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Present and Transform - Application #8
Providing Honest Things before all
I almost made the mistake of viewing these two sentences as separate as if one could be done without the other.
How can you provide that which is honest in the sight of all men and yet recompense any certain person for the evil that they've done to you? You can't. That's the point.
Interestingly, it is the word "honest" that sets the provision apart not that it was good or what was expected. There is much that we may be able to provide, but, it is the honest thing we must finally present.
There is "what is expected". For the most part that is exactly what we allow ourselves to do. Someone steps all over us, we are expected to cut that person off and go about the rest as if nothing happened.
What about "what is expected" is any different from what is honest?
Honesty can set a crushing blow to the pride and anger and retribution or passive avoidance one might otherwise feel needed.
God's mercy suggests that something is given that is not deserved. Truth says that this is the outcome, mercy says otherwise. In God, mercy and truth are rightly joined together for us.
On His part He has taken the sacrificial steps required to meet the righteous demands of His truth thereby allowing His mercy to show forth. Truth is not compromised then, it is atoned for.
If He can be this for us, we should at least attempt to be this for Him in our relation to others. That means sacrifice.
Providing before all - Living Sacrifice
It is not just the man that you'd otherwise feel deserving recompense, it is for those around you that are watching to see how a true living sacrifice reacts.
In light of the previous discussions, I feel it important for us to remind ourselves that practical faith doesn't get any easier once we start practicing it.
You may not have enemies right now. You might be tempted to brush by this passage until that point of time when you really need it. The point however is that we are going to need it especially as things begin to heat up around us. The individuals adept at this application will be the leaders later that will make us adept as a group in the coming time of testing.