17 July 2006

Imitate Mercy

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

This morning during my quiet time I opened my Bible to Micah 7, looking for encouragement... instead I found conviction.

This past week I had been disheartened and my relationship with the Lord was suffering. I couldn't pinpoint the reason why until this morning -- I was still living in bitterness and unforgiveness.

When someone hurts me, my method of self-preservation is to remain angry with that person -- which is very, very wrong. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "'Be angry, and do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

Micah 7 tells us that the Lord does not retain His anger forever but He delights in mercy. God takes great pleasure in being faithful when we are not -- in returning kindness when we are still in sin. I admit that I find it difficult to continue in love and kindess after being hurt by someone, but I have also seen the rewards when I do -- my dad, for instance. Because I put my unforgiveness into the Lord's hands, my relationship with my dad is better than I could have ever hoped for. But I had to first realize that the problem was with me, not my dad. It doesn't matter if it's the other person's "fault" -- the fault is with you if you do not forgive and move on.

The Apostle Paul challenges us to imitate Christ in 1 Corinthians 11:1, so my challenge from the Lord for today is to imitate Micah 7:18-19.


At 17 July, 2006 05:51, Blogger Redeemed said...

Amen, Carey. A most beautiful verse.

I have come to the realization that whenever my relationship witht the Lord sours, it's ALWAYS my fault.

At 17 July, 2006 12:08, Blogger Carey said...

Yes, I came to the same realization. It's always my fault (which is probably why I have a guilt complex and always apologize for everything).

At 17 July, 2006 13:54, Blogger Barbara said...

How about three quotes from Margaret to set your thinking straight?
"The strongest of human emotions may be the desire to vindicate ourselves."
"Never seek justice for yourself - never cease to give it!"
"If God is sovereign and good, then the worst can never happen to me."
See me later for more quotes.

At 17 July, 2006 14:09, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said...

Bitterness can creep in so slowly and quietly that I don't always realize it is there. It doesn't happen too often, at least I don't notice it, but it is so dangerous. "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." We are called to be lovers and forgivers. May the Lord teach us all to delight in mercy!

At 17 July, 2006 17:49, Blogger Carey said...

Thanks, Mom and Angie!


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