Since we are friends here, I feel I must tell the truth. I can be a hypocrite at times. Yes, you heard me right. I am a HYPOCRITE!!!
I may know most of the right answers, church raised girl that I am, but I don't always make the right decisions. I may act like I'm living God's will, but I can wrestle with God, better than anyone. I may teach others the way, but walk a whole different direction sometimes. I'm just thankful that I serve a God full of grace, that is willing to reign me in when need be. Boy did He reign me in this weekend!
I've been dealing with a situation lately. Her name for this post is "Angry." This person is in my world. I like her. Yet, she is so full of anger, it seeps out daily and splatters everyone with it's venom. Have you ever met someone who holds grudges for a lifetime, has a gutter mouth, is selfish to the core and seems to have no joy in their life? Meet my friend Angry. Oh, she knows right from wrong. She will be in church on occasion. She can be a loyal friend, great mom and hard worker... yet, she can get on my nerves better than anyone. Have anyone in your world like that?
Now, I know the right answers. I know I'm to be the light in this situation. I know that I'm to be an example of patience, kindness, and everything else good and holy. And 75% of the time I think I am...or at least I ACT like I am. I am very good at "playing nice" when inside I want to shout "SELFISH!", "GROW UP!!!", and a few unmentionables... everyday I pray for this person to change...so MY life would be made easier. (But hey, I'm not selfish!)
Fast forward to yesterday. I have had the stomach virus all weekend. Which, I'm thankful it wasn't the flu, like hubby, but I have still been miserable. Worst part? Missing church. I look forward to a little praise and worship on Sunday mornings. So, as the family left out the door, I grabbed a book I had found at a flea market the other day. Nothing puts a smile on my face quicker than finding a treasure at 1/4 the cost. This is what I found for $3.00...
Love me some Max. Wow! Does he have the gift of words! It seems God can use him to speak on my level over and over. Yesterday would be no different.
I'm flipping through, reading when I came to the story of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus. Love that story. Love the many songs based on that part of scripture. The whole message of that passage I think is so beautiful. So as I'm reading, I'm excited...
until God decides to slap me with a little love learning of His own. I realized that every time I had read this story before, I pictured myself as the woman crying at Jesus' feet for forgiveness... the reality check, was that God was telling me that I was Simon in the story and truly had much to learn. (Read Luke 7:36-39, 47)
"A person who is forgiven little, shows only little love..."
Max worded it so beautifully for us...
"Simon, doesn't realize he is thirsty. People like Simon don't need grace, they analyze it. they don't request mercy; they debate and prorate it. It wasn't that Simon couldn't be forgiven; he just never asks."
How many times do I Miss Church Goer, forget to ask for mercy for even the little things? How often do I take for granted the grace given to me freely? I may be the woman anointing Christ's feet occasionally, but how many times am I Simon?
I guess you are asking what this all has to do with my friend Angry. The overall lesson was about loving. After realizing that I was acting like a Simon lately, I read further and was hit over the head and dragged through this little treasure paragraph...
"Could it be that the first step of love is not toward them but toward Him? Could it be that the secret to loving is receiving? You give love by first receiving it?"
Huh? I do love God. What is He trying to say?
"Many people tell us to love, only God gives us the power to do so."
Hmm... in other words, instead of my praying everyday for my friend to shape up or ship out of my life, so to speak, I need to shape up and start loving right! Instead of praying for her to change, I need to pray that my attitude will change and therefore help her. I need to ask for the strength to be genuine in my love giving and not "fake it' because I know it is the right thing to do. This hypocrite needs to take a reality check on her own life and how she expresses love, before judging someone who may not even know how to love or the true definition of it.
Love. It is a four letter word that holds such power. It holds a lot of promise too.
"We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
In a world full of greed, selfishness, anger and pride, it is hard not to get our toes stepped on daily. In fact I have many "angry" people that cross my path on a daily basis. The important thing is to try and remember this... when we feel like we have fallen short in the "love one another" department...
when it seems like a love "we cannot produce,"
may we be reminded of "a love we cannot resist -