Forgiveness. What do you think of when you hear that word? It is reassuring to read God’s Word and hear of how He has forgiven me of all my sins. He has cast them as far as the east is from the west. They are drowned in the ocean, never again to be seen of or heard of. I’ll repent of something again that I have been forgiven from for years, and God says, “What are you taking about?? I don’t remember that.” Forgiveness. It’s beautiful. Jesus made a striking statement in Matthew 6:14-15 “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: BUT if you DO NOT forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” THESE ARE STRONG WORDS. We want forgiveness for ourselves, but are we willing to cast other’s sins against us as far as the east is from the west? Are we willing to drown their sins against us in the ocean? Only you can answer this question. Look at your life and those who have hurt you. Have you completely forgiven them? How do I know? You ask. When their name comes up, what are your thoughts towards them? For good or evil? What are your words towards them? Prayers for goodness? Or “hope they get theirs”? I’m not telling you to be in relationship with those who have continually harmed you, but for your own sake, you MUST forgive them. Let it go with God’s help and pray for their good. Prayers.
Are you a people please? Do you seek for the approval of men? If you are always trying to please others, you will fail. This is one of the biggest traps we fall into in our Christian walk: trying to always please others. Paul said this in Galatians 1:10, “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men (living to please men), I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).” What Paul realized was that to be a genuine follower of Christ, one cannot try to please others by compromising the truths of the gospel. If he lived to please man, he forfeited himself as a servant of Christ. This is happening right now in the American church. She has sought the approval of society over the approval of God. Dear lady, these things must not be! We must make our aim to please God ABOVE everything else, including pleasing others under the guise of “unity, peace or current opinion”. We must be gentle and patient in many things, but we need to be unyielding when it comes to the truth of the gospel! Both the glory of Jesus and the salvation of the lost are at stake! You have been separated to please God, which means you WILL displease people.
I’m not going to lie, I have been this person before- you watch someone’s blessing and that green little monster brings out the 3 year old in you. The internal dialogue isn’t always pretty. “Must be nice. Why do THEY get that! I have been working so hard and what have THEY done! I deserve it. They don’t deserve it. [insert personal mumblings here]”. What is it in our human nature that doesn’t want to just be happy that the Lord blessed someone? Or conversely, something bad happens and we ask “Ugh! Why me!?!”
I used to struggle with this so much. You know what it is? its a joy stealer. Its a division causer. its a judgment starter. It is a little crack that the enemy can use to get a foothold and tear you down. It makes you bitter, when you look at someone else’s life and expect that their blessings would be right for you. Which is not always true. Ask me how I know…
“Do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matt. 20:15)
“Every good and perfect gift is from God our Father.” (James 1:17) Its interesting that it doesn’t say every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, if they deserve it. Or if it is deemed worthy by everyone around them. or if they struggled long enough for it. or if they have been good enough. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Directly. Not my call. And I’m so thankful for that.
Blessings can be our talents and abilities too. Have you ever thought “Ugh I wish I could sing like that… I wish I could preach like that…I wish I could encourage someone like that…. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with youra faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Rom. 12:4-8) Of note, He doesn’t say one is better than the other. Just do what He has given you to do!
There is so much freedom and joy when you take your eyes off of other people and their blessings, and fix them on Him. There is genuine joy for others’ blessings. He shows you how He has blessed you and when you have nothing you’re comparing it to, there is contentment. I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phill. 4:11-13)
Sometimes blessings are a direct result of hard work too. You reap what you sow. If you aren’t working, aren’t trying, and wasting all your money, why would you be bitter for being broke? If you aren’t seeking after God, reading His word, spending time with Him, why would you think that your relationship with Him is going to be super strong? You cant fake the funk on that one. If you have put in that work, walk in the fruit of it.
Don’t begrudge your own blessing either!……. Why would I begrudge a blessing for myself? Ever felt guilty? unworthy? ashamed to actually walk in a calling on your your life? I recognize this isn’t a thing everyone deals with, but it is something I have to submit to Him regularly. If every good and perfect gift is from Him, why in the world do I feel guilt? Thats something Satan uses, its a tool. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That includes our joy in Him. And the fruit that can come from it.
If you’re reading this, you’re blessed. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11) Keep in mind too, the answer isn’t always ‘yes’ for what we ask for. Just look for what he’s already covered you with. He knows us so intimately. He knows what we need, he knows what we want, he knows what we can handle. Walk in that!