I find it hard to always live the Word of God. Do you?
There are so many temptations and opportunities to stray from living and loving the Word of God. I try. I really do. However, sometimes I get really irritated or impatient, waiting for my children or dealing with petty silliness that is quite distracting. There are also more serious situations that test my inner strength and ability to stay focused on being a good Christian.
Earlier this week, I was faced with a situation where someone asked my forgiveness for a wrong done to me. It was really hard to not say what was truly on my mind and even harder to find that spot within myself to forgive that individual.
But I admit that I’m not perfect. I hesitated. I had to think about it. I struggled with the pain and sorrow that had been inflicted by this person’s unkind words. Yet, it didn’t take long for a little light to start to glow within me. Forgive, a voice said. Forgive and move on.
Many of you know that I read the Ausbund as much as others read the Bible. This is the hymn book that the Amish use at their church services. The Amish and Mennonites were persecuted in Europe before they immigrated to America in the early 1700s. They knew the power of struggle, hesitation, and forgiveness. The following is one of my favorite Ausbund hymns to read:
All you who now suffer
Persecution, sorrow, and humiliation,
Be it man or woman,
Bear the cross of the Lord.
(Ausbund Song 52 Verse 1)
Someone else reminded me in the past weeks that there was a person who was bullied in far worse ways than anyone else. This person was spat on, betrayed, lied to, and deceived. This person had a lot of people to forgive. This person truly lived the Word of God and set an example for all of us. Yet, even this person had one moment…a split second…of hesitation as he laid upon the ground and, knowing what trials and pain he would suffer in the hours ahead, he prayed to God, “Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42).
He was, after all, the Son of Man.
When I falter…when I fail…I will continue to remember that Jesus died for my sins: past, present, and future. I will try to limit them. I need to do what I can to carry that cross just a little further, along with my Christian brothers and sisters. I will try to live the Word of God. I will do everything in my power to be a better Christian. But, just as I forgave that other person, I suppose I have to learn to forgive myself when I hesitate or fail. After all, I’m only human.