Read Psalm 103:8-13
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
· Do I trust the Lord's compassion for me?
· Do I really view God as a compassionate father or more as an all-powerful ruler?
· Is there a part of me that is afraid God will punish me?
As flawed human beings who struggle to forgive those who have wronged us, it's hard to imagine a God who is so deeply and thoroughly all-forgiving. We might say we've forgiven a friend who has hurt us, but more often than not, deep down, we haven't truly let it go. God, on the other hand, genuinely forgives and relinquishes his anger. He lets it all go and offers us a clean slate, a fresh start, over and over again, no matter how many times we need it. As the old adage goes, "God forgives and forgets"--He doesn't hold our sins over our heads.
God not only offers us an endless supply of mercy, compassion, and love, He expects us to strive to do the same with others. Yet how often do we judge those around us, condemning them for their sins, offering not love and grace but criticism and unkindness? It's so easy to point out the flaws of others yet be blind to our own.
Lord, help me understand the depth and breadth of Your compassion and love for me. And help me offer that kind of compassion and love to the people in my life, too. Amen