Luke 11:4a (CEV)
4 Forgive our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us
Pray … (Part 4)
Have you ever tried to “fake it” with someone who knows you really well?
Maybe you had a bad day at work and you come home but you don’t want to upset your partner so you say it was “fine”.
Maybe you are talking with your mom or mother-in-law on the phone and you do everything in your power to avoid that topic of conversation that you aren’t ready to talk about with her yet?
Maybe you have hard news coming down the pipeline, and you’re out with a bunch of friends, and you know it’s not the time or the place to say anything, but it’s hard to keep up the happy façade?
Faking it with other people is hard enough.
Faking it with our Father – that just isn’t possible!
And so Jesus gives us some pretty straightforward advice. All of the things that we’ve done – the hurt and the brokenness that we have been party to and made victim by – we’re supposed to take all of that and bring it honestly to the Father.
And this honesty isn’t just a passive mention of the things. It’s not a flung out, half-hearted apology. It’s not the “I forgive you” given under duress by one young child to the next. That doesn’t change anything. There is no transformative power to that.
No, I think the kind of honesty that Jesus is calling us to is deeper than that.
I think it’s the kind of honesty that seeks for the reason behind the action.
I think it’s the kind of honesty that acknowledges that not only did we yell at our kids or our partner, but that we did it because we are feeling worried about whether our job is stable, or because we haven’t taken enough time to rest recently, or because we are feeling ashamed.
I think it’s the kind of honesty that acknowledges that not only did our child whine for an hour straight while we did the shopping this evening, but that they did it because they were tired and hungry and overwhelmed by how busy the store was. That not only did our partner snap at us over dinner, but they snapped because they were feeling disrespected and unappreciated for their hard work.
When we take the time to see ourselves and those around us with this kind of honesty, we become motivated to change, desirous of making things better, willing to take the steps necessary to make things right, capable of coming a little closer to shalom.
When we take the time to see ourselves and those around us with this kind of honesty, we become available for God to transform the ways that we live – to bring them more in line with the way He designed us to live.
When we take the time to see ourselves and those around us with this kind of honesty over the long haul, we begin to find that our old patterns of living – those chronic places of brokenness inside of us – start to work differently.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done us wrong.Journal Questions:
- What do you do when life doesn’t go the way God intended?
- What is your “go to” when things get broken?
- What happens when that brokenness starts with you?
- What happens when it starts with someone else?
- What happens when we lie about our brokenness?
- What happens when we are honest about it?
- What happens when we dig our heels in and refuse to forgive the person whose brokenness has hurt us?
- What happens when instead we take the time to see where we are at – to see where they are at – and to lean into the Father’s love for us so that it can transform us and bring us closer to the people He made us to be?