Welcome again to this week's word for the week. Every now and then on this journey we have to do something that is either very difficult or very uncomfortable. It's not an option at all. It is something that you have to do. Some people call it the give and get principle which means to give a little to get a little. I need to go beyond that this week. There are times when you will give a lot and not necessarily feel like you're getting even a little. However, it's all about perspective so let's get to it.
I won't be long this week. There are times when you must realize that what you're getting in return long term from God far outweighs anything that's right in front of you. We forgive because it's necessary for us. We need God to still forgive us and so it's not wise to hold grudges. Trust me, you WILL NEED God to forgive you before this week is out. Not might. You WILL. We all fall short and this week will be no different than any other week in your life. You will need forgiveness.
The principle of forgiveness is not hard. Jesus plainly said forgive others that you may be forgiven. Too many times we look for things from people when they are not capable of giving us what we need. We look for people to apologize when they wrong. We look for the thief to repay the person they robbed. These are not wrong expectations as they are clearly instructed in the bible. The problem though is when you expect people who do follow the bible to suddenly do so because of what has happened to you.
This is where perspective comes in this week. If you only look at what someone has not done for you then you will easily miss what God has done for you. Don't miss that point. The entire time you may complain about your wrong is also the very time that God has given you the strength to endure. The problem is you can't see the good when you only focus on the bad. If God only looked at our faults then none of us would be here. It's amazing that everyone reading this already knows that God had to look beyond their faults.
When God says to love your enemies it is not because He wants to see how mad you can get. It is because at one point we were enemies of His before we were saved. He's simply telling us that if He gave us a chance to do right then we must give someone else that chance. That's what people call paying something forward. You show your gratitude of things that have happened to you by being a blessing to someone else. So, that will lead us to our final point this week before we close.
How many people need the forgiveness that God has put in you so that they can do right also? How many people need the mercy God has given you to be extended to them? How many people will only learn the love of God when you begin to love them? How many people need you to embrace them instead of cutting them off? We say if God needs anyone then He can use us. We say that with the lights and the crowd in mind. It's what you do behind the scenes that makes a difference.
Everything you do in life cannot be only when a camera is on. You have to learn how to do things that do not get you noticed in the eyes of man but they are pleasing to God. This is a fact in life. Someone will upset you before this week is out. Not might. It will happen. You already know it will happen. It's not about what they do but rather what you are willing to understand that you need for yourself. You see when you forgive others and restore them it opens up the door for God to do even greater for you.
We can quote Luke 6:38 all day but the truth is there is a verse before that talks about the need to forgive. Jesus taught that if we're standing at the altar to give a gift to God and realize that there is a conflict between us and someone else that we are to do something about it. Here's what He said. Leave your gift at the altar, go and reconcile yourself to the person, then come back and give your gift. In other words, you do not simply give gifts unto God. You give love to others. You forgive others. You restore others. Is it difficult? Yes. Do certain people make it more difficult than with others? Yes. It is possible? Yes. It's not about what you can do. It's about what are you going to do?
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His grace,
Bishop Carlos J. Lennon