About six weeks ago, I lost my favorite jacket. It was a Lululemon jacket- the kind that is super sporty and athletic looking. It was also the kind that cost way too much money and was from a brand I only had two items from.
Originally as previously stated, I thought I LOST the jacket, but as the weeks passed, and no jacket was found, I recalled putting the jacket on a seat in the clinic. And I begin to realize that someone probably took the jacket. And I began to accept the fact that my favorite jacket was gone. I told my mom, told my friends, the sad news..
Until two days ago, I went to the clinic unexpectedly to visit and I saw one of my clinical friends wearing the jacket.
This made me so mad! I felt deceived, tricked, and used.
How could a friend steal my favorite jacket?
It reminded me of a few other times people in the clinic had tricked me, times when I felt walked over, and not respected and to be honest it left me with a pretty bitter taste in my mouth.
And then today I was reading in my Bible when I read through Luke 6 specifically verse 29 where it says "If someone grabs your shirt, giftware your best coat and make a present out of it." Really God? My coat too?- You gotta be kidding me.
God wants us to be willing to be so covered in his grace- that we can freely forgive and give- the way He treats us. And sometimes this means letting go of the little offenses people do to us and the feelings of self-protection, anger or bitterness, we might hold onto.
Thinking about this story more, I don't believe we have to be push-overs. I don't believe we have to let people take advantage of us or that Jesus wants that. But I do believe we have to forgive others time and time again, we have to see the best in others. And if we are holding grudges, if we have angered thoughts toward our brothers and sisters-- we have an issue that we need to talk to God about.
You know it's far too easy to get caught up with materials, temporary things, or feelings and lose sight of heaven and the idea of "Are we bringing people with us?" Are we inviting people in? If we are easily angered or burnt out on others, then our faces will begin to show it. And I don't know that people will see Jesus' love in us and through us so clearly if we haven't forgiven them.
Luke 6:30 says When someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.
You know it's so easy for me to make my mission experience and my time with God about ME. And to get caught up in protecting myself and seeking my own needs, but yet God reminds me over and over again to look up to Him. To forget about my jacket, to forget about the food that I want, or the jeans that have holes in them,