The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.Psalms 103:8 (NLT)
Can I let you in on something? Pastors are just people too. I know! It’s earth shattering, right?! I mean, pastors are just like God, perfect in every way – or so some think. And, as such, we often times do things, or say things, which we come to regret. Maybe you can relate.
I’ve been conditioned over the course of my life, both through career training (I wasn’t always a pastor) and personality type to have a fairly slow fuse when it comes to getting mad. But, occasionally, that fuse seems to be shorter, and I pop off at something quickly. Such was the case a few weeks ago when I popped off at a good friend for something they said that got my fuse lit. (Now, to be fair, the saying “got my fuse lit,” is inaccurate, as we ourselves light our own fuse. It’s our choice. But, I digress.) I yelled at him, and he yelled back. It wasn’t a pleasant moment for either of us. In fact, it was embarrassing.
I praise God that he doesn’t have a fuse. In fact, He is the most patient, compassionate being in the universe. As our verse today states, “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” In other words, though we do plenty, and I mean plenty, of stuff that should get God angry, He doesn’t pop off. He doesn’t yell at us. He doesn’t smite us (King James English 😊). Instead, God does something which humanity is pretty horrible at: He exhibits patience. Moments pass. Dumb stuff happens. Yet, God’s love remains the same. It’s incredible! It’s unfathomable! It’s never-ending! It’s unfailing!
Let this sink in: God isn’t mad at you. He loves you. God doesn’t hold grudges for the dumb stuff you’ve done. He forgives you. God isn’t embarrassed by you. He calls you his child. God’s love for you is everlasting and eternal.
Unfortunately, us humans can’t quite do what He does. And, we can’t undo what’s already been done. But, we can do what He calls us to do – forgive.
Following our little firecracker moment, my friend and I embraced and apologized. We both realized that the moment wasn’t Christlike. We also realized we still loved each other. We forgave each other. Though our love for each other isn’t perfect, it is still genuine.