- Matthew 6:25-7:14
- Psalm 8:1-9
This passage began with a warning not to worry about having food, money and clothes, for the Lord will provide. I have mixed feelings about this. I feel that the Lord is providing for me already – I have a good job, and this job allows me to pay my bills, buy a house, save for college and retirement. I’m thinking of the future, but using the resources God gave me to fund it.
I know people, on the other hand, who will spend every dime he or she has, often before paying the bills. Then those people will cry that “God will provide.” But isn’t He already providing them with the means to live? If I squandered all the resources I’m given to provide for myself and my family, I wouldn’t expect God to bail me out later. Now, if I had nothing, if something happened and I became broke, I would trust God to provide. But God is already providing me, isn’t he?
The second part of the reading contains the all-important verse 7:12:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Isn’t that a fabulous verse, I mean really? How can you expect forgiveness from your sins if you don’t forgive others for theirs? And these passages say exactly that!
“The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged (7:2).Now I’m awfully critical of people, and I know I need work there to avoid “judging” people. But I don’t judge people for their sins. Who am I to say what they did is right or wrong? Who are they to say the same of me? It is God’s job to judge our sins. And I do try -- truly -- to forgive those who wrong me. I know it does no good to hold a grudge. Sometimes it takes a while for me to let go, and it surely isn’t easy, but I do try my best.
My problem is I sometimes think back, and thinking about it causes angry emotions to arise. Even though I’ve long gotten over it, quit “punishing” the offending party for whatever it was, it can still cause me to be privately upset. I don’t know what to do about it. Am I truly forgiving the person then? How can I just make those emotions disappear? Do I just refuse to think about it, would that be good enough? Or must I feel peace in my heart when I think on the situation?
This psalm brings up a strong point: that we humans are but “mere mortals” (8:4), yet the Lord made us in his own image, and put us in charge of everything he created. Isn’t that an awesome, spectacular privilege? I only hope that someday I can be worthy of the honor bestowed upon me as a human who has been put on this earth by God.