“She’s your sister,” the Holy Spirit said firmly to my heart. “Love her.”
So here’s my confession. A sister-in-the Lord and friend had called me. I needed to return her call and see why she wanted to speak. But I didn’t feel like it. Wasn’t in the mood. Actually, I had been upset with her about something. Okay, maybe a few things. I thought I had forgiven her. I hadn’t. There is the truth. I needed to forgive her. But that wasn’t all. I was being selfish. I was thinking about me and what I wanted and didn’t want instead of the fact one of God’s children had reached out to me and I needed to respond – in love. I needed to be selfless, not selfish. The Holy Spirit brought it to light – and led me to repentance.
“Oh, Lord, forgive me for holding anything against her. Lord, forgive me for not forgiving her when I needed to. Forgive me for being so selfish. Forgive my flesh. All my sins, for that matter. Please cleanse me, dear God. This friend in particular has been such a wonderful, faithful friend through the years despite some challenges at times. Of all people I shouldn’t be selfish with, it would be her. But truth, Lord, is I should NEVER be selfish. So forgive me for all my selfishness I’ve had my whole life. And teach me to walk in YOUR LOVE and NOT in MY FLESH. Teach me to walk in YOUR SPIRIT and not in MY SIN. Oh, God, help me to grow in your image. Help me to love, love, love with your love! Teach me YOUR WAYS. You are never selfish, oh Lord. And I have been for as long as I can remember. Let it all be gone. Take a sledgehammer to my selfishness. Help me to humble myself continually and to love and glorify you in all I do. Help me to lay down my life for others and love, yes, oh Lord, to love as you so command us. AMEN!”
If you need to forgive someone, or some people, forgive in obedience to God. If you need to repent before God for selfishness or any and all sin, repent. Please don’t use my prayer. Pray to the Lord from your own heart with fervor for His mercy and the strength to go forth in His will. In retrospect, I saw the friendship might need to be let go from my life. That was in the Lord’s hands as to its future. But whether or not the friend remained in my life, no matter the Lord’s will concerning the matter, I knew I needed to love, to forgive, to be merciful, and to rid myself of all selfishness. I needed to go forth in the love of Christ!
Friend, let us humble ourselves, repent before God of any and all sin, and go forth loving and serving Him and others as He leads us. In learning to love as the Lord commands us, in growing in His image, we are to leave all selfishness behind!
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6