I have been an avid hobbyist all my life and in my younger years, I was mostly building furniture while later in life I concentrated more on electronics and some form of robotics.
When we were first married, I was in the process of building an entertainment center, which was not yet beautiful when my wife walked into my workshop. All she could see was the dust and the unfinished piece of furniture with its unvarnished pale veneer, while I saw the finished and polished entertainment center in my mind’s eyes, as beautiful as it eventually turned out to be.
This experience and the input from others opened my eyes to how we see our current life. We seem to be more intent on focusing on the “dust and the chips in the carpenter’s shop” than on looking at the finished product. We are insisting on perfection in others, while we only see their shortcomings, never realizing that we all are “works in progress”. Jesus warned us not to neglect the beam in our own eyes, while we are trying to help others with a speck in theirs (Matt. 7:3).
It is so easy to forget our own foibles and shortcomings. Maybe, this is because we are living with ourselves continually, and being constantly reminded of our own failures would drag us down and prevent us from being productive. With this in mind, we need to accept blindness toward our own faults while working on constant improvement. It is a fine line between accepting our imperfections without getting dragged down and being flippant about them. Thus, whenever the Holy Spirit reminds us of an instance where we missed the mark and may even have openly sinned, we need to take this seriously and ask the Lord to forgive us. (Unforgiven) sin kills, it kills our relationship with God but, if we repent and ask God for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins.
After the Lord forgives us, we don’t have to dwell on those sins any longer and are free to serve Him. We will no longer have a load of sin that is hindering our work and our relationship with other people and with God. Having been forgiven, we need to be as forgiving to the failures of other people as well, even if they seriously hurt us. Jesus gave us a cautionary parable about a servant who was forgiven much but refused to forgive another servant for his small debt. We need to be ready to forgive others whenever they ask us, even if they fail, and ask for forgiveness every minute of our days. This is what Jesus meant when He said that we must forgive our brother seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22).
If our brother is unrepentant and does not ask or accept our forgiveness, we still need to forgive him in our hearts Let the Holy Spirit convict him and, who knows, our loving attitude may heap coals of fire on his head (Rom. 12:20), so that he will turn around eventually, starting a wonderful relationship with a newfound brother.
And yes, all of this applies to the ladies as well.
by: Klaus Meyer, Pastor, (retired)
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