Want to be miserable? Then spend your life keeping score. Go ahead and pay close attention to how much you do for people and how much they do in return. Make sure it is always even. Or, better yet, keep track of how often somebody does something to offend you. It is a guaranteed formula for misery. It is diabolical in its effectiveness. The crazy thing is, a lot of people live this way. They hold on to hurts and carry grudges for years. Their minds carry a ledger of how much they gave “that person”, and how little appreciation was showed for it. In this, saddly, Christian’s are just as good at being miserable as pagans.
Want to be happy, free from all that? Good news, Jesus has a plan for that. Luke 6:27-38 shares some of it. What does it say? Stop.
Stop judging. Stop keeping score. Stop carrying grudges. Let it all go. Love people who don’t love you back. Give generously, and try to forget it as soon as you do. Treat other people as you want to be treated. Treat them the way God has treated you. That is what it all boils down too.
When were his enemies, God still died for us. When we wander, he still calls out to us. Psalm 103 reminds us,
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
God loves us and lavishes his life upon us, and we don’t earn that. Our sins, which are basically just our rejections of him, he does not hold against us. Even when we wander, his love never stops coming for us. His gifts never stop being offered to us.
It is easier said than done. In fact, to live this way is impossible apart from God’s grace. You see, God doesn’t ask us to do it alone. In His Holy Spirit, he has come to us to accomplish it. So, this week ask the Lord to open your eyes and your heart to the grudges, to the greed, to the lack of charity, to whatever misery the devil has tricked you into clinging onto, and this week, invite the Lord to take mastery over it.
Give it up to him so that you might be free.