Have you ever gotten so sick of someone close to you that you just wanted to scream? Now I’m not talking about getting sick of your proctologist. I’m talking someone close in a different way, in a relationship way.
We see siblings who never talk to each other, kids who won’t talk to their parents and, of course, strife in marriages.
And what’s the source of that?
First off it starts with the people that we have relationships with are sinful. They are selfish, prideful, lazy, only think of themselves, and endlessly watch the Home and Garden Network.
But the thing that completes this is that (sorry to break this to you), but we are sinful as well – making the situation worse.
Instead of helping someone trying to deal with their selfishness, we get mad at them. Instead of trying to minister to them about their laziness, we yell at them. Instead of trying to show grace to their crazy views on theology, politics or philosophy, we get into arguments with them.
They get mad and we get mad in return, making them more mad, making us more mad. It’s a spiral of death.
But Christ has set a different example. We sin against God every day. Every hour. And probably ever minute. We spit in His face anytime we sin.
But God, instead of responding as we do, displays different attributes… faithfulness, patience, forgiveness, grace and mercy.
When we’re really upset at a loved one, a lot of times it’s because we’ve had a long history of being impatient, ungracious and unforgiving.
How would you know if you’re not like that?
When someone talks about you, do they say, “Boy, they are just so faithful, gracious, merciful and forgiving?” Is that your reputation around your family, town and church?
So what do we do?
It’s sounds simple, but we have to model our lives after Christ. Namely the part where he forgave those who wronged him.
The answer is simple, but man, is it hard to actually put into practice.
Treat those who sin against you in the same way God treats you and your sins – with an unconditional love and forgiveness.
MT 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” MT 18:22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Flip the spiral of death upside down. Show love in return.
If they are mean to you, instead of getting upset, try to minister to them in return. This will cause them to be mean less, which lowers the chance that you’ll return sin against them, which allows you to minister more, which causes them to be less mean and eventually you could be treating each other in a Christ-like way.
It might take a while, but it’ll be worth it.
Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
MT 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
MT 18:22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Take Time To Pray: Ask God you help you to become a person who displays faithfulness, love and grace.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness.