Our reading today comes from Matthew, chapter 18:
I got so much out of this chapter. I was absolutely being led one way in my study, then I got to the final paragraph. And God dropped a sledge hammer on my head. FORGIVENESS. There it was, again.
I believe we all have a sin problem of some sort. We are all fallen and, in some way, sadden God’s heart. My biggest problem is unforgiveness. At least, that is what God continues to tell me. I don’t walk around as a bitter person. Most things I am able to let go, because I know the hearts of most people and I honestly believe that if I am hurt it is normally unintentional.
BUT, I have a couple of offenses that are really hard to get over. And I have honestly tried. And I have prayed for years about some of them. And when I finally think I have gotten past them, I get a reminder that shows me how very wrong I am.
And I really hate it when God reminds me of it. Why are you kicking me when I am down, Lord? Isn’t my 97% good enough?
God laughs at me. Probably more than I think. It is ridiculous to think that God will accept anything less than 100% when it comes to the state of my heart. And He never said following Him would be easy. He never said, “Just forgive those that are easy and don’t worry about the hard ones.”
It is the hard ones that chisel away the hard places in my heart. And I am finding that to be a long, slow, painful process. But if I want to call myself a disciple – I have to let Him do that work. And I have to admit first that I need it. I could lie to myself, I guess, and look at all the ways I am trying to be a good person. I could tell myself that I am growing in my faith by my good deeds and Bible studies. But what good is that when He is still telling me I have a problem?
Some days just don’t start out with a song and a smile do they? I guess how I start the day doesn’t really matter, as long as I finish the day one step closer to Christ. Let’s hope…
It never is fun to hear that you aren’t perfect. But I do thank You that You are working with me now, instead of letting me wander down a path of destruction. Please give me ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart that will accept Your guidance with gratitude. Let Your Holy Spirit indwell me richly, and change me from the inside out.
In Jesus’ name I pray,