Forgiveness for the Undeserving

Forgiving isn’t about the other person deserving or not deserving forgiveness –

It is about whether we believe ourselves to be more worthy than another and therefore consider ourselves worthy of judging them –


If we believe that we need mercy just as much as the next guy and understand that we can only receive our undeserved mercy and forgiveness if we are willing to extend undeserved mercy and forgiveness to others.

Yes,  it’s easy to say this.

But it isn’t always easy to practice when you see people hurting others,  when you see some taking advantage of others,  when you see some working hard while others stand by idly offering no assistance.

And this is because there is a voice that tells us that we want justice.

But have we forgotten so quickly where justice would land us? Have we forgotten what we deserve?

So let me be sure that I don’t want mercy for myself but justice for others – because yes,  that stinks like the familiar and deadly smell of pride that has tried to hide itself under religious indignation.

Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Does a person have to be honorable in order to be honored? Where would we find such a person outside of Christ?

Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

Romans 3:10-12 ESV
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;  no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Mark 10:18 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

So we don’t seek out prefect people to honor – no, we would search forever and come home empty handed.

We honor each other even in spite of our weaknesses,  because God see fit to honor each and evert one of us with His free offer of Grace, and if Almighty God sees value in others,  shouldn’t I?

Matthew 18:10, 12-14 ESV
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always   see the face of my Father who is in heaven.  What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.  So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

So I should love and honor the brother and sister that I see and know –

as a reflection of the honor and grace and mercy of Christ who lives in me –

understanding their spiritual value either as a lost sheep or as a fellow child of God –

respecting that I have walked in both paths myself –

and that honoring or dishonoring another is a reflection of how I either value highly or disregard as common – this Amazing Grace and Salvation that God has extended to us all through Jesus Christ.

I really need to work on this. Your prayers are appreciated,  friend.

Am I Loving?

I walk through this life.

I see broken and hurting people around me.

And I say,  “I’ll pray for you,  friend.”

But how many times do I wrap my arms around them with an encouraging hug?

How many times do I show up at their door with actual help, mourning with those who mourn, crying with those who are in pain, rejoicing with those who rejoice – versus throwing my words over the proverbial wall sprinkling my good intentions towards their lives?

How often do I care enough to act instead of just speaking?

Way too few,  I fear.

I tell myself that words have power and that this message is important – and it is.

But if I am only studying it, if I am only sharing it, if I am only teaching it – can I strongly make the argument that I am a theologian,  but weakly defend that I am a follower of Christ?

Am I finding myself satisfied just being a mouthpiece,  a noisy gong – because it isn’t as messy as getting involved in the dirty job of actually loving and helping others that are in pain?

Am I closing off my life from loving and serving others because I’m tucked away on my own with my Bible, and my concordance, and my prayers,  and my praise,  and my worship,  and my seeking to understand God’s will and direction for my life – blindly looking for the forest, and complaining about all of these trees that are getting in the way along my way to find the forest?

The greatest religious scholars may be great theologians,  but are they walking like Christ, trusting in Him?

Or are we “studiers of the Word” relying on our intellectual pursuit to put God inside a box small enough to be contained neatly packaged within the “safe” confines of our own understanding?

Or am I a friend to those in pain? Like He is a friend to me when I am hurting?

Please, don’t let me just be a student, I want to be a friend of Christ. And if I am a friend of Christ,  won’t I be like Christ – and be a friend to others? Even a friend to those who might think to themselves that they are my enemy.

Because isn’t this the amazing story of Christ,  that He was our friend – even when we were His enemy?

Isn’t this the part that is so hard for us to grasp with our hardened hearts and our intellectual struggles to understand what is so simple that a child understands it better than we do?

He loves, so we should love.

Love extended without an expectation that it be repaid.

Love extended in hope that it might be accepted.

Love extended to friend and to enemy.

Love extended.


1 Corinthians 13:2-7 NLT
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

If I have one thing, let it be love.

If I can have two things let them be Love and Wisdom.

But please,  don’t let me mistake knowledge for understanding, nor understanding for wisdom, nor wisdom for love.

We are called to love.

And if we have this love of Christ in our jar, it need to be poured out into others as well.

I love you,  friend. Have a blessed Saturday.

Please pray for me to be a friend,  not just a student.

My Attitude Matters

Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Our decisions, our actions, our words – all these things have an impact on the world around us. And they are all driven by our attitude.

If our attitude is focused on me, me, me – aren’t we still like a spoiled little child crying for a toy they want at the store but that their parents won’t buy for them? When we are focused on self, we have not yielded to the Lord’s will, we are still seeking our own will.

So if we are His, if we have been called and chosen, if we have been drawn near to Him to accept this amazing free gift of grace, don’t we yield to His will in grattitude and in a new understanding that this Word of God is the instruction and guidance for this amazing, renewed life we have with Christ?

But some deny Christ – by knowing what they should do and choosing in open rebellion against God’s will to chase after their own idols and temptations. This is different than stumbling. Stumbling is a mistake made while trying to keep faithful that we repent and ask forgiveness. Denying Christ is rebelling consciously, knowing that it is wrong, but continuing to do it, with no concern and no repentance.

We are meant to live our lives as a praise to God, not just praise Him on Sunday and then deny Him the rest of the week.

But even in this, I know what my life looked like when I was lost. I am humbled when I see others in open rebellion, because I remember being there once myself. I realize they are in need of this Grace that has laid it’s hands on me. So even those that I know and love, who are in open rebellion in their lives – I see the example that my old life was to them, and I beg forgiveness for their sins, because I see they are my own sins repeated in them.

I am concerned. I love them. So I lift them in prayer, just as many did for me when I was lost in my own rebellion. And I have faith that my prayers will be answered in His time. But for their sake, I hope that my prayer is answered soon – because anyone that is missing out on this opportunity to live a life of praise, doesn’t realize yet that they aren’t really living at all – they are just snared in another trap of the trickster, piling on more burdens on themselves, adding to their troubles. But I understand, I too lived that life of blindness.

So I love them. I offer my renewed life up as praise to God. I share truth with them, humbly, gently, with patience, bearing their burdens as my own knowing the example my old life served, and keeping peace with them even if we are not in agreement. I share this Word of God. And I hope and pray that ears will be opened to hear His voice and to know Jesus Christ as the Truth, the Life, and the Way.

I pray and have faith that God will break our rebellious and selfish will, that we will know His grace, mercy and peace – and not remain in darkness.

Let my renewed life be a praise to God today.

Let my renewed life today prove to be an undeniable proof that life in Christ far surpasses that old life of death and darkness – as both a warning and an encouragement to any that might see my life and want to use it in their arguments for or against.

Help me walk with Christ today.

Help me see opportunities.

Help me hear His voice.

Help me choose wisely.

Help me hold fast to truth.

Motivate me to action.

Help me speak in love.