Good for the Goose

Good for the Goose

I cannot tell you how God is incredibly patient and long suffering with me.  I am not always as faithful a servant of his as I should be.  I sin in ways that would shock people who see me as their Pastor.  I fail to walk worthy...way too often.  Even as I wrote these words I had to go back and edit them because I wrote them all in the past tense.  Without thinking, I wrote them as if all of this was behind me and I had matured to the point that God does not need to be patient with me in the present.  Don’t get me wrong, God has grown me in ways that I never imagined.  I try to keep short accounts for my sin but I am ashamed of how often I am confessing the same sin. And yet God is patient.  He is kind.  He still loves me in ways that are too great for me to explain.  I need his long suffering...aren’t they a couple of humbling words – God has to suffer me and he has to do it for a long time.  I am unfaithful, prone to wander, and prone to take his love for granted.  Again, even as I write these words I am tempted to soften them.  I want to speak of the times I am faithful, the times and ways I do obey.  Yet, I know that these times of obedience are only because Christ lives in me and it is his work...not my own.  He is my life.

Yet, even though I meditate on his great patience and love, I find that I walk away from that meditation and still stand in judgment of others who fall short of my standards.  I fail to love those who struggle with things that I do not struggle with.  I do not hold them accountable in love as much as I write them off because of their failures.  It is not as if I judge them incorrectly.  They sin.  They fall short.  They are stomping on my life.  But rather than suffer them long I pronounce my judgment upon them and write them out of my life.  Rather than love them enough to walk with them as they seek to improve, I complain and live in my frustration toward them.  

I am the servant of Matt 18:21-35.  Not the servant who begs for forgiveness but the servant who was forgiven much by the King but refused to forgive the one who owed him.  As much as I need and long for the long suffering of God I find that I am, too often, not willing to suffer long with others.  How do I grow in this area?  I grow by recognizing my failures and I seek to become an expert in the long suffering and patience of God.  Meditating on the amazing grace of God will overwhelm my heart and allow the Spirit to unveil his fruits of righteousness in my heart.  He has implanted in my the fruit of long suffering.  I must get out of the way and allow him to make that fruit known in my life.

Thinking about these things can lead us, if we do not keep the gospel in sight, to gross introspection that will destroy.  Thinking of ourselves Biblically will reveal our hearts of sin but will also lead us to the great hope and joy of the gospel.  The great love of God will overwhelm our sin and allow us to live in the power of the Spirit of God.  I am not different from you.  I stand amazed at the love and patience of God in my life and as I walk near his holiness I see just how far I fall short.  Those truths, together, produce a Biblical view of self that is confident and firm in his work in my life.  Jesus loves me, this I know.

No Comments




no categories


no tags