I threw a fit yesterday.
Someone God has called me into relationship with, to whom he has asked me to extend his love and grace, got under my skin big time.
I had a right to be angry, at least that’s what I told myself. But that’s not how God saw it, because my right got in the way of his love. Indulging my anger had the potential to cost me that relationship as well as the gift of extending myself just a little bit to learn to love more like Christ, and less like my righteous, judgmental self.
When God puts these relationships in my life I usually discover he has played a game of switcheroo on me. He calls me into the relationship on the pretext that I can be a blessing, when in reality he intends to make them a blessing to me, using another to reveal an area of sin in my life, something he wants to break down and clean out.
Have you ever invited a toddler to help you with a project? They typically take on an air of authority that says they are in charge when all along you are the one making sure things work out. That’s how yesterday felt. As I heard the Lord speak and repented, allowing his grace and love to reign once more, this verse welled up in me:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.Psalm 51:10
This morning I looked up the verse and spent my time with the Lord in Psalm 51, the prayer David wrote after Nathan revealed the sinfulness of his adulterous, and ultimately murderous, relationship with Bathsheba. David begins by seeking mercy and cleansing from his sin, standing not on his own worthiness, but on God’s unfailing love and great compassion.
David knows his sins against others are really against God alone and the weight of that is enough to crush him. Yet he trusts in God to renew and restore.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.Psalm 51:17
Yet here we are living in a day where other humans see fit to judge and cancel one another at a startling rate, based mostly on suspicion and the appearance of wrong doing. Jesus warned, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Stones are flying in 2020, not just among the popular and powerful, but also among youth, who are too immature to understand (or bear full consequences) of their foolishness.
I believe we, as followers of Jesus, are called in this moment to display the love, compassion and grace of Jesus in a cancel culture. What an opportunity to testify that where the world judges and condemns, Jesus saves.