7.12.2011

My Bad (although it was yours)

I found myself in a situation where I needed to apologize. I knew that my apology would be like admitting I was wrong and I wasn't. So, my apology was delayed.

Have you been in that situation? You know that you need to say sorry and you also know the other person - the one who really needs to apologize - will take your apology as an admission of guilt. Not only that, but you know they still won't aplogize after you suck it up and apologize to them. The nerve, right?
Wrong.


Pride.
It's sneaky. It creeps in and allows us to think that we're owed something - that we have the right to give someone what they deserve. While this may fly for those who are of this world, it does not work for followers of Christ.

We believers must remember that we are foreign to this world. We live by a different code. We follow the rules of a different kingdom. We have been commanded to love one another so this world can see who we follow. Our handbook, the bible, tells us to forgive someone endlessly. It tells us not to go to sleep angry. It tells us to reconcile with our brother/sister before we present any offering to our Father. The spirit inside of us will convict us if there is unfinished business. We can choose to be obedient to the urge we feel in our chest or to ignore it. Ignorance really isn't an option.

The choice to ignore the holy spirit's nudging is fueled by pride. Pride is a crafty tool that the devil uses to put your flesh in control - allowing your emotions to dictate your actions. We are equipped to stop pride from invading our mind. The spirit is the first line of defense, sounding the alarm that pride is present. Next, we go to our handbook, God's Word, that tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. We can pray to our Father the instant we feel the presence of pride; we can pray for His help to eliminate it and to help us focus our mind on Him and His goodness. And then we can praise Him! We can praise Him in advance for helping us and for working out the situation for our good and for His glory. Pride can't stand in the presence of God.

When we remember what God has done for us - how he sent His son to die on a cross for our sins when we were still his enemies, how he faithfully forgives us when we confess our sins, how he graciously gave us eternal life with Him instead of eternity in hell, which we deserve - it humbles us. It sets the example that we are not to hold anything - a grudge, forgiveness, an apology, grace and mercy - from anyone. It also shows us that because Christ gave us everything, no one owes us anything.
I know first-hand that it can be hard to live this out. It was challenging for me and although I was obedient, my obedience wasn't immediate. I wish I could take that back - I can't, but I am thankful for the lesson. I am also extremely thankful for God's peace. I know that if He leads me to do something it is for my good. When I don't understand every situation, I am comforted in knowing that He is in control of everything.
My job is show Christ in everything I do.

Lord, please help me to constantly kill my flesh so that I can do my best to represent you and your unconditional love. Amen.

Here are scripture references that go with my thoughts:
John 13:34
Matthew 18:21,22
Ephesians 4:26 (25-32)
Matthew 5:23,24
2 Corinthians 10:5
Romans 5:6-8
1 John 1:9
Philippians 4:7
Romans 8:28