[For the past four years, I've written a daily Lenten blog. One of my regular Lent readers reminded me that we're in Lent. Ok, I kinda zoned about that this year, so let start a few days late.]
God forgives us but doesn't forget us. Sometimes it's easy to write off someone whom we've forgiven. "I forgive them, but I'll never trust them again," says the little voice inside, our self-protect mode on full. "I'll just avoid them and the hurt (or grief or disappointment) they cause me."
Luckily, God's not like us. He not only forgives our sins, but he challenges us to do better. To live well, in harmony with his nature. He reminds us of the Ten Commandments: don't lie because I AM Truth. Don't steal because it all belongs to Me. Don't be unfaithful, because I AM Faithful. Don't envy because I AM Enough for all your needs.
He thinks well of us, through the lens of complete forgiveness in Christ. He invites us into relationship with himself, leaving behind our offenses and rebellion - though we may continue to hurt him daily.
Today, I'm going to think about good things in people I've forgiven. To consider ways they have blessed me, made me better and stronger, and how they are appreciated by others. I'm going to try to think about them the way God thinks about me. Who needs your forgiveness and kind consideration today?
When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. After he sat down his disciples came to him. Then he began to teach them by saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
“Blessed are you when people11 insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way. Matthew 5: 1-12 NET
*Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Tim. 2:11-13 NIV