Even as I write this, I can’t wait to get to the place I need to go this morning to apologize to some store workers for my rude, unkind, impatient, and unloving attitude and words. Maybe you would say my apology is unnecessary. After all, one of the workers at the store did a few things that were mean, inconsiderate, disrespectful, rude, and that caused a big challenge for me. The one who did it did not apologize. The other store worker only did when I said I thought I should receive an apology. More of my rudeness. Do you see the message in this? Let me be ultra clear for I believe many need to hear this.
NO MATTER WHAT anyone else says or does that is wrong, hurtful, rude, inconsiderate, unkind, unloving, ungodly, etc., WE ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR THINKING, SPEAKING, AND ACTING IN A WAY THAT HONORS AND PLEASES GOD. We are responsible for loving and forgiving and being merciful. We are responsible for acting Christ-like. We are responsible for living according to God’s ways. We are responsible for thinking, speaking, and acting in line with God’s ways and His will for us, and we are responsible for repenting before God and seeking people’s forgiveness when we do wrong in God’s eyes. Not conditional on how others behave. Conditional on the Lord Jesus Christ. Period.
I know what I need to do even as I finish writing this message. Repent before God. And seek the forgiveness of the people. I trust the Lord will deal with the people and any way in which they need to repent and turn to Him. Anything else I need to do? Yes, something I have already done and need to do some more. Pray for them!
Oh, friend, please examine your hearts, words, and actions before God and see if you need to repent before God, go to anyone and seek their forgiveness, make any changes in how you are treating others regardless of how they treat you, and please remember to pray, pray, pray as the Lord leads you for others.
Oh, God, help us all! Oh, how we need you! Forgive me, oh Lord, right here and now, I ask you, dear Lord, for not showing these people the love, mercy, and grace you have bestowed upon me and that you have taught me to extend toward others. Oh, Lord, help us all to walk in your ways. Teach us to love like you do. Teach us to be merciful, patient, and kind. Oh, Lord, draw us to yourself. Save those who are not saved. Fill us all with your Holy Spirit. Empower us oh God to live in a manner pleasing in your sight – at all times. No matter the behavior of others, oh Lord, AMEN!
“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.” Psalms 139:23-24 KJV
Thankfully and mercifully, the Lord as He promises in 1 John 1:9 forgave me when I repented. Blessedly, one of the women to whom I was rude was coming into work as I arrived at the store where she works. She kindly forgave me, and I asked her to relay my apology to the other woman and gave her a Gospel tract to pass along. I left the store free and clean by the grace of God.
As you read this message, did the Lord place anything on your heart you need to do in the way of repenting and seeking forgiveness? Please seek Him and obey Him as He leads you forth!