Yesterday the Lord taught me an important lesson. I told you yesterday that I asked the Lord to see “if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:24). I have been too easily offended by others, and although I thought that I had forgiven, it was brought up that there are some that I have not. To be offended, stems from pride–to think that I deserved to be treated better.
The Lord created us from dust, He breathed His very breath into us to give us life, His Son bore our sins on the cross so that instead of the wrath we deserved, we have been given everlasting life by faith. He is a merciful God, who gives us grace upon grace. So this pride I’ve clung to has no basis in truth. Therefore, the unforgiveness I’ve kept hidden in my heart is sin. I was reminded, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Eph 4:32)
I was also reminded about my temper, which again stems from pride. On my drive to work yesterday, I was praying about the unforgiveness in my heart and my temper. I was asking the Lord for help, knowing that He will give me opportunities to choose to be loving and compassionate or to choose being offended and angry: “for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.” (Prov 3:26)
On a normal day, when I drive (especially in traffic) I am easily irritated. Yesterday, I prayed the whole drive to work. About 3/4 of my way there, I realized that I hadn’t noticed that others were driving slow in the fast lane (one of the things that irritates me most on my drive). In prayer, my focus was on the Lord, praying to Him, thanking Him and praising Him.
Is it really that simple, Lord? Is keeping my focus on You (instead of myself and my perception of what others are or are not doing) is that how I stay humbled instead of proud? “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8) If I stay humble, will that keep my temper in check and keep me from being offended and angry?
Pride, being offended, holding on to unforgiveness, and anger are footholds where I give the enemy an opportunity to snare me with his deception. “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15) Yes, it does seem to be that simple, to keep my focus on the Lord, but I need His help. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)