Well, I had the opportunity to counsel a dear friend the other day about a particular situation which a message I'd heard that day tied in very well. I felt like I was giving her very Godly advice and helped her see a solution of prayer to the frustration she felt.
Little did I know I would have to eat my words and take my own medicine this morning. There are certain dynamics in my house that sometime really irritate me. There are personality traits of people in my house that I've known about since I've known them that sometimes raise their ugly head and I want to scream "Why are we arguing about this again????"
Sometimes I rise above and remember to love the person as God made them and that there are long-held, deep-seated reasons for these feelings that I will never change, no matter what. At other times - especially in those times that I have not let The Lord fill me up - I respond, well, rather selfishly. I lash out, call the person names and storm out.
Such was the case this morning and I happened to be going on a run. The first song on my iPod was "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong and I could barely listen to it - and I realized at the time, that was because I was too far into my own sinful feelings I couldn't stand to hear about my salvation. So, I kept running. It ended up being a very long run. A lot of the time - I converse with God while I run. Most of the time it's praising Him, but this morning was a full on battle. I should have known who would win. I whined about the whole situation - how I felt, why it was unfair, etc.
In the end though - you can't stand against Him who Created The World and who is My King. So, He decided to frame it in a way, particularly because I was exercising, that I could relate to right then. You see - my friend the other day had commented that I was pushing her like a personal trainer would push someone. He brought that thought to my mind, as well as the verse I had used to counsel her. To me, it's the "Bread of Life Pyramid" or really, the building blocks of living abundantly in Christ.
2 Peter 1: 5-9:
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."
He basically told me if I couldn't make it all the way to love with this person right now - I had to start from the beginning - and since I do have faith in Him I had to build on that to goodness. And verse 9 really got me - "But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." Then the hammer came to mind- The Lord's Prayer - forgive us our debts as we've forgiven our debtors.
Don't get me wrong - there was no condemnation in it - at all - it was just a good talking to. It's as if He was saying "Hear me here - don't let this get any worse because if you do - you will not be living to glorify Me nor have My power to accomplish My purposes for you." That's a scary thought - not an ultimatum, just a reminder of how good I have it.
So, I had to humble myself - I had to ask The Lord and this person for forgiveness - which I did. The next step is to accept whatever this person decided to do or not do - whether I liked it or not. It's a hard pill to swallow but in the end - I have more peace about it. I'm not angry or resentful, I know The Lord has His hand in it and by humbling myself, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing - which will hopefully change some hearts.
He is pushing me to a higher standard and He is using His Word to do it. I've prayed to be here but just like any workout - wanting it and doing it are two very different things! Thank you Lord for your kindness and goodness and help me build up to Loving You and the others in my life as You love me.