But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Tit. 3:4-6 (ESV)
Heavenly Father, thank you for being so kind, gentle, and patient with us. When we consider the difference between how much we know and how well we love, we are convicted to the core and brought to our knees. You don’t love us to the degree we love others; you love us to the degree you love Jesus, which is 100%. This good news is our peace, hope, and joy.
It’s also the basis and rocket fuel for our repentance. We repent of nourishing resentments and refusing to forgive. We repent of nursing grudges and holding onto hurts longer than we should. We repent of not being as quick to heal and move on as you intend.
We acknowledge what you already know to be true. We often enjoy the role of victim a little more than we relish our calling to be peacemakers. Avoidance can be easier than hoping. But Father, we crave freedom more than need justice. The only justice we need has been fully given on at the cross, where Jesus died for our sin, and reconciled us to you. We’re done with our little self-righteous pity-parties.
Father, as we reach for the garments of grace—compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, we trust you for strength to extend to others the same loving-kindness you pour on us richly in Jesus. Free us, gentle us, and free us some more. Surprise us with how much joy you can fill us. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and loving name.