By Jimmy Stopper

I was on my way to pick my son up from school.  I was really looking forward to seeing him and having some one-on-one conversation with him.  As he jumped in the truck, I asked him how is day went.  He gave me the normal “good.”

Each one of our children is different.  This son normally gives me one word answers so I always intentionally try to ask questions that require more than one word.  I continued to try to have a conversation with him but he was not answering.  I looked over and saw him playing on his phone.  I expressed to him my desire to catch up and talk but he continued to have his head in the phone.  I shared with him that I felt like he was choosing the phone over spending time with me, his father.  I thought that would have him think and choose to put down the phone and engage in conversation with me but it didn’t.

As I started to think about how my son was choosing the phone over me, I was deeply hurt.  These are the thoughts that ran through my mind:  “I can’t believe he just did that?  How could he so willingly choose the phone over me?”  The rest of the drive home was silent as I tried to deal with the rejection and hurt I felt.

Then later on that day, I was thinking about how much time I had spent recently with my God in His word and in prayer.  This is where it all changed for me.  I had not been spending much time with my heavenly Father.  A matter a fact, I was developing a pattern of choosing TV, browsing the internet, and so many other things over spending time with my heavenly Father.  Now God was showing me I was just like my son – but even worse.  You see I was doing the same thing to God.  God desires for me to have fellowship with Him and to talk with Him and I so often choose the things of this world over Him.

“Oh, Lord please forgive me!”   Now my heart had completely softened toward my son.  My thoughts changed from “ I can’t believe you choose the phone over me” to “I totally understand because I do the same thing to my heavenly Father.”  This humbled my heart and I thanked God for revealing this truth to me in His grace.

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:3-5)

The Lord used my son’s sin against me to show me my own sin against Him.  I had a giant log sticking out of my head while I was getting upset with my son.  The Lord has helped me to pull the log out of my eye so now I can humbly and compassionately go back to my son and help him with his speck.

Are you right now hurt and angry with someone?  Are you full of bitterness and resentment?  Are you full of self-righteousness?  Who hurt you – your spouse, your child, your parents, your in-laws, your co-worker, your neighbor?

Are you saying to yourself, “I can’t believe they _______?”  (fill in the blank)

The truth is that we have sinned many more times and more grievously against our heavenly Father and against His creation than anyone has sinned against us.  If we honestly dwell upon the grace that God has shown us despite our egregious sin again Him, any anger, hurt, bitterness and resentment will melt away.  God will replace those sinful attitudes with a heart of compassion.

Instead of the self-righteous response of:

“How could he/she”?

“I can’t believe they did that to me?”

“I would never do something like that?” 

God develops a humble-hearted response of:

“I understand why/ how because I do the very same thing.”

I pray and hope that this helps you to move towards the person that has hurt you with love and grace.  If you live this truth out, God will radically transform all of your relationships.

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