That was harsh

man yelling

Have you ever known anyone that used the phrase, “Just kidding” to misdirect a harsh statement they made about you or someone within earshot? “How do you reach the monkey bars when you’re so short? Just kidding.”

To me, this taunting is more insulting than if they just spoke what they thought. An English friend once said to me, “My friend said that you don’t have the brain of a gnat. But I defended you and said you did!” Now that’s harsh, but he was kidding, or was he?

Thankfully, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not a harsh taskmaster. I know this because the Spirit of God inspired the Psalmist to write, “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. (Psalms 103:10) “

How wonderful it is that our Heavenly Father does not seek, to the nth degree, everything He can find to punish us. Instead, He loves us and shows us how to walk in the path of righteousness, desiring a change in us in place of punishment. He does not harshly treat His own.

Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

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Fulfill All Righteousness

man helping young soccer player tie his shoe

But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he [John the Baptist] consented. – Matthew 3:15

This passage of Scripture occurred when Jesus came to John the Baptist for baptism. John was perplexed. He said, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? (Matthew 3:14)” Nevertheless, Jesus would not allow any aspect of righteousness to be assumed or bypassed even though He was the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Since Jesus lived that level of awareness and commitment for the sake of fulfilling righteousness, how carefully then should we live that way as imitators of Jesus; we should from what Jesus said, as recorded in Luke 6:40, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Therefore, search your life to discover the righteous things; do you neglect any? Perhaps there are none, but if you find one, no matter how apparently insignificant, I advise you to fix it so you will be suitably attired when you come before the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13). Plus, you’ll be a better person for doing this.


By the way, today is the first day of Lent.

Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano on Unsplash

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