We all have someone in our life who we would love to see grow in maturity, or experience the freedom found in Christ Jesus, or take responsibility for their own actions, or even forgive an offence. This desire to see positive growth in that loved one is a good thing. No doubt, in that desire is found everything “good”. There are even places in each one of us which might draw that same desire for ourselves. “Oh, I so wish I could just…………….”.
Will you permit me to ask a really hard question? What serious change, or radical change, has ever come upon anyone over night? Oh, there might be realizations that change our direction. But the really concrete change (so as to never go back) happens slowly. First we realize we have a problem. Then we try on different fixes like a child tries on daddy’s shoes. And finally we find what we know will solve the problem. But it’s at the last point where we realize how absolutely huge and difficult change is going to be.
Even coming to Jesus with a problem we find the same three increments: realize, try variations, come to grip with the real fix. Our lives are slow, yet hopefully sure, steps toward what we know is “good”. I post this because I see a whole lot of people kind of stuck in a mire of doubt and inability. I absolutely know that Jesus is the answer to any problem you might have going on. But there’s an element of natural progress that must be embraced.
When we see someone we want to change toward what is “good”, what are we expecting? If we expect them to just “Get with the program”, we’re bound to be disappointed. Look at yourself. What are you expecting? Since even we can’t change over night, why do we expect it from others? And what might the first signs of change look like? The person we are focusing on, whether someone else or ourselves, is already dysfunctional in some manner. Do we expect the first signs of wellness to appear void of this dysfunctional behavior?
This is what forgiveness is all about. Openning the door to the sickness. so that when we see change we are willing to embrace it. And this is why it is said that Jesus offers the fix to our problem. His forgiveness and teaching are sure, real, and effective. Let yourself receive forgiveness from Him. Let yourself receive forgiveness from yourself. Offer that same forgiveness to others. This is the beginning of healing for everyone, even YOU. Put on patience and love as if you were going to a stately dinner. Wear patience for yourself. Love without regard to who needs it. This is the key to healing from wounds too deep to touch.
By His Grace.