"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
This verse in Romans 12 is heavy on my heart tonight. How do you turn the other cheek when you have been slapped? How can you forgive when words cut deep? How can you persevere when the ones that are pulling you down are the ones that the Lord placed in your life to uplift, stand beside and encourage you?
It can be so disheartening when you are striving as a woman to whole heartedly seek Jesus and that doesn't seem to be enough. When you desire, above all else, to be a clear reflection of Jesus and your appearance is something that they can't get past. Jesus was a beautiful representation of how we SHOULD be. He hung out with the prostitutes, the leapers, the socially unacceptable. He was able to reach people many couldn't because of His grace and non-judging attitude towards them. He was able to present the good news and love them with an agape love because He displayed fullness in, not how they looked or dressed or acted, but because He had compassion for them knowing that they were a sinful people who needed a Savior.
My sinful nature inside rises up when I feel threatened or cut down. However, Jesus was mocked and beaten. He was ridiculed and humiliated... and He took it. Who am I to have this 'woe is me' attitude when I really don't have it that bad? I should be concerned with the One who's worth I should truly seek. Instead of having a fear of man and focusing on what they say or think... I should focus on Jesus Christ's opinion of me. Am I a sinner? YES. Do I screw up? YES. Will I continue to fail Him and those around me daily for the rest of my life? HECK YES. But am I forgiven when I repent? YES. Does Jesus look past my outward appearance and straight into my heart? YES. Will He look upon me one day and say "Good job my good and faithful servant"? GOSH I HOPE SO. If my heart continues to yearn for Him, seek Him daily, meditate on and hide Gospel centered truth in my heart and go out and share the good news reflecting Him in everything I say and do...I believe I will hear those precious words ring in my ears on that day.
::So Lord... forgive my bitterness. Forgive me when I become more focused on the words of man instead of You. Allow me to have a clear picture of what is good and true and right in Your eyes and focus on such things. Let me not become hard to those who tear me down in this world, but love them and pray for them more since it is them who need my patience, grace and forgiveness! And Lord continue to humble me so that I don't become self-righteous... but see myself as redeemed because of what You're doing in me and how You have refined my heart!::