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March 13, 2024

Dear Church of the Open Bible,

I keep a journal of my sins. I’ve got a document on my computer with dates and a short description of how I fell short in that moment. Two things stand out to me about this list. The first is how short the list is. It’s only got a dozen or so entries. Not bad, right? Wrong. It shows my preference to turn a blind eye to my own sin and reluctance to remember it. An accurate list would be hundreds of pages long. The second thing that stands out is how much even those dozen instances still grieve me. They are sad for me to even read over months later, and that’s just the dozen I chose to record!

On Sunday, we saw how Jesus’ call to love our enemies comes from an understanding that we are enemies loved by God. We are to show mercy because we’ve been shown mercy (Luke 6:35-36). We do not need to dwell on our sin, but we need to be aware of it, in order to: 1) be aware of His forgiveness and mercy through Jesus, and 2), to show that grace and mercy to others. Does your difficulty in loving others come from difficulty in understanding how much you’ve been loved by God? How might a greater awareness of your sin, encourage you to love your enemies today?

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. - Psalm 130:3-4