Christian Life

The Imperfect Stitches

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See that pretty embroidered kitchen towel hanging on my oven door?  It was hand stitched by a friend.  When it was given, she let me know that it was full of mistakes – little “imperfect stitches.”  Really?  I look at it and I see the big picture – a sweet little girl, adorned with a bonnet and apron, delivering a cherry pie on Baking Day!   I also see the heart of the stitcher, if you will.  She spent her time and effort making that for me!  I love it and I dare anyone to wipe their dirty hands on it – I have store bought towels for that purpose!  This is my treasure, set aside for my enjoyment – imperfections and all.

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“I’m afraid I’m not good enough.”

“I’m afraid I haven’t done enough.”

“I’m afraid God doesn’t accept me as I am.”

Those are all quotes I’ve recently heard women say concerning their relationship with God.  They’re basing those statements on what is or isn’t happening in their life.  Something they’ve prayed about hasn’t been answered, some desire they’ve asked God for hasn’t been given, and so they turn their focus from looking heavenward in prayer to looking inward at themselves.  They start searching for all the imperfections, and oh, there are many in all of us – it’s called an old sin nature, and we deal with it every single day.

But wait a minute, that’s what Jesus came to take care of on the cross!  That sin has been paid for!  It’s covered by the blood!  Because I’ve received Christ as my Savior, when God looks at me, He sees me as having never sinned, based on the finished work at Calvary.  He sees “the big picture” which is my justification through Christ.  I don’t have to worry that He’ll see my mess ups and times when I sin (and there are plenty), because He sees me through His perfect Son.

My friend might have wanted to point out and fix the imperfections in the towel she made for me, but it did’t matter to me.  We might try to “fix” up so we’re good enough to please God, but you can’t get any better than Jesus!  He “fixed it” all for eternity.

Friend, if you’re worried that though you’ve received Christ, you might not be “good enough,” look at the cross and remind yourself of your standing before God.  God sees you through His Son – forgiven.  You are God’s special treasure set aside (sanctified) for His use. Now live confidently for Him, pray believing and stop pointing at the “imperfect stitches!”

In Christ,

Christian Life

Pass Over’s in Relationships

It was one phrase from a verse in Proverbs and it kept running though my head like the ticker tape on the stock market.  I had read it earlier in the morning and it had traveled my day with me.  It read:

It was the last part of the verse that was playing rewind in my thoughts.  My interpretation of it is this:

I am honored when I don’t punish an offense, or when I forgive a wrong done to me.

But more importantly, I bring honor to my Savior when I let a wrong done to me just pass over.  In simple terms:

  • Let it go
  • Don’t punish it
  • Don’t mention it
  • Don’t point it out
  • Don’t rehearse it
  • Don’t try to get even
  • Let it pass over

That’s not always easy, is it?  I know I have a tendency to want the wrong doer to know that they’ve hurt me, or that they are the one with a problem.  It’s hard to open my hands and let that offense go like a freed butterfly, but if I’m to be like Christ, I will.  I must.

To whom are you harboring unforgiveness? Let it pass over – over your heart, over your thoughts, over your desire to get even.  Let it pass over and be like your Savior.  You will be honored, and so will He.

Lovingly,

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The Wasted Time of Unforgiveness

It was just a little lovers quarrel between two neighbors, David and Rachel.  Then every week after that for forty-two years, he wrote her a love letter, asking her to forgive him, and every week she promptly burned the letter. Her heart was stoic and unforgiving.  Finally, he summoned the courage to knock on her door and ask her to marry him.  She said yes!  They were seventy-four years old when they finally married!

Sad story, isn’t it? To have wasted forty-two years that they might have shared loving one another instead of holding a grudge. As I read that story recently I thought about how easy it is to think you’re so right that you will not forgive.  Satan feeds us lies:

  • You could not possibly give in because by doing so, he wouldn’t learn the lesson he needs to learn.
  • Forgiving would rob you of the joy of hurting him like he hurt you.
  • Forgiving would make you a doormat.

Yes forty-two years is a long time, but do we have a right to hold a grudge for forty-two days?  How about forty-two minutes? No, forty-two seconds might be more like it.

We might all admit it’s wrong to stay angry and unforgiving, but HOW do you forgive?  How do you let go of your right to stay angry?  How do you let go when you’re sure you’re right and he’s wrong?  The biblical answer is to see yourself standing before the cross.  Are you behind your husband because you don’t need God’s forgiveness as much?  No, we must see ourselves standing side by side before a bleeding, dying Savior who forgave us though He had done NOTHING wrong.  We forgive because we are forgiven.

We forgive in God’s strength alone.  We cannot muster up enough gumption to do this in our flesh.  Our flesh believes the devil’s lies and “burns the letter.”  But when we come to the Lord, we ask Him to give us the grace to forgive.

We forgive because it makes us like our Savior. We let go of our right, as Christ did and we bear His likeness so that a watching world may see His life in us.

Recently my husband said to me something that touched my heart.  “Whenever we’re angry with one another, let’s just embrace.”  You know what happens when you do that?  The anger melts away.  Humility and vulnerability are involved and the tensions are released.

What issue stands between you and your husband?  No matter how big or small (and most times it’s the little things that get blown out of proportion that cause the most grief), there is nothing that is worth wasting forty-two minutes, hours, days or years over. Humble yourself and make it right.

Do it today.  Time for your love is passing and you’ll never get it back.

Lovingly,

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