Yep, I think the Holy Spirit might just be speaking to me.
The above is the title of the next devotional entry in my 2015 devotional book (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith by Pastor Scotty Smith) that I read after writing and publishing yesterday’s post.
A Prayer about Nonselective Compassion
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Rom. 2:1-4 NIV)
(Note: For each day, Pastor Smith shares a Scripture of the day and then his personal prayer of the day. The following is his prayer, not mine … but perhaps it should be. BW)
Heavenly Father, it’s a new day, and this is just one more Scripture reminding me of how much I need the gospel. The call to love others as Jesus loves me keeps driving me to you for more grace and for the power of the gospel. I cannot change myself.
Meditating on this passage has convicted me about being way too selective in my love for broken people. I’m a selective lover. I’m not an equal opportunity dispenser of your compassion.
Father, it’s not difficult for me to shower the riches of your kindness, tolerance, and patience on people whose sins and struggles are like mine. But I’m self-righteous and judgmental toward people who deal with brokenness and temptations different from mine. Though understandable, it’s not excusable. Have mercy on me, for the extending of your mercy through me. I’m a mere human. No one has appointed me to be judge and jury.
Here’s my prayer today. May your great kindness lead me to repent of my sin more quickly and more deeply. Help me grieve and deal with my heterosexual lust to a greater degree than I am offended by those who struggle with homosexual temptations and entanglements. Help me to be more earnest about repenting of my “Republican” gossip than I am committed to keeping a record of “Democratic” sins. May I be more sad and repentant of my passive-aggressive anger than I am critical of other people’s loud-and-large anger. Father, these are just a few things that come to mind. I know there’s more … much more.
Lord Jesus, you willingly took the judgment I deserve on the cross – the fullness of God’s righteous wrath. And now you love me with the fullness of compassion, acceptance, and delight. The greatest non sequitur in life would be for me to show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience. Deepen my repentance and deepen my compassion for fellow broken sinners. I pray in your righteous and loving name. Amen.
(FYI: non sequitur is defined as: a reply or response that has no relevance to what preceded it.)
Amen, indeed. Thank you Scotty Smith for your transparency … thank you Holy Spirit for your teaching and conviction!