Transforming Grace

Ligonier

The Word of God calls us to have self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). When we get angry at every circumstance, we are not controlling our emotions. To love others means we work hard to avoid getting angry over petty things. It also means we learn not to get upset at situations over which we have little control. It is so easy to get discouraged in life and consequently take out our frustrations on other people. We should be concerned to understand our own idiosyncrasies and frustrations so we can rightly assess our situation, maintaining self-control and responding appropriately to the different circumstances we face. Love does not explode in anger every time something goes awry… read more

The hardest people to be courteous to are the people who know us the best. How often are we rude and irritable with our spouses and children even as we exercise a great deal of self-control with those who are only barely acquaintances? How have you treated your family and close friends today? Have you blown up in anger or been rude to them? If so, go and apologize to them and endeavor to love them selflessly at all times.

Jerry Bridges

I believe the greatest demonstration of our love to one another is the readiness to forgive each other on the basis of God’s forgiveness of us. Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant (Matt. 18:21–35) is very instructive on this subject. The first servant owed his master 10,000 talents — the equivalent of 200,000 years of wages for an ordinary laborer — a sum impossible to repay. The second servant owed the first servant 100 denarii — the equivalent of about one-third of a year’s wages. In itself it was not an insignificant sum. Not many of us would want to write off a debt equal to one-third of a year’s wages, but compared to 200,000 years, one-third of a year is insignificant.

The point of the parable is that each of us is the first servant. Our debt to God, because of our own sin, is a staggering one — an amount impossible to repay. By contrast, another person’s debt of sin to me, though maybe significant in itself, is nothing compared to my debt to God. Therefore, when someone sins against me, either actually or merely as perceived by me, I try to respond, “But Father, I am the servant who owes 10,000 talents.” That helps me put the other person’s sin in proper perspective, and it enables me to forgive freely even as God has forgiven me. read more

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About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

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