I will try not to be overly cheesy and sentimental in my postings; however, I should let you know up front that my worldview is distinctly “mother”. Becoming a mom has opened up vast territories in my heart and has played an integral role in my development as a human being in pursuit of a God who is the ultimate Lover of my soul!
But having said all that, I’d like to share with you about cleaning my refrigerator today. You know how when you’re sort of in the mood for a little housework project it goes a little more smoothly? Well, that’s just what happened to me. My kind husband was at the grocery store with a double-text message shopping list when it occurred to me that I could perform refrigerator resuscitation by removing all the out of date items from the overloaded shelves and drawers. So… armed with a bottle of 409, a roll of Bounty, and some self determination, I did a complete makeover on the old girl and brought her back to a state of youth and beauty. It occurred to me as I worked that I was carrying out one aspect of a universally accepted seasonal service otherwise known as spring cleaning. I felt a true sense of industry knowing I was spending some quality Sunday afternoon time on a relatively short and specific task and I purposed to let myself off the hook from further pursuits under the same category.
We’re doing a sermon series at church right now on The Beatitudes. Spring cleaning prompted me to consider the process of spiritual spring cleaning that is suggested by the beatitude “blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” The passage was the parable about the man who was brought before the King for being $100,000 in debt. He threw himself upon the king’s mercy and was granted a reprieve. But later, having experienced forgiveness of his debt, that same man had his own servant (who owed him only $10) mercilessly imprisoned. When the king heard, he was disgusted with the man and ended up exacting the man’s own sentence upon him.
Our pastor passionately and circumspectly invited us to consider doing some spiritual cleaning in the area of forgiving those who have hurt us. I’m familiar with the healing that takes place when you forgive others. Back in my 20’s God prompted me to come to terms with forgiving my parents. As I grew into young adulthood I began to blame them for a variety of issues with which I struggled. The bottom line was that they were reasonably good parents who loved me and provided for me the best way that they could. The truth was that it was my own sin that was causing my struggles and I was in great need of God’s mercy working in my life. I’ve often shared with my own children that when they grow up they will need to forgive me for not being a perfect parent…that I will let them down sometimes. But there is a perfect Lover of their souls who will never let them down, and their need for Him is vital to life.
After the message, God brought to mind one of my little $10 hurts, and I conducted His business of debt removal by confessing my unwillingness to forgive a small debt and by asking for His help in forgiving others when they hurt me. I would encourage you to give some consideration as to who it is you need to forgive; and to prayerfully offer mercy to that individual. Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How can we withhold from others what is so freely given to us?
P. S. Good luck with your spring cleaning endeavors!