In A perfect, sinless world, this task would be a piece of cake. There would be nothing but peace, joy and unity among us. We would love and respect each other effortlessly. We would place the feelings and needs of others before our own, without even batting an eyelash. We wouldn’t struggle with things like offense, jealousy or bitterness. But we do not live in a perfect world and we most definitely aren’t perfect people. We fail to treat each other with love and respect all the time. We say goodbye to friendships, stir up gossip, and waste away in our bitterness over petty misunderstandings and silly quarrels. And I know full well that there can be deeper, more painful and very complicated causes for this, too, but regardless of how little or severe the circumstance, the way we are called to respond does not change.
We are a rotten bunch, and in our own strength, we cannot change the course of this troubling cycle we find ourselves in. It is only Jesus, His perfection and His righteousness that give us the ability to love, forgive, honor and value others. It’s only by His grace and His power in us that we can rise above our sinful nature, give selfishness, pride and bitterness a knuckle sandwich and serve our brothers and sisters selflessly. Jesus Christ is the only hope we have for loving others deeply and serving them well.
Phillipians 1:9-11 says:
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
This cannot be accomplished by our own will power. We cannot follow through on Paul’s charge to us outside of communion with God and a desire to learn the truth of His Word. When we fail to set our gaze on Christ and all that is of Christ, we fail to possess true wisdom and discernment, leading us down that nasty, selfish and loveless path. We must strive to partake of the bread of life (it’s called that for a reason, folks!) as often as we possibly can. We must daily draw from the well and drink up its living water. Not only to gain more knowledge about Christ, but to apply what we’ve learned to the way we live every part of our lives and how we treat others.
I couldn’t sleep last night and these were some of the things on my mind. I am daily in need of these reminders and just wanted to share this on the blog in case it hit home for someone else. Whether you’re battling with hurt, anger, pride, discouragement or even hatred, know that the grace of God is greater than all our sin and it has the power to renew our minds and hearts. He is the true and only one who can save us from our mess, free us from our chains and fill us with a pure, righteous and holy love towards others.
Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin