The Grudge

christ-communion

Daily Reform, Day 145

Galatians 2:18 & Isaiah 43:25

From the Reformer

By the grace of God we know that we are justified through faith in Christ alone. We do not mingle law and grace, faith and works. We keep them far apart. Let every true Christian mark the distinction between law and grace, and mark it well.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

The young parents loaded up their children and traveled to another city a few hours away to visit their grandparents. They had barely set foot in their grandparents’ home, and had just received joyous embraces and kisses, when their parents whisked them back into the car and they traveled home again. Some unthinking words had been exchanged among the adults, the mother took offense, and off she stomped, family in-tow. Worse, harboring a grudge, she would not speak to her father again for many years, despite her father’s attempts to reconcile.

Her refusal to set matters right would have meant an admission that she had overreacted and would need to ask her father’s forgiveness. It took many years, but one day she simply began to speak to her father again, for she had loved him all the while. He acted as though nothing had ever happened between them, for he dearly loved her too.

When I recall this incident, I am reminded of how great the Father’s love is for us, that while we were still sinners, he sent his Son to die for us. (Rom 5:8) How sad it would be if we thought he did not love us because of some past, misspoken word or action. Fear of the consequences of our sin is necessary because it prompts us to correct our behavior, but if prolonged will only keep us separated from the love we desire — and that he so greatly wishes to shower upon us.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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