much, and I start to wonder at what point is God going to step in and make them stop?

Am I supposed to sit there and take this again and again, my heart being ripped further and further to shreds each time? Pounding and pounding, each blow making that place inside a little more tender than it was. And me more afraid it won't stop. That it'll happen again. Unpredictable.

Me always on my toes, head turned, eye squinched, waiting for those words to hit…