Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Maximizing, Minimizing"

     Lack of patience with the faults and failings of others indicates lack of understanding of how much longsuffering God has graciously shown to us.  

   One parable of the Lord Jesus Christ best illustrates this truth, and we do well to frequently read and ponder its challenging message.

   "The kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me.  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matthew 18:23-35).

    If the sins of others loom larger in our minds than our own, we can be sure that we walk after the flesh at best, and are subject to devilish influence at worst.  The Holy Spirit does not dwell with and within us to convict us of the sins of others.  He rather keeps the focus on ourselves, ensuring that our own failings loom in the ten thousand talent range, while the sins of others register as a hundred pence (at the current rate of U.S. exchange, the former amount would be equivalent to billions of dollars, with the latter registering at less than $100).

   I'll leave you with the passage as I consider my own temptations to maximize the sins of others, while minimizing my own.  Indeed, a significant portion of our debt to God may in fact involve this particular failing.  If so, let us be grateful that our Lord provides forgiveness for such, and cleansing from the pettiness that stains our conscience and stifles our capacity to personally know and then humbly transmit the love and grace of God to others.

"Search me, o God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me.  And lead me in the way everlasting."

(Psalm 139:23-24)

Weekly Memory Verse

  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

(Romans 5:1-2)

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