Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Wouldn’t it be nice if we never became angry, frustrated, or hurt? Life would be so much easier. It seems these emotions overtake us all at some point regardless of the efforts we make to suppress them. We are, after all, human.
I once had a dear friend, who has since gone to be with the Lord, whose life was snuffed out intentionally. Her kindness and abounding love was an attribute I wanted to emulate. She was joyful even in times of frustration and sadness. For the one or two times I ever saw her angry, she cried afterwards. She wasn’t angry with me but she was upset that I had seen her so.
One weekend when the campus was empty of students, she and I sat down on the front porch of the chapel at school and chatted about keeping our lives in balance. She told me she did a quarterly “I check.” Lisa, in all her wisdom, quarterly made a list of her attributes and her short- comings. She would evaluate herself according to scripture and then work on the areas she felt like needed a little polishing. It made perfect sense. If you want to be a better servant of Christ, you have to make adjustments.
Unfortunately, we aren’t perfect and sin does slip under the radar causing us to become angry or frustrated. All our refining – is shot down in one swift blast. Those we want to guide with the example of our own lives, see us crash and burn. Then we only have to wonder, how have we failed the Father?
I can only say, when those times happen for me, I find myself closed in my room, physically on my knees because I take my example to others very seriously. When I fail, and trust me, I fail big time – then the only refuge I can seek is the loving and forgiving arms of the Savior.
I feel so fortunate to have the willingness to want to know the Savior, to have the desire to trust Him, and to accept the pathway He lays before me. Though I fail at times, I want His loving forgiveness, in fact, I long for it. When I fail Him, my tears are not from the anger of the situation but from the sadness of having failed the Father.
When I fall to my knees and ask for His forgiveness, I pull out another sheet of paper, clean on both sides, because this is what forgiveness looks like. Two columns are drawn with the stroke of my hand, and Quarterly I Check is printed neatly at the top. I cannot change the past, but through forgiveness, I can start anew. I wish everyone knew what true forgiveness felt like. Don’t you? If others only had a brief taste of the Father’s love they would know what “sweet” really tastes like.
We are all sinners, even when we try exceptionally hard not to be. But, because we have the Savior close at heart (not hand – heart!) then we can feast on His eternal love. Does that mean we stop the quarterly I checks. No, not at all. It means, we start again with the forgiveness of God and the guidance necessary to try again. We are making the effort. Aren’t you glad you know Jesus?
Prayer: We fail Father. We fail miserably at times. Forgive us, renew us and cover us with the cleansing blood of Christ