Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mistakes With Mercy

Each year, I look forward to getting together with family and friends over the holidays.  My children look forward to seeing their cousins that they haven't seen in a year.  It's a little hectic for my family, however, because we have to travel and live out of a suitcase for a few days.  I always get excited to see my sisters and wonder why we can't move back to the place we called home for so many years. But then, after the fun and food, drama always hits.

I must be honest here.  I sometimes wonder if my family is the only one who has such dramatic holidays.  I am not trying to be mean or nasty, but I honestly would like to know.  Inevitably, someone says or does the wrong thing and then another person gets offended.  This year, I was caught in the middle of a firestorm that, unfortunately, I feel like I should have avoided.  I tried to be a Christian about things, but my flesh got in the way.  I said the wrong thing and got angry and had an outburst.  I went home feeling guilt, condemnation, and just plain bad.  If only life had a "rewind" button...

After the dust had settled, I had to repent-truly repent!-and ask for the Lord's forgiveness.  Believe me, I did not feel like I was in the wrong.  However, the more I thought about it, I realized that it didn't matter who was in the wrong or right.  It's always about taking the high road.  1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that the Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.  Was my heart right when I responded in haste?  I think not.  Actions have consequences and words hurt.  We can be right and still be wrong.

Lamentations 3:22 reads, "His compassions never end.  It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction."   I am thankful that his Spirit keeps me and reigns me in when I seem to lose control, when I let my emotions override his mercy and grace in my own life.  People make mistakes and we need to forgive.

I realize this is not a "feel good" holiday post, but I am glad that the Lord can still teach me and show me things even in the most stressful of circumstances.  If it weren't for Jesus' birth, there would be no forgiveness.  His Spirit would not be able to lead and guide.  I would not know how to forgive or have the strength to learn from my mistakes.  In a way, he gave me a gift this year.

Maybe this was a holiday post, after all...

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