Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday- The Peacegiver, Part II

Part II of The Peacegiver deals with the story of Jonah and the Ninevites. It was really great to be able to see this story in a different light. Usually when I think of the story of Jonah I think of obedience instead of justice and mercy.

One of the very humbling insights from this section dealt with what we "deserve" or are "entitled" to. So often I have caught myself saying things like "I deserve happiness" or "I deserve to feel . . . " However ponder these insights "But what's false is this idea that you or I deserve that love and devotion-that we are somehow entitled to it . . . Love and salvation are gifts. How grateful we should be to receive them in any Measure! . . . Hell is all we could ever hope for, Ricky, if it weren't for the redeeming power of the Savior's atonement. It is only his love, offered not because we deserve it but even though we do not, that saves us." Wow how true and to the point is that. It is so easy to get in the self pitying mode (I have already been there today) instead of focusing of the amazing love that we have been giving.

The other insight that really hit home for me was remembering our own sins instead of focusing on what the offender has done to us. Jonah felt that even though the Ninevites had repented they still deserved punishment because of their past wickedness. He did not think of his own sins and repent of them though. How often are we Jonah and feel that the person who has offended us deserves punishment while we forget our own faults in the matter. Was our heart and mind in the right place or are we needed to seek forgiveness ourselves. So many times I know that I have focused oh what someone has done to upset me, but I don't look at my part in it and what I could do to make the situation better. I really need to focus on remembering my sins and work on correcting them instead of blaming others.