Why do I still after so many years with Christ feel like I need my self-righteous pride more than I need to extend forgiveness? Why is it so hard? I want the other party not just to think I’m right, I want them to come around to my way of thinking. I get so puffed up with pride that I think that even though we’ve exchanged “sorries”, you need to know that I’m right and you’re wrong. Instead of offering forgiveness, I want to make sure you really, REALLY understand why I’m mad and, ultimately, why I’m justified in my anger. So I sit in silence and wait. I wait for the other party to come around because if I talk first it will be misunderstood as backing down. No, I can’t back down because then they’ll think they’re right and clearly they’re not and I don’t want them to think that I think they’re right because if I do that it’ll mean I’m in the wrong and I definitely DON’T want to be in the wrong. Whew. There’s so much analysis in being self-righteous.
It dawns on me during this season of Lent and Holy Week that God would be in the right if He chose to act this way to me when I sin. It also dawns on me that He doesn’t. When God wants to get His point across, it never involves huffing and puffing. It typically doesn’t involve Him crossing His arms and giving me the silent treatment. He doesn’t use these methods. He forgives me. He doesn’t shout at me the reasons why He’s right and I’m wrong. (Side note:: In case you were wondering, He’s always in the right. I know, it’s a hard pill to swallow.) When I repent, He doesn’t feel the need to continue reminding me of what I did wrong or how it made Him feel. He just forgives me. Done. Move on.
Oh how I wish I could be more like this. Thank you, God, for not being like me. You choose forgiveness AND forgetfulness. Thanks for doing things I can’t. I may be able to forgive but some things are hard to forget and the devil has a sneaky way of using my memory to keep score. Keeping score is something You don’t do. You settled the score on the cross. Jesus bore my sin, everyone’s sin, on the cross. I’m sorry mine were so heavy, Jesus. I’m sorry my sins took you away from your Father. My pride and self-righteousness were ugly sins you wore on the cross. Sorry doesn’t seem like enough.
It’s good for me to sit with my sin sometimes one, to help me see my need for Jesus and two, to feel the weight of gratitude for what He did for me. During this Holy Week, I hope you can find time to sit and let Christ’s mercy wash over you. He took the death that we deserve. No one will ever do that for us again. If you do decide to take a moment and sit with the darkness of your sin and you begin to feel the weight of it just remember: Don’t fear, Sunday’s coming!
Happy Holy Week!
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