February 12–God’s Loving, Demanding Directives

God knows how much we need His loving direction for our lives. Even when we don’t want it. So, God gets right to the nitty-gritty when telling us how we should act and think and how we should treat other people. Our LORD declares Himself as the One who has the authority to determine the righteous standards by which we should live, act and interact with others.

God does all this plain talk for our good-all for our very best. And God does this all out of His love for us.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.  Leviticus 19:18

Personal Reflections from Sylane:                                                                           Can’t I get even a little bit of revenge? Even if they deserve it? No. None.

There is an enormous difference between God’s Justice and our sense of vengeance. We want that person to suffer like we have. And feel it now. Patience and seeking vengeance are incongruous for us.

Not so with God. We need to trust God and His righteous timing. God does NOT let sins go unpunished. To dismiss evil and wrong-doing is not a possibility for our God who is Holy and Just.  Conversely, our desire to get even, to get some pay-back, doesn’t usually have a whole lot of holiness going on. 

Only God is able see everything and everyone involved with perfect clarity and discernment. We can’t. Only God is able to justly judge the actual sin and the deep thoughts, motivations and circumstances of the one who sinned against us. We can’t. And we don’t even want to. We just want vengeance.

Vengeance is God’s, not ours. And God chose to impose all judgment against-and all punishment for-all sin onto His holy Son Jesus. For us to mete out vengeance based on our own very limited, self-focused perspective is a dangerous game of playing God.

Do you see why it is out of God’s love that He tells us not to seek revenge? Pay-back isn’t sweet. It’s a bitter mockery of the sacrifice Jesus made as the full punishment for sin…my sins, your sins-all sins.

 God’s love takes us further. We are not to even bear a grudge against another person. Even if it’s just inside our heads? Even if nobody else knows? Not even the person who hurt us? No. Never.

Bearing a grudge is like bearing a heavy stone wall cemented together by unforgiveness. We think we are entitled to this attitude because of the evil, hurtful things that were done to us. So we build and bear our grudge-wall.

That kind of thinking, however, is not entitlement.  It is absolute entrapment. If we keep bearing this grudge, the weight of it will crush us. Leaving us in a crumbled mess of bitterness and resentment.

 Do you see why it is out of God’s love that He tells us not to bear a grudge? We cannot bear a grudge and, at the same time, bear witness to the forgiveness we have received from Jesus Christ.

God’s love takes us further still. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Think about this. God loves us. And out of that love for all His children, God wants us to love others around us. All others. We are to love our neighbors as we should love ourselves. And we should love ourselves in truthful, caring, wise, health-bringing ways.

 Do you see why it is out of God’s love that He tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves? God knows that it is for our very best that our actions, thoughts and interactions with our neighbors and with ourselves are to be based on obeying God.  For our own peace and freedom-we must do things God’s way. And God’s way is always to love.

God’s directives are demanding, but they are always loving-in the furthest way possible.

In love, peace and purposeful passion,                                                               Sylane