Last week we talked about how we can't let our past define our beliefs of who we can be now and in the future because God uses flawed people everyday to accomplish his mission. But what about others? How we see others is just as important to our walk with Christ as how we see ourselves. We can't love ourselves and choose to judge and condemn others. This week we are going to learn what God says about how we see the people around us and where our heart needs to be as we deal with the people in our everyday lives.
This Week’s Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 5:13-17
"(13) If we are 'out of our mind,' as some say, it is for God' if we are in our right mind, it is for you. (14) For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore, all died. (15) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (16) So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (18) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
It is so easy to forget that we are not the only child God has. Yes, he completely loves us as if we were an only child, but he loves his other children just as much. One of the hardest things for me to grasp when I am angry or have been hurt by a sister or brother in Christ is that God doesn't automatically take my side. He is my banner, sure but only in battle against the enemy. His children are not my enemy and therefore he is only going to lovingly discipline them or even us when necessary in order to bring about a growth in character. He is never going to take a "get even" mentality as the world often does. I have to remind myself to see these situations with the eyes of God. If someone has hurt me in some way, it is not my job to "get even" but instead to pray them through it and remind myself that God loves them just as much as he loves me and wants to bring them back into a good place and we as his children should want the same.
In verse 16 we are urged to love and see, not from a worldly standpoint but, instead, from a place of true love. The kind of love that knows nothing of anger and hate. The kind of love that wants to reconcile and rebuild what was damaged. That is what it means to have a ministry of reconciliation. To reconcile as it is stated in verse 18 means to restore and bring peace to the parties that are disputing. We are commanded to live with a heart that is committed to a "ministry of reconciliation."
Jesus was exchanged for our sin, and even though we hurt God with that sin, we are now reconciled in our relationship with him. He sees us as beautiful and worthy. Therefore, we are now to demonstrate that same kind of heart of reconciliation with those who hurt us. Obviously, we aren't told to allow people to mistreat and abuse us, but when it is right and when it is possible we are to set the example so that it will bring others into a reconciled relationship not only with us but also with God and it helps us to see others as God does; new and renewed by Jesus and we will no longer hold the past against them. Behold, all things will become new!
1. Take time this week to make note of the people in your life that have hurt you in some way or the people you may have hurt unintentionally. Ask yourself and God if it is necessary for you reach out and attempt to reconcile those wrongs. 2. Look for opportunities to take the first steps to making those relationships right.
3. Keep a note of your progress and what God is teaching you in your "journal of change" so that you can use those lessons to help you in future situations.
Until next time, keep pushing to be the amazing woman of God that he sees you to be.