Should I be like Judas or Jesus??

I actually said this out loud when I was at my pastor’s house, playing the white elephant game. What started out as a game of fun turned into playful betrayal and unintentional intention. I had one of the last numbers. So I had my chance of taking anyone’s gift. Choices, choices. I have always had a love for flavored coffee and creamers. I stood up in the room with everyone watching and I said out loud…”Hmm. Should I be Judas or Jesus??’ People shouted, “Judas! Steal something!” which was I thought was hilarious and surprising at the same time. So I walked over to my pastor and I said “Where is that coffee?” People knew what I was hinting at. An ounce of me felt bad. But I was happy with that gift.

Later on that week, God was showing me something. About Judas and Jesus. These are obvious facts. Judas was known for betrayal. Jesus was the person betrayed. Hang in here. I’m headed somewhere with this.

God was reminding me of this. Because I felt like I had a Judas in my circle at work. And I felt in a way as Jesus did when Judas did what he had done.

Judas was in need of grace because of what He did. Jesus was in need of grace to get through what He had to do for us.

No matter what position you are in…the subject of betrayal or happen to be the betrayer, the hands of grace meet you in the middle. Judas took his life because He probably felt that was the best way to punish Himself. He could not accept grace. He did not feel worthy of Jesus love. Guilt and condemnation got the best of Him. I have been betrayed by people. But I wouldn’t wish on them death. After the anger and bitter thoughts dissipate, I would wish them life and what it has to offer.

Here’s an example. I had to give up my best friend this year. I did it because I felt we were holding each other back from what God needed to do in our lives. And I did it because He told me to. We needed growth and we needed teaching. It did not end well. And I’ll admit I held a grudge for some time because of things that were said. I felt betrayed and I’m sure she did too. Along with our circle of friends. Anyways, I looked her up on Facebook just out of curiosity. She and her husband have been in a battle with adopting a brother and sister out of Ukraine for almost 2 years. They are still waiting to bring them home.  I know it has drained them financially and physically. Mentally, emotionally. I wish grace be with her this time. If I was still bitter I might have said, “Well she doesn’t deserve to be blessed because of what she said to me.” But that is not of God. That is the whiny, selfish child we call the flesh. If I saw her now, I would wish her grace to hang on during this time.

Now I am finding myself dealing with a coworker who acts hateful and spiteful toward me.. I find that Jesus in me takes over. When she insults me, I say nothing back. Then I get upset and I think I should have said this! But it’s not really me to insult and be cruel. I try to be sensitive to people’s feelings. Jesus was the same way. He also said nothing. When they accused Him of being the Savior, the Christ, God’s son..He said nothing in His defense. I guess that’s how we should be. Even if the face of a verbal attack, we also should say nothing. I say it would be so easy to hurt someone back. But the truth of the matter is, it isn’t. It is not easy to fun to hurt or betray anyone. Even if they did it to you. Even if you feel it is well deserved.

The moral of this lesson that I am also learning is best the way Jesus put it.

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Jesus forgave Judas even though he betrayed him. He forgave him because he knew it had to happen. The inevitable death that saved us all. When someone hurts you, you can either hurt them back. But truthfully, it will end up hurting you. It is damaging to your growth and if you let bitterness take over your heart, it can be damaging to you physically. That is why God tells us to forgive. Because he wants us to be in good health. He doesn’t want our hearts to be corroded by sin and hate.

Next time someone insults you, you either have two choices. You can resort to childish behavior and stunt your personal and emotional growth. Or…you can grow up, forgive them and say nothing. It is not weak to say nothing to the face of your enemy. It takes more courage not to fight back.

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