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Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

Is sorry the hardest or easiest word?

I don’t know about you but my kids either are too willing to say sorry or they are unable to apologise, our youngest has to be put on a time out area and even then may not be willing to say “sorry”!

At times i get annoyed at people who apologise for something, i wanna reply “if you were sorry you wouldn’t ask!” or “if you were really sorry you wouldn’t keep doing it!” but that would be unkind, which is why I have yet to actually voice those thoughts!

There are two passages that come to mind when thinking about this:-

Firstly,

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

If we blurt “i’m sorry” too much it becomes meaningless and like the boy who cried wolf, people will stop believing you!

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Probably one of the hardest challenges Jesus set us, “forgive your brother and don’t stop!” (forgiving 490  times is hard enough!) This is not to say, you should allow yourself to be abused or remain in situations which will cause you harm! But as many Christ-following parents of youths that have been murdered or attacked, we may come to a point of realising that our own sin has offended God and his amazing grace has set us free, (easier said than done) but like the parable of  ungrateful servant (which follows Jesus telling us how many times to forgive) we have been forgiven so much, so why wouldn’t we want to be forgiving too?!

The part of the “Lord’s prayer” where it says

Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

That is to be read as “you forgave me and are dealing with my mistakes, so likewise we are going to forgive others at the same time as you are dealing with my sin

Sorry often seems too cheap, but if you have ever had someone “do you wrong” or have “done wrong” to another person you will be well aware that forgiveness and “moving on” after the offence or act has been committed is not easy or a quick process!

We are called to repent, the greek word is metanoia, which is roughly translated as “after-thought”.  We need to think about our actions and if they have affected others, feel remorse and be determined not to make the same error again!

He brought me to his banqueting table

He brought me to his banqueting table

He brought me to his banqueting table

And His banner over me is love

I am my beloved’s and He is mine
Yes, I am my beloved’s and He is mine

And His banner over me is love
Yes, His banner over me is love

And we can feel the love of God in this place
We believe your goodness we receive Your grace
We delight ourselves at Your table, oh God
You do all things well, just look at our lives

I have sentimental feelings about this song because it was the first song I ever played drums to whilst in a church band, I was about 10 or so, however it is one of those songs that I love but have never really taken on board what I am singing!

The one line that I always did understand was the last one but I always felt weird singing ” You do all things well, just look at our lives”. This is because God created me and everything around me is amazing, I try to appreciate it when I remember to but I know for a fact that sometimes I look at myself and see a mess & a failure!

It reminds me of when we have an issue with a computer or a car etc, and we meet someone who can help, we say to them “O, you might be able to help me, my …… is playing up, could you look at it?” What we really mean is can you fix the problem.  When we sing that song, what do we mean, do we

  • Want God to “look at our lives” and fix them?
  • Want God to look at our lives- because we think we are perfect?
  • Want God to look at our lives and be “well pleased” as we are his children, sons and heirs.
  • Not want God to look at our lives, because we feel we have “really messed up this time!”

If you are anything like  me, you might go through a gamut of emotions, and feel similar to those at different times in your life, I don’t think I am perfect (and have been told that I am not), I know my failings and am still discovering what I am and am not capable of doing.  I always surprise myself with the amount of things I can do, and I need to remember that “I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me“.

I love the imagery of a Banqueting table, well I am a male and I love food, so not a surprise! But imagine it, every believer who has made the commitment to follow christ and has “died to their old self” through Baptism will be sitting round an enormous table enjoying each others “fellowship”, I am not keen on buffets so hopefully for my sons sake there will be a train carrying the food all the way round to each person!

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