Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Be careful little lives how you live.

Over the past number of days and weeks, I have been in touch with an old, dear friend, corresponding almost daily. Memories have resurfaced. Some wonderful, some rather painful. As another person, someone who was once very hurtful to me has been brought back to mind, I have realized that I am not as good at forgiveness as I would like to proclaim, not as mature as I would hope to be. That forgiveness does not easily and generously flow toward someone who has not acknowledged the error of her ways, nor apologized for her actions.

I am again reminded of Luke 6.
Here is verse 36: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Ouch. But, but, but.....
I've got so many seemingly valid, justified reasons!
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Have you any idea how much that affected me at such a tender age?
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
She still, 2 decades later shows no remorse!
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
My life would have been completely different had that not occurred.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Sometimes we like to categorize our lives. Fool ourselves into thinking there is little overlap.

I am a good mom. I may have some 'issues' in other areas. I gossip like a fiend. Speak poorly of my husband, my parents, my inlaws, my pastor. Critique or criticize too much, too freely, where there is no profit. Tell white lies. Show poor judgement. Act foolishly. But with my children, I'm doing great! I love them fiercely and show it openly. They can remain unaffected.

I believe it is not possible to segregate like that. Our children are observant, and absorbent, more than we may care to admit. They say our ideals, our values, our priorities are caught not taught. Were truer words ever spoken? Little eyes are watching. Little ears are listening. Little impressionable hearts following suit. Sobering.

If I hold a grudge, maintain resentments, harbor ill will toward another person, (or several other people!) it will manifest. My true colors are inevitably exposed, they can not be hidden from the ones I spend my days and nights, hours and moments with. They see me. They hear me. Even when I think they're not paying attention, they are. They quietly notice.

I do not want to leave a legacy of bitterness, harshness, an eye for an eye mentality. It is not just about modeling good behavior, but a transformation of the mind and heart that can only take place by surrendering to the ways of my Lord, which are clearly higher than mine, those that are chalk full of self justification. There is no justification for living blatantly, intentionally contrary to what God requires of me when I know better. It may not be my natural tendency and it is certainly difficult to accomplish, but offering forgiveness, turning the other cheek, loving and blessing my enemies will reap dividends of both temporary and eternal worth, not just for myself but for the young ones entrusted to my care as well.

I will openly pray for the "enemy" of my youth, with my children. Although hard, this is a good opportunity to be an example as I try to follow Christ not just in word, but in deed. I will tell them it is not what I feel like doing, yet I am going to do it anyway. And as I am obedient, I will ask God to change my heart. I too, need this from those I have hurt.

Luke 6:27-36 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

1 comment:

Holly said...


Blog Archive