by: carole l. haines
33 Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I! (Job24: 33)
“You mean there’s still more, Lord?” Am I ever going to be done growing up in this area?” Father God, I am so weary of looking inside myself, but I know You are doing a mighty work of cleansing, healing, freeing, and restoring; so have your way, Dearest Father, have your way” That has been my response to what is proving to be an intense, cleaning out of my life and heart. I have allowed things to grow downward into my soul. Phone calls, emails, and personal encounters with others, have been the route He has me taking to seek forgiveness for wrongs I have done, even years ago. But you know, God showed me, that it’s not just for my good that I do this cleansing, it is good for others, whom I may have harmed with my words or actions. It’s a humbling a hard work, but O, so worth it. Restored relationships, clean conscience; the freedom to move on and not be stuck in that past mud. God has also said to me, “Don’t always assume that when there is an issue that arises with another person, that it’s your fault.” I know that some people just won’t like me, or they judge me unjustly. I don’t need to try to make them like me, or dig around in the trash trying to figure out what I did to “offend them.” Sometimes people just walk around with a spirit of offense, and it has nothing to do with me. I know this, because I used to be one of those people. It’s an awful way to live. God gave me the freedom to just walk away from these things by the verse in Romans 12, which states:
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
When I know that I have done nothing wrong, and still someone interacts in a haughty or unkind way, I’m free; but if God pricks my heart about something I have done or said in the past to offend, than I must go and make it right. It’s that simple; it’s not easy, but it is simple.
I’m a Christian Sinner, just like everyone else in The Body of Christ. I am a sinner who has been freed from the penalty of sin (justification). Through His growing me up in His grace and correction, I am becoming more and more free from sin’s power (sanctification). And Hallelujah! One fine day, I shall be free from any interaction with sin at all. I will be free from sin’s presence (glorification.) I praise God for what He is doing inside of me, and how it is a river that overflows onto others, who can heal better, when I admit that I have wronged them. God’s Word in Philippians 1, gives me hope that this journey is worth it, so I will close with that verse:
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.