Be Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving

The other day I was asked to help someone.  The person doing the asking is not a close friend, more of an acquaintance, and the person needing help I know only slightly. I was asked to help because I have some experience with the problem at hand. I don’t think of myself as one who holds grudges but the first thought I had was, why come to me, when have you helped me? And I don’t even know the person you want me to help! The minute after that thought was in my head this came to mind,

Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13  (gwt)

That stopped me from saying the ugly words.  It was awful of me to think those words but saying them would have been worse than awful. Jesus heard my thoughts and knows my heart and He stepped in to keep me from causing someone pain…again. Thank you, Jesus!

Later on, I was getting comfortable for a chat with Jesus and this was brought to mind,

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Mark 11:25 (nlt)

You see I was holding a grudge against this acquaintance of mine.  I had forgotten all about the day I asked her for help and she said she couldn’t help. Or I should say I thought I had hard-694733_640forgotten. Obviously, I held that day in my heart and let it fester until I was reminded of it and then let the ugliness come forward. I hadn’t forgiven her this little thing. I know better than this. I want to be like my Lord.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Eph 4:32 (esv)

What have I learned from this?

  • I can be resentful and unforgiving
  • I am not examining my heart as I must
  • My prayers are more self-centered than I thought
  • Jesus wants us to be better than we are and helps us get there

 The Word has been given to us to teach us what we need to know to be like Christ.
All we have to do is let it into our hearts and use it as needed.
Everyday.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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What I Learned

I was reading Psalm 116 and in the first nine verses this is what I learned about the Lord:

  • He hears my voice. My voice. He hears it! (v1)
  • He bends down to listen. He wants to hear me clearly so He comes close to me.(v2)
  • He is kind, good, merciful to me. (v5)
  • He protects me when my faith is childlike and has saved me from death. (v6)
  • He lets me rest and is good to me. (v7)
  • He saves me from death, tears, stumbling. (v8)

All of the above is amazing. It humbles me. Who am I to deserve all this attention from God?  I don’t always speak to Him with quiet reverence. Sometimes, I shout in anger or whine and complain. Still, He bends down to listen to me.

He is kind, good, and merciful to me though more often than not I deserve a good thrashing. He protects me in spite of my lack of pure faith and He has redeemed me so I will live though death is what I should expect. He gives me rest when I am weary of the realities of today. He gives me life, wipes away my tears, and keeps me from falling away from Him.  He does all this for me though I am not worthy.

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Respect and Authority

There are times when I look around and wonder what people are thinking. When did people begin to think they can do whatever they want? When did they begin to  think they do not have to answer to anyone?  When did etiquette and common courtesy become something to be ignored? When did authority become a thing of no value to be ridiculed?

These questions have been twirling around in my head for a while. At first, it seemed that these thoughts and actions are new to society, but are they?  Probably not. Then I thought that these behaviors seem more prevalent because we now have access to news media from around the world 24/7, but is that true? Maybe to some extent. When I gave all the chess-404841_640questions serious consideration I came to the conclusion people haven’t changed much since the beginning of time. No one in the past wanted to have someone over them who tells them what to do and how to live, In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever was right in their own eyes. (Judges 17:6) and it’s the same today. Everyone wants to be king and queen. Being common folk is not what anyone wants for themselves. And I admit I often have a bad attitude when it comes to authority and having to answer to someone else. But what does Jesus have to say to me about this?

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.
Fear God, and respect the king.
1Peter2:17

It isn’t always easy to respect authority but there are reasons “kings” are put where they are whether they are good or bad.  When Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate asked Him if He didn’t realize that he had power over Him? Jesus said,“You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11)  Do I understand? Not really but I am trying.

Blessing this day of grace,
patricia

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