Monday, July 14, 2014

He loved me anyway

I've seen a lot of social media posts lately about murders and baby's getting left in hot cars and well... you know what I'm talking about, you've seen it too right? Everyone giving their two cents about exactly what should be done to people who could do such heinous things. They should be beaten to death, or die slowly, or hung up in the town square so we can all get a chance to take a jab at em. I can't be the only one who has noticed this.

And I can't begin to judge anyone for their reactions towards such crimes. Maybe they know the person who has been murdered... maybe all these children left in hot cars just bring it too close to home for some moms.

I've never had a close friend or family member that has died in such a tragic way... but as I was starting to read posts from different people a scripture came to my mind...

I Corinthians 13:6 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

As a Christian, I am called to love... which is not always an easy to task. I am called to love not only those who love me, but I am also called to love my enemies. To pray for those who persecute me and hate me. To forgive those who who speak falsely against me.

I want to first say that I believe that those who committee these terrible crimes against others should most certainly be punished.

But I think sometimes we are so busy to hand down our own sentences, that we don't take any time at all to thing about those that have committed these crimes to begin with. Many of these people are mentally ill. Many have experienced horrific pasts that have led them to this point. I believe many of them struggle with demonic influence in their lives. While these in no way excuse them, instead of seeing individuals as human beings, we automatically label them as monsters... as less than human.

For God so loved the world...

He didn't just love the avid church goers or those that are perfect or even those who just don't kill people...

He sent his Son to die for the whole world... the liars and the cheaters and yes, the murderers...

My whole point in writing this, was mostly for me. Because sometimes I don't know what I think until I read what I write. I needed to wrap my head around what kind of perspective I should have as a Christian regarding these issues.

My analysis? Is that I am a sinner saved by grace. While here on earth we can label and define sin and right and wrong, but in heaven I am no better than a murderer. It was my sins that nailed Jesus to that cross. It was because of me that he had to be brutally tortured and bleed and die so I could receive forgiveness. And you know what? He loves me anyway. He doesn't hold it against me. He didn't make me pay for my wrongs... he simply forgave me.

So when I have been forgiven so much, how can I then hold so much blame towards someone else? Once again, yes, punishment after committing a crime is deserved. But when Jesus loved me anyway, how can I hate and hold un-forgiveness in my heart?

If you have personally been affected by a tragedy, I hope and pray that you can find peace.I can't even begin to imagine. But realize the only person that anger and bitterness will destroy is yourself.

My anger doesn't hurt those that have caused me past offenses. My anger and bitterness only hurts me. 

Forgiveness isn't easy. Its not supposed to be. If it was, everyone would do it. But we all have a choice. We can choose to live our lives with the anger and bitterness that has been dealt to us. Or, we can choose to live with the freedom of forgiveness. 

Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

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