12.10.2013- Paying it Forward
"The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded ‘Pay up. Now!’
The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. hen the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.
The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’” (Message) Matthew 18:23-35
I used to think this was so ridiculous.
Who in their right mind, after being given such unwarranted, extravagant grace could turn around and deny that grace to someone else?
Except I do it all the time.
I am stingy with my grace, while the maker of the universe lavishes me with His. I am frugal with my love, while the King of kings pours His upon me.
And today, thanks to the wisdom of a friend, my eyes were opened before I made the same mistake with my money. Our landlord graciously decided to help us pay for what would have been an outlandishly expensive stain removal, yet I was demanding ten dollars (no kidding… the exact EXACT same as the servant in the parable) from someone responsible for breaking something accidentally.
Today, I am thankful for my Father who is never a Scrooge with His mercy. I am thankful for friends who hold me accountable and help me do what’s right. And I am thankful for the twisty insides I’m having now as I think of how selfish I was being, because the more we become aware of our sin, the more we can learn from it and the more we can appreciate the incredible grace of God.
David Platt (via p3rspective)
This hit me hard today.
That person that I’m gossiping about is a creation of God, loved by God, and a recipient of the same grace that I get every single day. The same grace that I should be showing, rather than wasting.
God, help me to see with your eyes. Help me to love with your heart. Remind me that I am broken and ugly inside, and that only by your grace, your undeserved favor, am I saved. Help me to respond with grace when I see the brokenness and ugliness inside of others. Help me to help them see the beauty and perfection of you.
11.12.13- The Best Friend
I’m going to be honest: I’ve had friends who have really disappointed me.
I’ve had friends who have talked about me behind my back, I’ve had friends who have excluded me, I’ve had friends who have ditched me for significant others, and I’ve had friends who have added their burdens to mine without sharing my load in return.
I’m going to be honest again: I’ve been a pretty bad friend before.
I’ve talked behind my friends’ backs, I’ve given up on friends who don’t make as much of an effort as they used to, I’ve neglected and flaked out on friends, and I’ve broken promises I’ve made.
I’m imperfect. My friends are imperfect. Thus, any relationship between us is going to be imperfect. There will always be times when my friends simply can’t fulfill all the needs of my heart, and times when I fall short of the friend I try to be.
God is the only friend who will never let me down.
Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t have great friends. I have friends who know me better than I know myself, friends who are supportive and caring, friends who are sharing this walk with me and friends who encourage me to do things I don’t know that I can do.
But God is better than the best friend and more constant than any friend I will ever have.
He knows that I will let Him down, but He loves me anyways and seeks me out, drawing me back to Him. In this season of thanksgiving, that is the thing I am most thankful for!