However, I've found that my own records of my past behaviors are not so accurate as ones that would be kept by an impartial observer. I tend to excuse the the hurts I've dealt, and to magnify the ones I've endured. In this way, I've built quite a portfolio of "wrongs received," and I've bemoaned my injuries at length through prayer. Sensing God's great love and compassion, I have too often concluded that He is in full agreement with me that I am right and those I deem responsible for the hurts I've suffered are wrong. The inaccuracy of such a view lies in the fact that because God has forgiven me my many wrongdoings, He expects me to forgive others. To enjoy His grace to me but to fail to treat others with the same compassion places me in the path of His judgment. God takes a dim view of those who enjoy unmerited favor but then do not extend it to others (see the parable of the unmerciful servant).
Since my book has been published I've prayed almost daily to be protected from the sin of pride, and that nothing in me would hinder the Lord's work through me. It's my heart's desire to comfort with the comfort Mom and I have received through God's grace to us on our caregiving journey. So, yesterday morning when I felt that familiar nudge in my spirit that told me the Lord wanted to correct me, I immediately feared I'd been prideful, and proceeded to repent. I knew I wasn't quite on target and prayed for the Lord to explain to me what was wrong. Here's what came to mind, written as to me from the Lord:
It’s this attitude you have of vindication. It’s as though the recognition you’ve received for writing a book has vindicated you; proven that you are of value after all. I want for you the confidence that you were always of value. Being recognized has nothing to do with the fact that you are precious and of great worth in my sight. Your status with Me has not changed simply because you wrote a book. I remember your travail. I honor your tears; I’ve collected them all in my bottle. The writing was your labor, the delivery came by My hand; and the fruits are with Me as well.
Someone who seeks vindication is going to fall to the sin of vindictiveness. Not a nice way to be. Not a Godly characteristic. Lord forgive me for and cleanse me of a vindictive spirit, in Jesus' Name I pray.
We are precious and of great worth in His sight apart from any achievement or failure; apart from any recognition or lack thereof. I suppose that such silly, sinful people such as myself will misinterpret God's grace as being God's acceptance of our sin. Not ever. Not at all. I'm a sinner saved by grace and grace alone, as are the fallen human beings who have caused me harm. As are you.
"Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done, not because of what I've done, but because of who You are..." from Casting Crowns "Who Am I," (here is the Youtube link to "Who Am I" with lyrics).
Scripture: For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants" (Psalm 135:14).