Monday, November 28, 2011

Forgiven and Blessed

She said, "You said..." and I said, "I didn't say.."  But it didn't make any difference so what do you say?  Sorry.  I never meant for you to feel that way.

It rankles and burns.  Sometimes you just can't make things right no matter what you say.  When you don't want the poison to sour your soul what do you do with it?

Take it to the One who knows, who's been misunderstood a thousand ways.  Tell Him how much it hurts and then forgive.  What is the forgiving but giving up my right to vindication?  Surrendering it to the One who sets all things straight some day in some way.  Giving you freedom from my revenge, giving me freedom from bitterness.  Giving what I've already received in abundant measure.  Grace.

He's given one more instruction...after the forgiving, bless.  What better blessing than to pray that the offender would sense the incredible love of the Father?  That peace and calm would come...that they would discover rest in the Father's arms.

Extending grace is a God-sized job.  Thankful for the abundance of His grace toward me...thankful that I am free of a debt I could never repay...thankful for His Spirit within that makes the impossible possible.

You're familiar with the old written law, "love your friend,"
 and it's unwritten companion, "Hate your enemy.
I'm challenging that.  I'm telling you to love your enemies.
Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.
When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer,
for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.
This is what God does.  He gives his best--
the sun to warm and the rain to nourish--to everyone, regardless:
the good and bad, the nice and nasty.
If all you do is love the loveable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that...
In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up.
You're kingdom subjects.  Now live like it.  
Live out your God-created identity.
Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

Matthew 5:43-48 MSG

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