Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I've always been a rule follower - a "goodie goodie" of sorts. And my husband has the highest integrity, hands down, of any man I've known. These qualities make it easy to plead "not guilty," and mean it, when chaos erupts and fingers are pointed and lies are told.

Recently, Brian and I have experienced some unexpected and overwhelming madness. Really the details are not necessary, nor clear at this point. What IS clear is the hurt and frustration and intense anger that we've endured. It's not fair. We're innocent in this mess.

And then we went to church tonight. 

It's pretty common knowledge that Jesus prayed for those that were murdering him as he hung there, waiting to die. It may not be as common (or at least I wasn't aware) that James and Stephen did the same. AS these men were being MURDERED, they prayed for their adversaries. Talk about perspective. 

Like it or not, Jesus is just as concerned with our response to wrong doing as he is with the initial adverse behaviors. What that means to me is: Just because I didn't do anything wrong to begin with, doesn't mean I'm not accountable for responding with grace and love. Paul says in Galatians 5:

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Mark, the pastor, pointed out (I'm certain while he was looking directly at me) that impurity encompasses not only the physical, but the mental - impure thoughts, motives, or words. He highlighted hatred, discord, fits of rage, dissension... and the like. The question here is: am I praying for the forgiveness of those who have wronged me, or their demise? Because we all know the latter is always easier to do, and often easier to justify.

Then Paul said: 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [Galatians 5: 22-23]

Jesus, Stephen, and James all prayed for their adversaries AS they were being murdered. I'm not gonna lie, I'm in no mood to pray for certain people. But I do pray that God works on my heart in that direction. 

1 comment :

  1. Greetings! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer a quick question that I have about your blog! If you could reach out to me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail.com that would be great!


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