The readings in Luke really spoke to my heart this week.
Luke 5:5 - "because you said so..." they had been fishing all night. Didn't catch a thing, but because Jesus said so, Peter was obedient and would do what He said. The reward was a boat so full of fish it almost sank! I did a post on this a while back if you'd like to read it - you can find it here...
Luke 6 - Jesus tell us that we are to love our enemies and do to them as we would have them do to us. Every ounce of my natural flesh screams against this in a family relationship. Yet I'm reminded of God's mercy for me and know I should be merciful in return in obedience to His command.
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." ~ Luke 6:36 (NIV)
Vines says mercy is "pitiful, compassionate for the ills of others". I don't know what her ills are, but I do feel pity and compassion more than I feel anger and hurt. I just get so hurt at the way she treats our family (and me). Or rather, doesn't treat them/us so much as ignores us. Until it's time for a gift. She won't show up for a major surgery but Christmas Day she's going to pop in and get money from my Dad? Oh, kind words, kind thoughts, I pray for them!!!!!! It's hard in the natural but it's something I'm praying about. My flesh wars over this. I means WARS. An intense battle.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ Luke 6:37-38 (NIV)
I can do this. Only by God's strength will I be stretched with this person. I don't have this problem with anyone else, only the ones closest to me. I praise God for stretching my heart through His Word, moving me to compassion and reminding me that it's not my place to judge. I don't know what is going on in her life. Who am I to hold unforgiveness or anger or judgement in my heart when my Savior has washed me, as Paul says, the chief of all sinners, white as snow?