“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
This was the portion of scripture I read this morning. There are so many things here that I am thinking about and praying through today, but as I was reading, one thing stuck out:
"bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you".
I can tell you that there is one person in my life, who would fall into this category in some ways. They should have been an awesome role model and example for me, but they were anything but. Over the years, I have really struggled with this person, and their role in my life. I was never beaten or molested, but certainly feel like I have endured years of abuse at this person's hand, some of which has been due to my faith.
While reading this passage this morning, God revealed to me, just how "poor" in spirit I am. I think that sometimes I don't want this person to be forgiven, I don't want them to get anything good (like salvation). I want them to live in the middle of the mess they have made. I don't think they really deserve salvation, grace, or love.
But God revealed to me the sinfulness of my heart regarding these thoughts.
I didn't deserve any of that either.
In fact, I was pretty awful before Christ! I can truly speak to the truth that all that is good in me is Christ working through the Spirit.
So, ultimately, this person does not deserve salvation. She does not deserve any grace, and deserves to live in the mess she has created. But God, gives grace to the undeserving, and life to the dead. He heals the broken, and changes hearts in ways that our tiny little minds could never have imagined.
This morning, I confessed my sin of bitterness, and unforgiveness towards this person, and began praying that God would work in their life. That He would bring about the miraculous change that only He can. That He would save, heal, and guide this person. I prayed that He would help me to be mindful of ways to bless, and keep me focused in prayer, and that when those roots of bitterness try to dig down deeper, that He would keep them from finding a home in my heart.
There is SOOOOO much more in this passage, but this is where God had me camp out for a little bit today! I love how He uses His word, and His Spirit to bring to light things that I never would have even begun to think about! Thankful for this time with Him this morning!