Lent: Day Sixteen

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him... ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’” -Luke 22:63-65

Recently I was reading a book that I had just picked up. As I read, I came across a quote that made me quite uncomfortable. Not because it was in some way false or misleading, but because it was so convicting to me personally. The quote was this: “Here is a general principle: your attitude toward God will be revealed in your worst human relationships.”

As I considered this statement, I thought of the many good relationships I have had over the years, and how I get along with a wide variety of people. “Good! I’m in the clear!” were prideful thoughts I had. Then several people came to mind that I didn’t have a great relationship with – at least in my own attitude toward them. My self-righteous pride began to quickly crumble. As I considered these relationships, I began to feel more and more uncomfortable. Were those relationships really indicators of my attitude toward God? How did my feelings toward them have anything to do with feelings toward God? Slowly, the truth of this statement became very clear to me.

When I fail to practice gracious thinking toward another person, I fail to fully appreciate the gift of grace God has freely given to me. When I refuse to selflessly serve another person, I refuse to fully recognize the selfless way Christ has served me. When I stubbornly wait for another person to move toward reconciliation, I am failing to recognize and appreciate the truth that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

As I meditated on these sobering truths, my thoughts turned to Jesus, and his attitude toward his enemies, and his actions toward them.

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him….. ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’” - Luke 22:63-65

...while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son...” -Romans 6:10

Christ loved his enemies. Despite the ways I have beaten and mocked Jesus with my own attitudes and actions, he died for me. He did the same for you. He calls us to show the same grace and love to others – even those who fall into the category of “worst human relationships.” Through these truths, God has challenged me to reflect my gratitude for his grace and love in my own challenging relationships. Is he calling you to do the same?