30 Days of Gratitude: Day 3

Today, I am grateful for challenging lessons.

This year, I started attending Bible Study Fellowship – an in-depth Bible study program designed to help people gain a deeper understanding of God. It’s an international organisation with which my Mum has been involved for many years. And after years of persuasion, she finally convinced me to join. I starting going along on Monday nights, and began to really enjoy the fellowship with my small group. 

Last night’s lesson was on forgiveness, from Matthew 18. It was intense, not because the speaker was amazing or theatrical or had a heart-wrenching testimony, but because the message – the word of God, was so powerful.

I found comfort in The Parable of the Lost Sheep:

If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 8:12-14, NIV)

Despite trusting my own judgement and wandering astray, God will run to find me. It is comforting to know that I have a God who comes looking for me when I am lost or turn away from Him. I have a God who cares for the individual, who loves me even though I am seemingly insignificant in the great scheme of things. My Father, the Good Shepherd, values each individual highly, and so should I.

Another thing that challenged me was the lesson Jesus taught about forgiveness in Matthew 18:21-35. There is no limit to the number of times I should forgive someone. Forgiveness is not something we give based on someone’s merit. It is an act of grace. If God can forgive me time and time again without hesitation, why can’t I do the same for others? Also, forgiveness should be from the heart and not superficial. That’s a given.

It made me reflect on the times when I had the opportunity to forgive someone, but instead chose to hold a grudge. It’s much easier to stay angry than to forgive, isn’t it? But wouldn’t my relationships with those around me be better if I was more ready to forgive?

I’m grateful for this BSF lesson as it has caused me to evaluate how I deal with conflict and my response when someone has hurt me. It’s a very appropriate lesson considering what I’ve been through in the past couple of months.

Today, I am grateful for challenging lessons.

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