There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Evaluating the list....

Doing devotions with Macie last night before bed from her little "Bedtime Blessings" book she was asked to make a list of her enemies and pray for them. We sat there for 10 minutes or so and after much prodding she still couldn't even name one person. I tried simplifying it some and saying it didn't have to necessarily be someone you really don't like or have negative feelings for but just someone you find it difficult to love and pray for at times. I mentioned maybe a friend from school, sports, church and still, nothing. Now realistically there are probably a few people that she feels that way with but couldn't come up with specific names on the spot like that.

It was really an eye opener to me because as soon as I saw the phrase "make a list of your enemies" or "someone difficult to love" my head was flooded with names, it took her forever to even try to come up with a name but I could jot down a list in no-time of my own. It was a reminder to me that as adults we are very quick to make enemies or use the simplest little frustrations or quarrels between us to cause them to go from friend, aqcuanintance, and the "enemy" category. I was pretty ashamed to be honest because some of the names on my list were just people I didnt like not even because they had done anything to hurt me but it was more an immature ill feeling over jealousy or something so minute and pety.

The Bible reminds us in Corinthians that in order to love as Christ did we must be accountable for our actions and live to a higher standard. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-11 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

The two parts that stand out to me most is when it says "it keeps no records of wrong" and also "when I was a child I talked like a child not i'm a man and I need to become a man and put childish ways behind me."
 As Christians its our job to show unconditional love and pray for those who are enemies and have hurt us. We also need to evaluate our list of enemies and decide if its a legitimate list or if we need to go through it and really pray about some of the names and ask the Lord to help us become mature and seek forgiveness and take those people off that we have added because of something pety and immature or from our past that we need to help move on from.
"Whatever happened, happened. We can't remake our pasts. But with God we can handle the past. With God, whatever has happened in the past need not destroy us. Of course we'll face consequences of the past but for the child of God there is hope. No matter what has happened in our backgrounds, intentional or unintentional big or small it can be something we did or that was done to us with God there is grace, peace, and hope if we'll run to Him and bring every past disappointment captive to faith in His Word " Kay Arthur
Yet another lesson from my precious and wise 6 year old. Also a major nudge by her devotional that has inspired me to have more childlike lenses that I see my enemies through. A list that takes a long time to write down not because its so long but because I really have to think long and hard about who I would classify as my enemies due to having a more sensitive, forgiving, soft and gracious heart. What would your list of enemies look like? Do you find yourself holding grudges or placing people under the enemies list too easily and not offering grace as easily to others as Christ has done for us.
This is my challenge tonight and prayer, 
Jesus please forgive me and my harsh and judgmental attitude.I pray that you would point out my wrongs against others intentional or unintentional so that I may seek their forgiveness and work harder at my list of enemies. Chisel away at the hard and selfish parts of my heart to become more gracious, sensitive, non judgmental and loving as You have shown to us. Thank You Jesus for loving me in spite of my failures and flaws and for always showing me the ways that I can improve in this world to become more like You. Amen

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