Monday, February 23, 2015

A story, pride, a sermon, the Sermon, grace and being first.

[The title of this blog post could also be "I didn't know how to title my blog post", but the current one pretty much sums up what I want to share with you.]

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Matthew 5: 23-26

I recently heard a sermon on the Sermon that convicted me and tugged on my heart.

First, here is a story.

A few Saturdays ago, I told Greg that I wanted to go to the morning mass the next day because I had to work in the afternoon. He agreed and we made plans to go. The next day, I woke up earlier than usual to get ready. I tried to wake up Greg a few times, unsuccessfully. He woke up fifteen minutes before church, but I told him I didn't want to go to church anymore. Mind you, our church is five minutes away. I chose to confront him and make it a bigger deal than it was.

Suddenly, everything he did or said annoyed me. I didn't talk to him for the rest of the day. I went to work upset, came back upset, and went to bed upset. An “I am sorry” would have sufficed, but I wanted him to say it first. After all, he was the one who wasn't considerate of my needs and did not wake up on time (my “on time”) for church.

Pride is a powerful sin.

Back to the sermon on the Sermon.

I realized how much this applied to our marriage. Not just because of the church incident, but because of how many times we've done this. Sometimes, we go to church angry at each other. Some other times, we choose not to go. We go to work without saying “I love you” or “I hope you have a great day”. We go to bed without saying a word.

I realized Jesus doesn't want this. He doesn't want me going to church, to worship Him, when I am upset at my husband (or parents, brothers, sister, friends). He doesn't want me to be like those hypocrites he talked about. I realized Jesus is calling me for something more.

 He wants me to go first.

Not because I am a doormat to someone else. Not because he just wants me to “let it go”. Not because he wants others to take advantage of me. No. He wants me to go first because of the grace he has given me first. Jesus wants me to go first while I still have time to show that grace to others. He doesn't want me to wait to say “I love you and I am sorry”, just because I feel like the victim and then live in the prison it would be if the opportunity to say it wasn't there anymore. No amount of pennies could buy back the time I could have used to show that grace.

I am guilty,
Ashamed of what I've done, what I've become.
These hands are dirty,
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one.

You plead my cause, You right my wrongs.
You break my chains, You overcome.
You gave your life, to give me mine.
You say that I am free.

How can it be, how can it be?
(How can it be – L. Daigle)

I hope this encourages you as much as the actual sermon on the Sermon encouraged me. Most of all, I hope you explore where pride exists in your heart, how it is expressed in your life and go first because he went first for you.

Under so much grace,

Gabby

4 comments:

  1. Oh how I needed to hear this!! I am one of those people who can definitely wake up on the wrong side of the bed for no good reason. I've certainly had my fair share of Sunday mornings where I trudge into church and everything irritates me...the lead vocalist is too loud and pitchy, the person next to me is sniffling, the service is going WAY too long...the list goes on. However, later in the day or week, I think back to that moment and think about how disappointed God must have been in me at the time. I think we often get so caught up on the mundane aspects at life that we forget to look at the bigger picture.

    Thanks for sharing your story and reminder of grace! :)
    XO Amanda

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    1. You are so right! I feel the same way... We gather as a community to worship Him and there we are thinking about everything and everyone else else BUT Him. Thank you for commenting Amanda! :-)

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  2. Great post Gabby! Reminds me of when Jesus spoke of settling fights between your brother before leaving a gift at the altar...hope you are well!! :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Patty. Hope you are well, too! Always love reading your posts. :-)

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