It is the start of week two of the new year! I won’t say that I have made a “new year resolution,” but I do believe that I have made a recommitment to a revelation that I received a while back. This revelation that I need to be more diligent and more intentional. In what: a plethora of things. Exercising for one thing. Eating less processed foods and cooking more often than going out for another.
How I interact with people, from my thoughts to my words and actions, is a huge one. It is not uncommon for us to memorize someone’s previous season of life. We cling to it. Maybe it is the “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” mentality. Who initially said that?
A quick google search reveals that the quote is of possible Italian origin and, at minimum, is 360 years old. Wow! I just knew that was from our grandmas from the south, but okay back to the Rhema God gave me recently.
Like many, I am prone to hold someone’s past against them. Their past that was years ago, days, and even just a few moments. We memorize these moments about people. Even if we can not remember the exact thing that was done, we relive the feelings that we are left with. We do not easily let these emotions go; we don’t turn the other cheek. Why?
On some level, we have written that person off. We have declared them dead to us.
God convicted me on this a little while ago when He asked me to pray for certain people in my life. Now I did not laugh at God, at least not out loud. But I did cock my eyebrow and asked Him, “why?! It’s not like they’re ever going to change”. Well, thank God for His grace and mercy that He showed me at that moment. That same grace and mercy that changed me at the foot of the cross. The same grace and mercy that can redeem anyone who seeks it through Christ Jesus.
See, I didn’t laugh at God with my mouth, but I did in my heart. Worse than that, I called into question both His ability and authority to raise the dead back to life.
Not unlike the Pharisees in the new testament. Not unlike the crowd of professional mourners inside the house of Jairus for his daughter.
The Holy Spirit placed on my heart other image-bearers of God to intercede for. He asked me to do for them what my father and mother and grandmother have done for me so many times. To lift those individuals up in prayer. He asked me to be like Christ, to lay down my negative thoughts and feelings for them. To, like Christ, remember them and sacrifice for them. Not my life as in death, but my life as in time and energy. God asked me to be like Christ and care about someone that I perceived to have done me wrong.
Some days I am better at this intentionality than others. But all the same, God has asked me to be intentional about how I interact with others. In my thoughts, my words, and my actions. He is asking me to stop seeing them as dead and trust that He has both the power and the authority to change them just as He did for me. So, I am recommitting to being intentional and diligent in the areas that God has asked of me.
Who or what has the Lord asked you to be intentional with?
Scriptures to consider: •Luke 8:49-56 •Luke 8: 52-53 •Luke 5: 17-26 •Matthew 5:43-48