I sat Sunday, listening to the sermon on the topic of grace, and began chewing on the words. I am wondering how I am at extending Grace and Mercy. Extending Grace and Mercy instead of seeking revenge.
We are told to leave revenge to our ABBA.
With Him transforming my heart, it is getting easier to step back out of His way. I am seeing how much wasted energy and time is taken from my reserves when seeking revenge. He reminds me seeking revenge will only harden my heart, cultivating bitterness and anger. He is helping me to keep my mouth shut in situations where once I did not. And still there are moments when I struggle. With my words. With "gloating". With "crowing".
My granma Dorothy once told me, "Having conversations with yourself can become conversations with satan. You'll end up saying things you would never say in another's company." She was correct. There are times out loud or running through my mind, unChristlike words come from within. It takes great discipline and willpower to instead pray "in love' for those who have hurt mine or me. It takes everything I am to not fall into apathy. To continually look at them through Christ eyes. In a way only He can do, my not seeking revenge has/is growing my faith.
Such freedom comes from "shaking the dust" from the ways of the world. But I also must be on guard my heart does not become hardened through the setting of boundaries. It is so easy to love the lovable He has placed in my life, even when they are at times "unlovely". But when it comes to the ones who don't "love" and want only to cause injury to mine or me, it is only through and in Him I am able to be Christ like. And even then, there are times I still fail.
When reading the Psalms and other accounts in His Word, I see prayers going up to destroy and rain down revenge upon the enemy. But then with the new covenant, our Savior when hanging on The Cross, beseeched His ABBA, "Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing?" The perfect example of Grace and Mercy.
He is teaching me, by lifting up my enemies in love, praying His blessings to fall into their lives, only then will my vision of them change, will their "hold" on me be broken. They fall from the place of "enemy" to that of one whom I have sorrow filled empathy towards. I am able to forgive them, extend to them grace and mercy. And in His ways, which often makes no sense to the human mind - He enables me to "love" them through Christ.
To genuinely love them. Only then will it be that it doesn't matter what they have done, or will do, to mine or me.