Forgiving someone is what happens when you don’t make the person who wronged you pay up. Mercy is what happens when you don’t make someone pay up for the wrongs they’ve committed against you. When I ask my self if I’m a merciful person, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to let things go. Some things obviously need confronted, but not everything.
Someone once passed along this saying to me: See everything, overlook a lot, and correct a little. Sometimes, we have a tendency in life to hold a grudge against others. A grudge is a sure sign that you’re not being merciful and you’re not being forgiving. There are even some people who feel the need to call out everything they see in life. I don’t believe Jesus lived like this. The sin he confronted almost always was directed towards the religious elite. He showed mercy and forgiveness most to those who in society would have written been off the books.
Extending grace is making payment for the wrongs committed against you by others but that’s a topic for another day.
thomaschristianson asked: Hey - thanks for the follow. You have some interesting thoughts and I look forward to reading more. Also, I love how your background scrolls sideways as I scroll down. I've never seen that before. Really, really cool!
Thanks! You have some good reads yourself. The background of my site is a picture I took in California. I was trying to figure out how to view more of it because I liked the colors and decided to do the scrolling horizontally and vertically piece.
You’re nothing more than dirt that God in his infinite mercy and grace decided to breathe life into. Sounds harsh but I’m being serious. Now that’s a literal interpretation of Genesis but that aside where does the word humble come from?
The word humble happens to come from the same word that human does and that word is humus. Humus is the organic compound of dirt, or if your a soil activist, I’ll use the word soil as not to offend you. If you can see the relations, the word humble comes from the word dirt/dust. So why does any of this matter?
It’s humbling and it’s humiliating (another hum word) to know that we are nothing more than dust without God breathing into us. It illustrates our position to God and others.
A humble servant is someone who serves others from the posture of, “I’m nothing more than dirt unless God breathes life into me.” You really can’t lower yourself any further than dirt and if you choose to recognize your origins in the dust of this world it’s easy to understand God is in control and that you’re no better than anyone else.
Apply this to servanthood and you understand your place beneath God and alongside others.
Strangers scare me. The idea of being hospitable to a stranger scares me even more. What if they decide to assault me or something? What if they decide to take advantage of my kindness? These fears are rooted in a lack of love because perfect love drives out all fear.
Hospitality is the act of offering warmth to someone. Hospitality is about meeting needs and offering kindness. Being cordial is not the same thing as being hospitable. We often tie hospitality to our homes but it goes beyond that. Look at Matthew 10 for an example of hospitality.
Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.
There are plenty of other examples of hospitality in scripture but imagine this: What if when we were interacting with others, it were like interacting with Jesus? What if when we bought someone a drink, or brought someone clothes, it was like bringing Jesus a drink or bringing Jesus clothes? What if when we are hospitable to people we’re actually being hospitable to Jesus?
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
You see, when we are hospitable to others we are actually being hospitable to Jesus.
Have you ever become frustrated with the waiter who messed your order up? When we show up to restaurants we expect to be served. What if we flipped that mentality on it’s head. What if when we showed up to a restaurant we expected ourselves to serve the waiter/waitress instead? But that’s not how it’s supposed to be right?
Being a servant isn’t about position or title. It’s about how we position our hearts towards others. Anyone can get frustrated with a waiter who messes up a food order. What if we responded with service instead? What if we served the waiter with immediate forgiveness or immediate affirmation that it’s not a big issue instead of frustration? You’d be bordering what it means to be a good servant.
Christ didn’t come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28). But that’s not how it’s supposed to be right? How many of us lead lives like this?