Today, Remember Forgiveness

Colossians 3:13 (NIV) Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

It’s Monday. Another work week begins, another school week has started. You woke up looking forward to enjoying breakfast. You intended to speak loving words to your spouse. You were going to pay more attention to the kids. You can’t get into any bathroom in your house because they’re all occupied. And you really, really need to go. Suddenly, Sunday’s sermon that you found so enlightening and encouraging seems long gone.

Me, too.

Someone you encounter today will need forgiveness. Today, you will need forgiveness.

Me. Too.

I have found it’s hard, if not impossible, to get through one day without needing forgiveness or needing to forgive someone. Without God, it is impossible.

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Romans 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The truth is that we are all flawed. We all have our bad moments; our bad thoughts. Words fly out of our mouth before our mind can shut our lips and before we know it we’ve set a whole forest ablaze. The smart guy who loves to show everybody up at at work presents the same idea you presented last week and somehow finagles a promotion out of it, whereas your boss looked at you like your village lost its’ idiot. You consider all options. Quitting. Slashing his tires. Murder. You’re angry. You promised yourself and God you weren’t going to be angry anymore. Yet, there you stand: Pissed. To top it all off…your local coffee shop is all out of pumpkin spice lattes! You left home mad. You get home madder. You need forgiveness. You need to forgive.

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Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I for one am glad that there is a God and I’m not him. You probably are too. I find discernment quickly morphs into judgement. It’s all to easy for me to take other people’s inventory—presumably as some crazy rationale for not focusing more on my own. After all, I probably have a log or two in my own eye that I need to remove before trying to fix other people. And yes…I’m a fixer. Give me five minutes and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with you and what you need to do to fix it. Thankfully, by God’s grace, I’ve gotten better over the years at taking stock of my own shortcomings instead of everybody else’s. There’s certainly no shortage of things for me to work on. I remain a work in progress.

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For me, I’ve found the more time I spend in His Word and the more time I spend talking to God in prayer the better chance I have of not only surviving the day, but to experience living life abundantly.  I’m not perfect. None of us are. It’s a good thing God is prepared to forgive us. All we need to do is remember to ask…

1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Be quick to ask for forgiveness; be even quicker to forgive.

‘Gracefully Broken’-Matt Redman

Photos via Pixabay

 

The Trouble With Right and Wrong

I get up out of bed every day wanting to glorify God in everything I say and do.

Most days I fall short.

“Can a behavior be ethical but illegal at the same time?” my professor asked.

Interesting question, I thought. Ethics seem to be a tricky thing depending on what folks base their idea of right and wrong on. Ethics is simply a matter of right and wrong. The trouble is determining how to decide what right and wrong is and according to who.

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Legal and ethical behavior are closely related, like brother and sister. They continually cross paths, but do not always point us in the same direction. I am not sure how many behaviors are ethical but illegal. On the other hand,  I can think of several behaviors once considered unethical that are legal in today’s world.

The law condones some behavior, making it acceptable under the law, even though some people may consider it unethical. Conversely, something might be ethical but illegal. Same-sex marriage, abortion, legalization of marijuana, and euthanasia are current topics that come to mind when I think about what is legal versus what is ethical. I suppose that is where the standard we use to decide right from wrong comes into play.RBantau 2017

There was a time in our nation when it was perfectly legal to own a slave. Even so, that did not make it right or ethical.

In most States, marijuana is still illegal. However, there are studies that have shown that marijuana may be better in treating cancer than chemotherapy. If I had a loved one with cancer would it not be ethical for a doctor to treat them with marijuana if that is what helped them? It is certainly illegal.

Let’s take it a step further. Their cancer is terminal. Nothing will save their life. The only option left is easing their suffering. Would it be ethical for them to end their life if that is what they decided they wanted to do? Would it be ethical for someone to help them? It is illegal.

I think it is easy for us to answer these questions from afar; but we really do not know how we will respond until we face crossing that bridge.

We need a solid foundation for figuring out what is right and wrong. Our different government agencies dictate what is legal versus what is not.

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For me, personally, my faith provides me with a foundation of what God considers right or wrong. I believe God is the Creator and ultimate authority of the Universe. Therefore, it only makes sense that I rely on His standard for right and wrong (ethical behavior).

This may not work for you. You may rely on something else. Shrug. All I can tell you is God has worked faithfully for me even when I have not been faithful to Him.

I am grateful that whether I do right or if I do wrong God remains faithful in His grace and mercy toward me. He is faithful to love me even though I don’t always get it right.