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Christianity

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

One of the things I love about God’s forgiveness is that it is not just a matter of,  “OK, I’ll let you off this time.” It’s much more than that. He forgives me, and that’s the whole matter closed, gone forever. He doesn’t keep a spreadsheet with all the dates, times and sins. He doesn’t keep any record of it at all.

God is love, and the passage above is a description is what he is like. I am made in his image and the passage should therefore be a description of what I am like.

To my shame it’s not.

Just as I was thinking about this, the phone rang. Someone wanting to make me aware of a new government scheme which would help me to buy something that they just happen to be selling. Did I show love by not being irritable, not being rude? Nope. It’s things like this that make me give up being nice.

Ooops, love doesn’t give up either.

I really have to get a grip. I really need to overcome and destroy the bad guy inside me and let love be my automatic reaction, not anger. 

Shameless

Christianity

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day.
Joshua 5:9 NLT

Sometimes I get flashbacks to things I did before I became a Christian. It happened again to me today – a thought of something I did which was wrong.

There are two ways I can look on these flashbacks: I can feel guilty or I can feel forgiven. Guilty is how the devil would like me to feel.

Forgiven is how I am, because my God tells me so. I am shameless because I have nothing to be ashamed of! My God has rolled away my shame and put it in the sea of forgetfulness. It’s gone.

Thank you, Jesus!

No forgiveness, not this time!

Christianity

I just love what Judah says! “Joseph is family, so let’s not kill him – it will only make us feel bad. Instead, let’s do the decent thing and sell him.” Some families really know how to look after each other, eh? Caring just comes naturally! The best thing is that Joseph wouldn’t have been able to phone home, or go on Facebook to tell them that he was missing them, because that would have made them feel bad too, perhaps!

I’m sure that none of us has been sold into slavery, but I’m also sure that we have all had a dirty done to us. Some of us will have suffered at the hands of brothers, sisters or parents; some at the hands of husband, wife or partner, some by friends, some by strangers. We carry the scars and the pain. Often that pain is so great that it changes us, changes our lives, changes our whole direction. We often become slaves to the consequences, perhaps just in the way we behave, the way we relate to others. Sometimes we become slaves to drugs or drink, just to hide the pain, or to hide from it.

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Making the best of the worst

Christianity

Can you remember the worst thing you have ever done? What category does it fall into – embarrassing, dodgy, illegal, evil? Is it worse than anything anyone you know has ever done? Does it scream at you, or merely give you a nudge? Was it a long time ago, or fairly recent? Maybe it was a one-off, or perhaps a serial occurrence? Does it lie in wait for you, or is it in your mind all the time?
Answers on a postcard to…..

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Obediently yours

Christianity

I don’t know how young I was when I was first disobedient. I am sure that as a baby I showed signs of the disobedience to come – perhaps it was just turning my head away to refuse to eat the food on the spoon in front of me, or perhaps I just refused to do something that I had been told to do. But was that real disobedience, or was it just the case that I didn’t understand the words? As a toddler, I almost certainly refused to do something, even though I fully understood the words. But was that real disobedience, or was it just the case that I didn’t understand the rules? By the time I was at school, I understood both the language and the rules, and I know I was disobedient on many occasions, and punishment followed accordingly.

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