(On Galatians 4: 12-20) "Paul's forgiveness of the Galatians for their betrayal of him is so automatic that we can hardly notice it. It is only because his appeal to them (as strong as it is) is so affectionate and free from resentment that we realize the strength of Paul's forgiving spirit. Later he cautions the Galatians against a growing spirit of resentment and back-biting (Gal. 5:15). The more they lose touch with the gospel, the more resentments and grudges grow."
I'm learning a lot about my own heart by studying Paul's letter to the Galatians.
Again... I'm learning a lot about MY OWN heart. MY resentment. MY bitterness. My grudges. My anger. MY fears.
Often we read the Bible, or hear a preacher speak, or read the latest and greatest "good advice" book, and apply it to other people. "So-and-So needs to read this." Very few times do we apply the advice being given to ourselves.
Why? It usually hurts to get honest about yourself.
The Bible can lead you to the water. The question is, will you drink? Do you see God speaking to YOU, or do you just see Him speaking through you?
"...the strength of Paul's forgiving spirit."
I'm learning that my heart is wracked with bitterness. This bitterness will not allow me to forgive. Not being able to forgive keeps me bitter about other things; makes me critical of people I don't even know. Forgiveness of what? Anything and everything. Things I don't even think about, until a conversation comes up and I find myself getting defensive, critical, and angered.
Thank God for the reality of knowing my nature. Thank God for showing me that I have not yet "arrived". Thank God for accepting me as I am; an acceptance that gives me no recourse but to respond in praise of Him.