Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

Marley is not dead! Neither is Scrooge!

I had a dream last night about speaking at some kind of campus retreat with lots of college students! In the middle of the event, someone was leading a prayer, and during this prayer he said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In my dream, this very nice looking young man suddenly stands up and starts to speak, saying that the word us is not in the original text and that this other student was misquoting Scripture and that he ought to be more accurate.  My dream skips a space and the prayer and event are over, but I go and find this student and take him aside because I didn’t want to embarrass him, but then I put my hands on his shoulders (yes, that much detail to this particular dream!) and say to him, “You’ve got to learn to be generous! Don’t be stingy!”

That’s the end of my dream!

But, of course, I woke up and wondered where this came from!  It could come from Christmas shopping! It might be the result of listening to the Republican Debate last night while I worked around the house. It might have also come from end-of-the-year fundraising at LST!  Or it might have just come from me!

I did not grow up with a spirit of liberality! It wasn’t my parents’ fault; it was my own fault. So I have worked my whole life to learn to give freely. Sherrylee has helped me; my children and their wonderful spouses have helped me. Aimee, very discreetly years ago after she and Philip first married, gave me a little wallet card with the scale for tipping at restaurants. I was a little embarrassed at her thinking I was not tipping enough, but she was right! I love her for loving me enough to take that risk! And I tip now, thinking about being generous, not just what the minimum amount might be.

I hate it that the politicians have made the word liberal a bad word for many peopleLiberal at its root means free and came to also mean generous. The word liberal or a form of it appears many times in the King James Version—even describing God, but then fewer times in the NIV, and not at all in the New Living Translation.  I do suspect it is because of the political hijacking of the word. I hope they have not hijacked the spirit!

Fortunately, liberality of spirit is not just a financial thing. As in my dream, we can be generous or stingy in our spirit of judgment toward others’ faults or errors as well. For most of my life, I did not know the following passage from James 2 was even in the Bible. I read it many times, but I didn’t know it was there:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me freedom and releasing me from the chains that I dragged around by having a stingy faith, a judgmental faith.  Thank you for showing me mercy instead of judgment!

Marley is dead! At least the old man; the new man is alive, growing towards a fullness of God-reflective liberality in everything!

God bless us everyone!

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