Every now and then something from a sermon really strikes me. Sunday was one of those instances. Toward the end of the sermon our lay leader placed a quote on the board by C.S. Lewis. It read:
"There is someone I love, even though I don't approve of what he does. There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most..."
We will get to the conclusion of the quote in a moment, but take a few seconds and let this quote sink in. Do you have someone in mind? Is it someone close to you? How do you live with them?
Now for the full quote with the final sentence attached:
"There is someone I love, even though I don't approve of what he does. There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is me."
Did you look introspectively at first or were you thinking of that colleague, friend, or family member that is the "bad" one? I think in a way we all have a tendency to look past ourselves when thinking of quotes like these. The whole point of all of this was how we should serve those less fortunate (homeless, lost, seeking, etc.) Do we turn our backs or walk to the other side of the street when we see someone in need or do we have a conversation and lend a hand. Think about the following verse when you ask yourself what you can do. It wasn't from the sermon, but I like it so I tucked it in:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
As you think about all of this also consider those that would read the quote above and only think of themselves. Those that live in a prison of self condemnation and pain for their past sins. Pray that they not only feel the forgiveness and grace of Jesus, but can find the true self freedom that he offers. A freedom to serve and a freedom to enjoy this life for the gift that it is.