Thursday, September 15, 2011

And That Is What Some of You Were

There is no knowing where her lies start or end.

We’ve learned to mistrust her more than trust her.

There’s eye rolling, there’s secrets.

Immature behaviors pour out of her, even when we ask her to do the simplest of tasks.

Her school work isn’t getting done and we’re getting calls from the principal about skipping class, about assignments not getting turned in, and about more and more lies.

She is constantly doing foolish things to try and get attention.

She purposely lives her life in disobedience just to see how we will react. 'Will they give up on me?' she wonders. It’s written all over her face. She’s testing us. Testing our faith. Testing our family. Testing our parenting skills. 'Well that didn’t push them away….maybe if I do this then they will quit, give up, send me back…..'
Everything inside of me screams out “I can’t love her!!! I can’t stand her immaturity and selfishness and silly mind games and fakeness!! I hate that she lies and lies and lies right to my face!!!! I can’t fathom why she doesn’t want to make the most of this opportunity! Why does she not care if she never gets out of generations and generations of hopelessness? Why won’t she work hard? Can I do this Lord? Can I really learn to love her unconditionally? What if she never changes?!?!?!?!?”

And then I hear it. A reminder. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
It’s easy to withhold my love from people when I don’t think they are deserving. But what if Jesus would have done that to me? God loved me when I was a rebel. When I didn’t love him back. When I hadn’t yet turned to him. He sent his son to die for me….not because I was good enough. Not because I deserved it. Just simply because he loved wayward, lost, sinful, unthankful, superficial me. “Don’t you remember?” he says to my heart. Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But, you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
And that is what some of you were.

And that is what some of you were.

And that is what some of you were.

I was once her. Sin is sin. Among other things I was a drunkard and among other things she is a liar. There is no difference between my sin or her sin. Without Jesus our sin stands. We are not spoken for. We cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We are not justified, rather we stand condemned. Me and her. Her and me. Jesus loved me, even when my heart was the same as hers. Even when I was stacking up sins without care.

But now I know the love of a Father. Of a heavenly Father who is relentless….a Father who leaves 99 safe sheep to go after just one who is lost. A Father who rejoices and celebrates with angels over one sinner who repents. I’ve felt the love of a Father. And He won’t let me stop in contentment by just receiving His love. “Now go and do likewise,” he says to my heart. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another (John 13:34-35).”
My nerves scream that I can’t do it. My schedule tells me I don’t have time. My mind tells me that I am not equipped to handle her and her issues. Satan sets himself up against our every move so that even one step forward is met with 3 steps back…..

But there it is again. That reminder. Janel, while you were still sinning, Christ died for you.
And so my challenge lies before me. To love unconditionally. To love through sin, through disobedience, through unrepentance, through lies….even if she never changes. This was the type of love my Savior showed me, and he asks me to do the same, for HIS GLORY is on the line. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know….


Mindy said...

I am glad you are telling this to us- our struggle seemingly of flesh against flesh, but really spirit against spirit. I will pray more for you. But please, don't hesitate to call- we can get together to pray. Loved one, you are not alone.

Jody said...

I think of the verse I have recently incorporated as my life verse. To love God with all my heart, mind and soul and my neighbor as myself. My neighbor is usually those closest to me and sometimes the hardest to love. we are commanded to love...and leave the results with our GREAT GOD. Will be praying for your family...and I mean that!

Anonymous said...

God really used this to minister to me today. I am feeling very similar feelings as I think about going to work today and knowing that I am going to be challenged as I go and work with a client who lies, manipulates, and quite honestly, is the most extreme test of my patience. This is a gentle reminder that I need to love her just as Jesus has loved me. A sinner. A liar. A woman who wrestles with obedience. Thanks for sharing these words!

Christy said...

Wow, this sounds SO FAMILIAR. Like...exactly what we went through with our foster daughter. It is SO HARD, but your perspective is right on. Will be praying for you all...keep on being the hands and feet of Jesus!

Nate and Jenna said...

I have a feeling this will be a post I come back to as we enter the world of foster care. Amazing truths about who we were without Christ and who we are with Him. Thanks for the encouragement and definitely praying for you guys.

Tamara B said...

Great insight. I love the wisdom you share. And yes, God loves her in her sin and you get to be the flesh that loves her in her sin. Keep loving my friend, keep loving!