We are learning to be empathetic and understanding for people. It's not pity - because I don't feel pity for anybody, because I know my Savior and I know what He offers.....but certainly, I am just more...loving and patient with people BECAUSE of Jesus in me, nothing that I deserve any credit for.
The Bible says, “Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Ephesians 4:2b NLT)
I am realizing that it's absolutely true that the more christlike we become, the less we use labels and judgements in our relationships. Our relationships are geting to be Truth-based, not feeling or thinking-based. Labels and judgements aren't how we define others. It has changed our relationships! It has changed us! The more we understand Truths about others (acquire wisdom) --- the more patient we are with them.
I realize that when there is anger...it's because of a hurt. When there is visciousness.... it's because (indirectly or directly) of an emptiness. When there is a general lack of caring (apathy) or even just an un-friendly personality....there is a history.
When we realize these things, we are more likely to "make allowance for each other's faults". We forgive and if somebody hurts us or we just don't agree with somebody's attitude in general..... their faults and offenses just roll off us like water off a duck's back. This a true sign that we have become more patient. The ability to understand others and look through to the deeper meaning of their actions is a christlike trait I wish I could have understood years (months) ago. I feel like I only have started to understand it - but I feel so much farther from where I was.
I always say that we can't truly love others until we love ourselves. And we can't truly love until there is absolute forgiveness. So to all who have hurt me, to all who are going to tomorrow, next week or 10 years from now.... I forgive you. Sometimes I really DO have the urge to revert back to my ugly (what my aunt used to call sassy) venemous attitude, language and thoughts to HURT the others that I think are just wrong --- but I can honestly promise out there to you, my dear blog, that I won't do it. I am no longer capable. I know that putting people down and carrying around so much anger doesn't do anything except hurt me. If I want somebody to change -- my role is to love on them and encourage their good points and leave the rest to God. It's never to hurt them....ever. I am so so thankful to have learned this lesson but I wish I had learned it a long time ago. But there is something new in me now. Ezek 36:26. I am past that point.
It's no longer about BEING right...it's about doing right.
Only when we realize how truly unrighteous and wrong we were before our Savior came and ransomed us from our prison - can we truly learn to love others. When we can take the eyes off of others' faults, realizing our own are 10 times greater --- and just look at THEM, then the world and our perspective of it, changes.
I know that I can't give what I don't have --- so I ask forgiveness every day and I ask for God to help me forgive myself so I will be able to forgive others. Every morning I "tattle" on those who have hurt me or who I feel I just can't possible love --- I lay it all on Jesus's feet and I ask God to SOMEHOW fill me up with love for them - and He always does.
I am so so so thankful God sent me this message yesterday in my Purpose Driven Life email. All of these thoughts came directly from what I read in that email.
And here is a direct quote, "We all have different backgrounds, and we’re each at a different place in our journey with Jesus. Practicing patience keeps our view on the things above, allowing us to see how God works even in the most difficult of circumstances. It is in patience we often learn that diversity is a strength, instead of a weakness."
The apostle Paul wrote, “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with – even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” (Romans 14:1 MSG)
I LOVE this lesson --- so I am going to consistently work on being more and more patient. I want to be loving, encouraging, forgiving and to give mercy. Seeing the heart behind the frown, the soul behind the negative destructive words, and the emptiness behind the stinging attitude.
I can't expect God to continually give me His over flowing grace and mercy if I don't extend it to others - and I pray the same for you all --- that you will make an extreme effort to extend grace and mercy even when your mind tells you otherwise - so you can be a full and total recipient of God's grace and forgiveness!
And that's all I have to say about that (for now)!! I have a whole new entry on my heart already that I want to write about, that will be tomorrow! But my lesson on my heart today is: If your love tank is empty - go let Jesus fill it up! Even though we don't deserve it, He'll give it --- which is the exact example we are to follow.
I Corinthians 13:4