If I’m honest, I am really good at holding a grudge. But one thing I don’t understand is how easily I deceive myself into thinking everything is well. I guess you could say I’m really good at performing too, even for myself. Within the last couple weeks, God has been exposing my heart towards a particular person–how often I judge them, how easily I hold grudges against them, how regularly I critique what they are doing and compare them against my own godly choices. He’s revealed my pride, and interestingly enough, he’s exposed how often I rely on my own works for a sense of justification before God and man. Because I am given to living for the approval of others, I am prone to judging and condemning others.
It’s been a humbling couple of weeks as I’ve returned to the Lord day after day, confessing sin and seeking to turn from my ways. Often failing.
Today I decide to sit still before God and he impressed on my heart that I’ve been leaving our time together to follow His example in my own strength instead of turning from my sin through the power of His Spirit. His words for me were “Behold Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit.” In other words, behold Him in Scripture and pray fervently for His Spirt to work in me the kind of love, generosity, and strength that can only come from Him. I looked at the following Scriptures:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-9).
As I meditated on these verses, I was greatly moved by the reality that Jesus did not deserve to be treated like a sinner. For a brief but historically accurate portrayal of what Jesus endured on the cross, check out yesterday’s Ask Pastor John podcast, The Horror of Crucifixion.
He did not deserve to endure such evil. However, when a particular person does the slightest thing wrong to me I am ready to unleash the wrath of Laura as if I have not been forgiven for much worse.
I do not deserve to be treated as the righteousness of God. And yet I am.
Instead of my take away being that I need to somehow follow Jesus’s example, I recognize and I acknowledge that I cannot walk in his footsteps without the aid of his Holy Spirit. I need him so much. I lift up my eyes right now and worship Him as my gloriously generous and loving Savior. And I appeal to Him for His grace and His mercy to work in me the power and might to die to myself and love another with the blessed love with which he has loved me.
And this blog post is merely an extension of my meditation and a request for prayer. I also hope that this reflection spurs you on to remember our Lord and Savior today as we prepare our hearts for Easter/Resurrection Sunday. God bless you, and thanks for reading.