John 12:25-26 (NIV)
“25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
How hard is it to truly make allowances for ones faults? How about someone else’s faults? How many people are carrying around resentments, some from today, some from a long time ago? We might not call them resentments, we might call them righteous anger, or we might be in denial that we have any. When you practice forgiveness, it takes a lot of strength because it goes against who we are, it goes against our nature. We are designed to survive, and that means we need to protect ourselves. Protecting ourselves means being wary. Being wary leads to not trusting. Not trusting leads to assuming motives. Motives lead to doubt. Doubt leads to bring wary. Or some path along those lines. Not much room to break the cycle and forgive, not much room to let go of hurt. Resentments are like drinking poison and hoping the other person does, millstones around our necks.
Hate your life as part of the path to Christ? How sick is that? Think about this: is the cycle above comfortable? Nope, it sucks. I hate it when I get caught up in that cycle. It’s not the way God wants us to live. I have to hate that life, that separation from how God calls us to live, if I’m going to live and love like Christ.
To be in God’s presence, and to long for His presence, requires that we strive to follow Him, to break the chains of our native cycle, to seek His ways, not ours.
We are heavily burdened with our life, with the cares of the world, with the poisons we drink, the weight we carry around our neck.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
“28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”