Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Offer the Gospel Free of Charge

Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:16-18)

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God! (Psalms 84:2)

“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:39-40)

Lord, it is a challenge indeed, attempting to offer the Gospel in all I do and say. Please provide Your gentle correction in the times that I fall short.

“I can do what I wanna do, be who I wanna be … I don’t have to be me ‘til Monday,” the old country song by Steve Azar says. Ah! We all know that glorious sense when the weekend comes or the kids go off to camp or something else happens that allows us a few precious hours to do and be whatever we want.

Do you ever long for a “break” in your spiritual life, for a few hours or moments of not having to be a model of the Gospel to your family, friends, and coworkers, when you can just be angry or mean or gossipy, when you can just be who you wanna be?

We all have those moments, and sometimes we give in to them. It feels great for a few fleeting seconds. Then the guilt and the sadness set in. We realize that while living the Gospel message of love and redemption is difficult and nigh onto impossible to do 24/7, the alternative to trying to do this hurts the Lord, those we have wronged, and ourselves. We realize the price of not preaching the Gospel by our words and actions and thoughts is too great to bear… and we start anew. And while it can be costly to us to do this, we know in our hearts and souls that the alternative may mean the loss of our salvation.

Make amends with someone you have quarreled with—if possible, make it a situation where you are quite sure your position was correct. Listen. Preach the Gospel in your example of forgiveness.

1 comment:

kiddoctorlr said...

It is the rare instance when either party bears an unequal portion of the wrong which begs forgiveness and healing. My ego tells me differently...that I have been unjustly offended. In moments of quiet reflection, I have often come to realize that I was the man who started the ball rolling. As I sat self-righteously poised to offer forgiveness, it came clear to me that I was the one in greatest need of forgiveness.