Believe it or not, these are three very difficult words for many of us. Myself included, I admit I have been guilty of all three of these. Ever heard the saying” be careful what you pray for?” Well, when you ask God to search your heart and show you any faults, he is not shy about letting you know what you need improvement on.
It is not always easy to come to grips with our faults, we tend to want to point fingers at everyone else, but neglect what’s really going on with us. So lets talk about what these words actually mean and how to apply them to our lives.
Often times we find ourselves lacking here, I know I am. And I didn’t even realize it until recently, when I prayed one of those “search my heart O’ God” prayers and he lovingly let me know I could improve in this area. He gave me the scripture in Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy.”
So I did.
In the English dictionary Mercy actually means; Kindness it also means to have compassion, understanding, sympathy and leniency. I knew I had compassion and kindness but boy that word leniency stuck out like a sore thumb for me, so I looked that up, and that means gentleness or tolerance. Ok, I got it now, Tolerance I admit was something I didn’t have too much of.
Why is it so easy for us to sit back and judge others? And to not want to tolerate certain personality flaws of others? After all none of us are perfect. Yet we tend to want to criticize and condemn others for their mistakes and flaws. We choose to want to stay focused on the negatives rather than see the good in that person., especially if they have wronged us in some way.
But one thing I learned about mercy , We first have to learn to receive Gods mercy before we can give Gods mercy. Remember mercy is for people who do not deserve it. So remember that when it comes to you and others.
“God is love” Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:8
Love was never something that was hard for me. I learned to love at an early age. I loved people and loved loving people. But learning to love myself, now that needed some work. And it still is a work in progress. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Well truth be told most of us don’t even like ourselves let alone love ourselves.
So how can we learn to love our neighbors when we don’t even like ourselves? If you don’t like yourself you will have a hard time liking anyone else. And let me tell ya, when you don’t like yourself that is a rough spot to be, cause you cant get away from yourself. Your everywhere!
But when Christ is in us then we can become rooted and grounded in Love because God is love. It just takes time. But we need to understand that our acceptance by God is not based on our performance or are perfect behavior.
We need to understand that our value and worth are not dependent upon who we are or what we think or say or do. It is based on who we are in Christ Jesus and what God says we are. If we learn to love ourselves first then we will learn to love others as Christ has commanded.
Ouch, of all the things God asks us to do this seems to be the hardest. We want to hold on to stuff and carry it around everywhere, but truth is un-forgiveness will eat us up like cancer.
It is so important to forgive because someday in the future, you will need to be forgiven for something. “When you are praying first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that you Father in Heaven will forgive your sins too.” Mark 11:25
You might think to yourself, “you have no idea what they have done to me, I could never forgive them.“ Remember that un forgiveness is actually hurting you more than it is the other person. Forgiveness is the key to your own emotional freedom.
Because hurts and offenses become a spiritual trap that the devil uses to keep us in bondage Satan knows that if he can get us to become angry or bitter toward someone he can hold us in a prison of un forgiveness. And that is where the devil wants us, because hatefulness is the very nature of the devil. And it prevents us from moving into the goodness that God has for our lives. We need to learn to let go and give it to God.
So many times we find ourselves replaying those old hurts like our favorite old re-runs. Over and over we relive it. But we just cant do that, its not good for us. We need to let it go, no matter how bad it is. Letting it go doesn’t mean you are forgetting what they have done, but that you’re simply releasing the hurt and moving on.
God’s word to us know matter how unjustly we have been treated, is always: “if you have anything against anyone, forgive.” Matthew 5:24. If we hold onto hurts, we choose to live inside a prison of emotional torment. But forgiveness opens the prison door and sets us free.
I don’t know about you but I am glad that God does not put a limit on how many times he will forgive us. How many times have you done the same thing over and over, yet God still forgives you? So if we are to have a Christ like mind and spirit we need to be willing to forgive others as Christ forgives us.
I believe that un forgiveness is one of our biggest spiritual roadblocks. It truly hinders us from receiving the blessings that God has for us. If you have ever wondered why when you pray you never seem to hear from God or get the answers your looking for.
Ask God to examine your heart and see where you are. Maybe you have some un forgiveness that you have been carrying around, or maybe some other things, things you didn’t realize were even there. Ask God to help you let it go and he will and then you need to ask for his forgiveness. If you find un forgiveness in your heart you need to speak that persons name and say that you forgive that person.
Trust me on this one, God will do great things for you and he will give you peace and joy that you never thought possible when you release your hurts. He has done it for me, countless times.
Remember that all of these words are really a two way street. You first have to learn to receive Mercy, love and forgiveness before you are able to give in these areas. Ask God to show you how and he will, because he wants nothing but the best for your life.
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