Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A WARNING about Mercy

I know.....warning? What?

I'm reading this book lately which is blowing my heart has been exposed by God's word both through the book and my husbands devotional time with me.

There are 2 people who come to my mind when I think of my hardest tests of love in which I FAILED miserably........I walked away from both of, a former step-mother. The other a former roommate. Both are pretty much out of my life, but the ending of those relationships looms over my heart like a dark cloud.
"I've forgiven them" I have said. "I just don't care to see them again"
But I hadn't thought about how just saying the words "I forgive you" nor mustering up some moment of NOT feeling ill will towards them is NOT forgiveness.
(when 2 days later if someone were to bring either name up, I'd feel bitterness all over again)

I've been reading about me (sinners)......and there is this 3 word sentence that is plaguing me in all areas of my life. Past and present (in my marriage)

The words are "Suspect Yourself First"

It is the nitty gritty of the battle that rages within. In our minds, we bring someone to court, as the prosecuting attorney, the judge and the jury......and within 30 seconds, we will have all of the evidence examined, and come back with the verdict "guilty" everytime.
For the LONGEST time, I was in denial about my sins against people. Denial and perhaps IGNORANCE that unforgiveness of others is dangerous to my got a bit too easy to be quick to point out others failings....especially when it was a sin against me. I wanted them to 'pay' for their wrongs against me via my giving them the silent treatment or a sharp/sarcastic word here and there........or just plain distance......withholding forgiveness was my punishment of them.


The warnings are from the mouth of the Son of God
Matt 6:14-15
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Oh, to take this verse to heart ..............
Now, in marriage, so much makes sense to me. In the past, when there was someone who was "causing me to sin" I would just get away from that person, rather than look within at my own sin. I have been as the wicked servant in the parable: (notice Peter thinks of it as I did....just an external obedience to the law "how many times must I....?" agh......)
I filled my name in, as I sometimes help me feel the weight of the verse, as it is directed to all of us believers - personally, as a warning.

Matt 18:21-34
"Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, Jennifer was brought to him, and she owed him ten thousand talents. And since she could not pay, her master ordered her to be sold, with her spouse and children and all that she had, and payment to be made.
So the servant fell on her knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for Jennifer, the master of that servant released her and forgave her the debt. But when that same servant went out, she found one of her fellow servants who owed her a hundred denarii, and seizing them, she began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' So her fellow servant fell down and pleaded with her, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' She refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When her fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then her master summoned her and said to her, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger her master delivered her to the jailers, until she should pay all her debt. (ie..Hell) So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

Oh, Lord, fix my heart....heal this wickedness that holds onto a sense holding someone to 'pay what they owe' by not forgiving the wrong done against me.
AS IF I have not been set free from my debt against you.
Help me to see my wickedness and to seek their forgiveness for the wrongs that I deny or dismiss or excuse away in my flesh.
Save my soul from this evil, and all my beloved friends who love your Name as I do.
In Jesus Name,



At 3/20/2008 8:08 PM, Blogger Me said...

Jen, amazing. I've been struggling with that exact issue this past week. Someone who hurt me deeply keeps coming to mind along with thoughts of "Guilty!" with an "I forgive you" after, but just as you said, an outward adherence to the law, an inward struggle. May the Lord sanctify us all, and show us how to forgive from the bottom of our shoes! :) God bless you, happy Easter!

At 3/27/2008 8:42 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

Dear "me": Praise the Lord that we're not alone in this.......I mean, it's a pretty heavy charge when the Lord says that our righteousness needs to exceed that of the pharisees and we cannot just be 'external' and obey via 'going through the motions'

There is such a sweetness in being honest before the Lord about our heart be in the light, letting God's word expose us...and being completely vunerable before Him......only then, does He cover us, cleanse us and change us.
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
2 Cor 3:18

God bless you too sister!
In Christ Jesus,


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