I was reading Psalms today and came across a chapter that touched my heart.
I tend to think of God as a rule-keeper. Someone who punishes evil. And I’m evil at the heart of it. Selfish and unkind. Not that I’m not working on it, but I think at the core that’s how we all are.
Psalm 103:8-14 is chock full of grace:
8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The LORD is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
He’s like a father. A good father. He doesn’t want bad things for us. He doesn’t relish the painful consequences in our lives. He isn’t as harsh as he really ought to be. He wants us to do better and be better, and he works in His power through the Holy Spirit to bring us into the fold. It encourages me.
The one who is accusing and angry is not just Satan, it’s ourselves too. We fall right into Satan’s trap of accusing and condemning ourselves. When we truly love and depend on God, we recognize his love and forgiveness. And his great gentleness with us. So, as for me, I’m going to try to be more gentle with myself too. Truthful, but gentle.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 103:8–14). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.