There’s a word I’m looking for to describe what I feel right now. Happy, glad, thankful and grateful just won’t cut it. I’ll just have to go with thankful. I am so thankful God isn’t like me. In the Bible it says we should be more like God.
Ephesians 5:1,2 – “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us …”
So we have to be imitators of God. In other words study the Bible to see what God does and do that. Easy, right?
NO! Not easy at all. All that love every day. How?
I’m just so immensely grateful that God isn’t like me. I mean, He doesn’t bear a grudge, not even for a minute or a day or a week. If someone offends me it’s so easy to wallow in self pity for a while. I can even justify it! But God doesn’t even get offended. And He has way more reason than I have to be offended. Every single minute someone, somewhere is doing something that should bring offence to God. Using His name in vain, not trusting Him or rejecting Him.
Let’s talk about Offence. That is something we all know about. We hate it passionately to be offended, don’t we? We take an offense and we analyze it and we bask in it. We turn it over and over like a steak on a grill. Maybe we just pretend to hate offence. By all the attention we give it anyone would think we love it. Instead of pushing it away we hold on to it and let it stew in the recesses of our hearts. We nurture it, we treat it like it was special, we entertain it like a long lost friend. Don’t we? Even though we know that it does us no good at all, we just keep it close and the longer we keep it the harder it is to let it go.
What if God did that? What if He took every offense we flung at Him, intentionally or not, and held it against us? What if? Where would we be?
John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Isn’t that just the most awesome verse? I love every bit of it. I just see how, because I trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He says to me, “Its OK, I’m not offended by you. I love you and I have covered your sin with my blood.” And when I cry out to Him because life is too hard for me to do alone, He is there and He carries me through the hard parts. And during the easier parts, (there are some parts of life that are so easy and joyful and totally wonderful) He’s right there by my side. He’s on my team. He loves me and He wants me to be near Him. He says I’m beautiful when the world doesn’t think so. He says I’m good enough when even I don’t think I am. He says I can get through the hard times when everything looks impossible. And because He’s there, I can.
Knowing all this, do I have any reason to take an offence and own it?
I think not.