He’s doing it again.
Irritating and embarrassing me. That’s not what I wanted him to say. That’s not how I wanted him to behave. That’s not the place I wanted him to go.
He knows what he ought to do, the right way to handle these situations, and yet he refuses to meet my expectations. He doesn’t see the harm in going his own way. God’s standard was broken, blessings are withheld, consequences ensue. Because, after all, we reap what we sow.
My response is strong. I’m disgusted and disappointed. Righteous anger is justified, and I hold tightly to mine, because I know I am right.
I know I am right.
And then my pondering turns to God’s response. How does He look at this disobedient and disrespectful child? Like me, He must be so tired of all this! I picture Him wincing or shaking His head.
That’s when God simply tells me He’s not mad.
What? Not mad? But He’s been wronged! Shamed by this person who is not living up to His standards. How can He be so calm and quiet about it?
Because I’m making enough noise for the both of us.
And then He gently reminds me that just today, I was the disobedient child. I didn’t do something He had asked me to do. I pause and frown. This isn’t going the direction I want. I grudgingly admit I’ve messed up again, only God isn’t the least bit irritated with me, or embarrassed by my sin.
I missed the mark and failed to meet His standard. That’s not what He wanted me to say. That’s not how He wanted me to behave. That’s not the place He wanted me to go.
I know what I ought to do, the right way to handle these situations, and yet I still refuse to meet God’s expectations. I don’t see the harm in going my own way in this.
My response is strong. I’m disgusted and disappointed – in myself. I knew I was right, but really, I was wrong. I thought I had a good reason to be upset at this person. Yet I should have minded my own business, should have applied mercy and compassion, should have trusted that God would confront the sin. How He chooses to handle others is not my business.
Because it’s he (or she) who is without sin that gets to cast the first stone (John 8:7). If God has forgiven me for so much, how can I allow the sins of others to bother me so much? Sanctification is a process for all of us.
“We all stumble in many ways.” James 3:2
And for this, Jesus died. Because we all have sinned and fallen short. There is none who is righteous, no, not one.
We’re too easily side-tracked by what others are doing wrong. If love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), then why are we focusing on the shortcomings of others instead of leaving it alone? We were instructed to first take the plank out of our own eye before focusing on the speck in someone else. (Mathew 7)
This week we solemnly remember all that Jesus did for us on the cross. Oh, how He suffered! He took our punishment, He paid the price, He made it possible for us to be free on earth and go to Heaven.
Ladies, Jesus saved us. Let’s not get distracted and upset when others miss the mark. Let’s focus on what God wants to do in our own hearts rather than the hearts of others.
Let’s be like Jesus, and give them grace.
Unmerited favor. Undeserved kindness. Unearned approval.