Nobody gets too far like that. Or something like that. I think the song actually states “one step forward and two steps back”, but I feel like I take more than two back sometimes. In my walk with Christ. Just when I think I’m doing well and moving forward and congratulating myself on how well I’m doing, God humbles me yet again.
Last weekend my husband and I went to a Christian concert, Chris Tomlin and Rend Collective were playing nearby so we made plans last summer to attend and bought great tickets. Down on the floor and up close to the stage. But not so close to the stage that I thought we would be caught amongst the standers. You know who I mean. The people who are so into the music, they can’t help but stand and dance a little to the music. Which is great if you can do it, but I can’t stand very long. Especially not last weekend. My back was acting up a little and I needed to sit. So we found ourselves sitting in these great seats, except the woman in front of me wanted to stand. So my husband offered to trade seats with them, explaining that I can’t stand very long and we couldn’t see behind them. The woman became upset at the request and would not switch. Nor would she sit. So I’m sitting there contemplating on how a supposedly Christian woman, at a Christian concert who is waving her hands in the air like she’s praising God, can be so un-Christian in her actions. I also was trying not to be resentful or bitter towards her. We did have the opportunity to move to seats 2 rows ahead of her as no one was sitting there, and were in even better seats That helped my attitude. I also spent time in prayer during the concert for her and other people who were there and I was able to walk away with love in my heart for her. This was big for me.
I was raised not to let anyone best me and to fight for my rights. Turning the other cheek really doesn’t come easy for me. But I want it to. I want a loving response to be second nature for me.
Since then I have been thinking how glad I was that God allowed me to use this as an opportunity to grow in grace and love. To be able to extend His grace to another person. I told myself that maybe this wasn’t her best moment. That like me, maybe she reacted badly in the moment and when she had time to think about it later, regretted her actions.
I have been working on the inside of me and trying to make sure that when I get bumped, what spills out is something that honors Christ. So yes, the experience at the concert was a step ahead for me.
Fast forward to this morning when I found myself saying not so nice things to other drivers. In my car. Not to their face. This is one area where I really struggle. I am not a patient driver and I have found myself singing along to the Christian radio station one minute praising God, and then in the next instant cursing the driver who cuts me off, with the same mouth. “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” James 3:10.
I’m instantly remorseful and realize, how far I have to go yet.
Dear Father, help me to keep my focus on you. Help me to turn the other cheek, to offer my coat if they ask for my shirt, to walk a second mile with them, to heap blessings on their heads and not coals. Help me to remember that I need just as much if not more grace than anyone else. Help me to forgive as I want forgiveness. Keep me humble and reminded that I am a sinner that has been redeemed by You, and by your Son’s death on the cross, and that not of myself or anything I have done or will do.
In your Son’s precious name I do pray.