God’s Sacred Children

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:21-22

In the Kingdom of Heaven, high priority is placed upon relationships and community amongst the followers of the Lord. The old Law prohibited murder; any Pharisee could have told you about that, but Jesus went far beyond the merely outward manifestation of contempt for others, zeroing in directly on the private thoughts and inner motivations of people, even though they might not act upon those thoughts. Yes, the sixth Commandment prohibited murder, but in the Kingdom harboring anger against a brother or sister is equally offensive to God. Calling a person a fool or saying “Raca” (empty headed, good for nothing; a fool) is equally egregious to God, for in doing such a thing, we are demeaning one of God’s sacred children.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24

A person who is bringing a gift to the alter is a person looking for some form of reconciliation with God, depending upon the occasion. Jesus is telling the people that they must not do this when they are in need of reconciling with another person; they must reconcile with that person first, and then with God. I am often saddened when speaking with people whose relationship with God is suffering because it is being blocked by their relational problems within the community of believers. It could be unforgiveness, or it could be a guilty conscience for something the person has done; both are significant stumbling blocks to relationship with God.

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Matthew 5:25-26

Jesus uses a metaphor here to illustrate His point: Lawsuits. If we are involved in a dispute, particularly if we have a claim against us from someone, we must settle that claim to restore that relationship. The obvious parallel is our situation with God, in which we are sinners who have offended God and seek reconciliation with Him. Having received His grace, we cannot simply ignore our debts (financial and otherwise) with others in the community, for to do so is to disrespect and dishonor one of God’s sacred children; this is a very significant principle of walking with Christ. Each human being is one of God’s sacred children, so important to God that He sent His Son to die for them. To dishonor, disrespect or demean any one of these children of God is to dishonor, disrespect and demean God.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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3 Responses to God’s Sacred Children

  1. Looking Up! says:

    Sorry this is long. Please read it, I have a question at the end. God bless and thank you.

    Matthew 5:23-24…
    Two weeks ago these verses came over on one of my daily verse apps. I immediately thought, ok Lord, who are You getting my attention to go to? All day at work I pondered upon this. After work I got in the car and said, yes Lord. I felt that I needed to contact my daughter in law. I hadn’t said anything to her. Son on the military so they live nowhere near us. She has been very distant for awhile. My son is deployed. My husband is on Facebook and constantly sends me photos he snags off FACEBOOK and sends to me. Pics of her in bars with guys and some gals too . Taking selfies of herself with men and such and clearly not wearing her wedding rings, and in my opinion this is not a display of a 34 year old wife and mother of 3.
    Yes, I have been harboring some bad feelings. My son is not on Facebook and neither am I. I don’t want to see these things. Hard to think it is innocent. But my husband is good at keeping me posted. Ugh. We went through this with her about 9 years ago. The 2 if them worked through everything with counseling and time. I was very happy as that is not an easy thing. Now, here we are 2 additional sweet grand babies for a total of 3 now. My son in the middle east and she is doing this, AND blowing through the money he makes like it is water. She has just in the last year started teaching a Zumba class once a week at a gym and other that that her professional job is SHOPAHOLIC.

    So, I felt God wanted me to step out and call her and just make sure my side of the fence is cleaned up. I was just going to say hi and ask why we seemed to have distance (ps…9 years ago there was distance and as I told my husband, I am sure it is the guilty conscious because of her behavior ..just like before. )

    So, I get the verse and call her to try to mend some distance and hopefully remove some building bitterness trying to take root in my heart. I asked God to help me. (Again, not planning to say anything about even knowing what she has been doing. ) Finally after several rings she answered very cold and with a tone. I said “hi….I am sorry to bother you, I know you are busy. ..”, I was stopped right there! She unloaded on me. For 20 minutes as I drove home she poured out all sorts of garbage and in a nutshell said she is ready to find someone, a new partner to ENJOY HER LIFE with. She is 34 and wants to live her life and have fun! My sons idea of fun is going to dinner and a movie . (That is what she said ). She left out how he took her to NYC for a long weekend (for her not him) and, all the tons of stuff they do with the kids. Theme parks and pumpkin patches and her unlimited DAILY shopping sprees. (Of course she does the shopping without him). ANYWAY, all I could hear was I,I,I,ME,I,ME, I am 34 and just want to live my life! WOW.
    I know, pride before the fall. I was so proud of myself. After 20 minutes and I had an opening I simply said, I only called to make sure that I hadn’t done something to offend you. She began saying that she is not drinking and blacking out or anything, just a drink or two and having fun! (Ok, wow so why did she even say that? I didn’t mention drinking or bars or anything like!) I again stated, ….I did not call to discuss or tell you what you should or should not be doing nor to even ask you. You can do what you want to do. I only called to make sure I hadn’t done anything to muddy up my side of the fence. (In years past I had offered up my free advice, no charge. Best intentions. Explained how often the grass seems greener on the other side. Newness wears off all marriage with time. They evolve but the new excitement of the relationship does not stay like that. Romance novels sell lies to women. No marriage that I am aware of stays like that. Stuff like that. I also sent her a bible study after their first thing years ago. She constantly said she was so sorry and she didn’t deserve him. The study was on how to forgive yourself. I don’t remember the title. It was a 6 or 8 week long study. Each week you focused scripture and each day of that week you had questions in this workbook. You answered questions regarding scripture and then questions about how to apply it to your life. We did it together from across several states. We worked each week daily on questions and one day a week got on the phone and discussed the questions and shared everything we were comfortable with sharing. That was great! She really hadn’t known the Lord God and so this was great, watching her grow and both of us working through things with scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit. ) I said all that to say that maybe she kept expecting me to start lecturing her about things. Again, I kept saying, you do what you want I only want to be sure I hadn’t done anything. I did tell her my husband was afraid he did something wrong but didn’t know what he could have said. I did tell her then not to be offended by this but she had confirmed what was in my gut. That being that the distance wasn’t caused by myself or my husband but because of what’s going on with you and my son. I told her she was distant the last time all those years ago.
    So, it was her hateful tone that continued and it was like she wanted or needed to sever any bond with me. Maybe to help her feel easier about justifying herself or maybe so she wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with guilt that I might unintentionally cause her to face because I might ask things that make her think outside of herself. So, regardless that I wasn’t pointing fingers or pointing out things she was or was not doing she seemed to continue with this angry tone and coming forth with telling me things I did not need to know nor ask about. Then she pretty much ends the conversation with by the way is you speak to … (my grand daughter who’s 14th birthday is tomorrow ), I want you to know she is not sure who she is sexually, and I am telling you this so you don’t say something to her about anything.
    SO, AGAIN, what was her real reason for saying that? Who would talk to their grand child who they rarely see about all the transgender or gay agendas going on in the world? Is that what I would do? I can’t even get her to call me or respond to my texts.

    So…pride before the fall. I got off the phone heart broken and angry that the world is forcing such confusion on our most innocent. I was irritated about my daughter in laws selfish attitude who only wants to have a good time and enjoy her life while her husband puts his on the line and she seems to not even give it a second thought. Her and the kids just returned from a MONTH long vacation in California, which is the opposite coastline from her home. Yes, because of my husband and wonderful Facebook I was continually informed of everything she did and all the money she was flying through. Pride/I continued to respond correctly to her on the phone that day regardless of what she threw at me. Fall/5 days later I had stewed over everything. My son will retire in 2.5 years and I read that she will automatically get half of his pension along with who knows what else. The kids are the only thing he requires. He didn’t have a dad growing up and so he has excelled at that. He is so patient and calm and a great teacher/father. He doesn’t talk at them but gets on their level and talks to them eye to eye and in such a calm loving way. Yes, they are spoiled. He didn’t have much when he was little because I was single and no child support and no father even around so the Lord always met our needs and he was always an appreciative child when he got something special. He makes sure the kids have all their wants. So she will take everything that he worked for. He graduated high school at 17 and right into boot camp. He has given her a life of freedom. He is not a bar person. He tells her when he is home, go ahead with your friends, I don’t mind.

    So 5 days later as an angry mama bear , I started a text which was only where I copied and pasted the text I sent to my grand daughter just so she would know what I said as I still couldn’t get her to even tell me what she wants for her birthday. Then, out of nowhere, it was as though I was a writer who had been freed from writers block. I didn’t even think, it was just flowing like a river. I didn’t call her bad names but I said plenty. About 2 days after I reread it and was rather shocked. Said I didn’t know why she seemed so venomous towards me and she seemed to continue striking out at me. (Seems I called her a snake without saying it.) Once I told her she should stop being filled with selflessness because I heard a lot of I’s and Me’s, and she should be happy he likes to do family things and dinner and movies, most women would love that. I told her she should start thinking about all he has done for h er instead of how he does not want to party. Then told her she should try putting her wedding rings back on and stop partying and start acting like a mother and being a middle aged wife like she is.(yes, I said middle aged) One point I actually said “I am saying this in love,” Really? What part was that?

    So, I have told you all of this because of the verse at the beginning made me think (Lord God, that verse again? ) I have asked her if she would answer the phone so I could make an apology for what I sent her. She told me no need to. She was too hurt and she couldn’t take the apology and no need to as I told her what I think about her. Then she said it was none of my business and between the two of them. (Honestly, can’t say I would in her place either, especially because she wants out and this plays right into her plans. Makes it easier and now she is the victim. ) I told her I understood but even if she doesn’t accept it the I still needed to put it out there because regardless of why I became angry at the situation I didn’t have the right to say the things I said. I told her she was right it was not my business and I didn’t call that day to ask anything nor to have any of it dumped on me. I told her I wished she hadn’t poured it all on me, but regardless I didn’t wish anything bad on her and I was sorry for saying them.

    I have repented and keep praying for God to heal any and all anger towards her. I can’t make her accept my apology. She said she couldn’t forget what I said. (I keep thinking we choose to forgive and the forgetting may not come right away. I had forgiven her 9 years ago. I did so for my son and put forth great effort including the bible study. I am trying to simply pray for them.
    Is this guilt I feel simply part of my consequences of my actions? I have asked her and brought it to the Lord. Am I missing something else? Thanks for your time. Sorry this was so long.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Wow, I think this is probably the longest comment ever on my blog! 🙂

      Yet now that I’ve finished, I see why you did it. As to your question, I think you might go back to that study from 9 years ago… You said some things you probably shouldn’t have said, I get that. However, after that your part was to apologize, and even though she didn’t accept your call, you did so. At this, the ball is in her court; she can accept or reject your apology, and there is nothing you can do about which way she decides to go: That is entirely on her.

      Now is when you need to forgive yourself. Yes, you shouldn’t have said certain things. On the other hand, what she is doing is offensive to any right thinking person, for you don’t need your own son in the picture to be offended by a wife who cheats on a military man when he’s on deployment- that is a really low thing to do! My guess is that she knows that, and that her guilt is tremendous, so striking out at you is how she is coping with it. I really don’t think that God has given you guilt in this situation, I think you need to forgive her and forgive you, and then pray earnestly for your son and grandchildren.

      I hope that helps…

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