“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
How hard it is to live in this world and not be consumed by it. As Christians, we are taught to live by the teachings of Christ. How difficult it is at times. We are bombarded constantly by what society considers to be important. It is truly sad to see people you know are inherently good people fall victim to worldly desires. In many cases, all I can say is “there but for the grace of God go I”.
What makes people succumb to sins like addiction, adultery, deceit? My feeling is that we simply live in a decaying world. Eventually, as this world continues to decay, it becomes more and more difficult to stay – well – normal. Sometimes we see things other people are doing – drinking, club hopping, using drugs – coupled with unhappiness in our own lives, and before you know it we are involved in something we never thought we would be involved in. I have seen it happen more than once. In the end, my belief is you cannot fall prey to these issues if you stay connected to Jesus.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
The wages of sin is death. There is no sugar coating that. Jesus gives us the opportunity of accepting Him, and being freed from the bounds of sin, but only we can choose to stay on that course. We are asked to be in this world, but not of it. We are all sinners, and we all have fallen. But please Christian, stand strong in the Lord and stay the course.
So how do we deal with someone we know who has fallen? How do we deal with someone who has deceived us? How do we deal with someone that has wronged us?
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
It is not easy being a Christian sometimes. Jesus asks us to do things that are hard. How easy it is for us to be angry. Forgiving someone who has wronged us is probably one of the most difficult things we are asked to do as Christians. But you know what? It is the essence of being a Christian. Jesus was beaten, spat on, wore a crown of thorns, and was crucified for our sake. He did that out of love, for every one of us. And now He asks us to forgive those that have trespassed against you.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Why? Because He knows more than anyone else the affect of sin on man. Sin affects the sinner in the same way it affects the one who was sinned against. We are all sinners. Not one of us deserves the kingdom of heaven. We are granted the kingdom through the grace of God, not by any one of our actions. In that way, we are all the same. So we have a choice. We can spend the rest of our lives holding a grudge against the one who has sinned against us. Or we can forgive, just like we were forgiven through the Cross, by the grace of God.
Let’s pray today that we all have the courage and strength to live our lives as Christians beyond reproach, and that we find a way to forgive those who have fallen along the way.