The one who did it first

I was reading an article about the first black woman to fly a plane for the Navy.

Our history is full of logs that record who was the first to perform this or that accomplishment. So from childhood, we are taught that the good thing is to win and to arrive first.

This way of thinking puts us in a position of competition with all those around us, including our family, our brothers, and cousins.

We want to be the first and the best. So we live watching very closely to what others do. We spend lots of time judging and measuring what they do before the reference standards that society has set for us, and before ourselves.

We are programmed to judge others. The problem is that we are not the ones to judge.

Jesus Christ confronted those who judged the woman, making them pass judgment on the first and each one realized that they did not give the degree, that they were sinners. When our standard of comparison is the holiness of God and the way of Jesus on earth, we can only be confronted with our sin and understand that only God is perfect.

Then we can only exalt him, recognize him as our God and Lord and lead a life of gratitude because he conquered on the cross what I could never achieve. He came first.

Surely I am not the first to know the message of salvation. Many already knew him before me. I am not the first to share it with others. Many have already shared it.

But I can be the first to get the message across to someone who needs to hear it. But I can be the first to show God’s love to someone who needs it.

I can serve the Lord and even if I am not the first to do a task, what we do is for eternity. I am unique, with special gifts that can be wonderful in the hands of God when we make ourselves available to Him in humility and wanting to be guided by Him.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for his sacrifice on the cross. We surrender our lives at his feet to enjoy ourselves being instruments for his glory.

He loves me even after knowing everything about me

If anything surprises me about God, it is that He knows everything, absolutely everything about me, and yet He loves me and continues by my side.

This world has taught us zero tolerance towards others since we are children if we want to survive in a society that is driven by sin and walks towards selfishness.

Even with the people we love, we often put conditions, we want them to act in a certain way, to treat us in a certain way, and if they do not meet our expectations, we then ration the love that we are going to give them because they have taught us that we must earn it.

Even when we deal with our brothers and sisters in the faith, we carry our conditions to negotiate them. With the “difficult to love” siblings, we use a very different meter and we feel we have the right to criticize, reject, and even get spiritual while judging that they are not up to us.

But God knows everything about us and still loves us. It has nothing to do with the fact that God disciplines, guides us along the way, and instructs us.

If something always breaks all my barriers, all my defenses, and arguments, it is knowing that God does not give up on me. His patience and mercy towards me have not been exhausted. It is not exhausted even in times of trouble and difficulty that tend to bring out the worst in us. It is not exhausted even when I have failed it. He is not exhausted when I really do not deserve anything from him and he follows me with his grace, love, and mercy.

He also knows everything about you. He hasn’t given up on you either. His love has no conditions because we could never earn it.

We must treat others as He treats us. We must see our neighbor as He sees them. It is not our function to be that accusing finger or who makes them fall. We must be the ones who help others to get up because God raises us every day because without his help we could not stand.

Instead of criticizing the one who sins different from us, we are going to bring them the hope of salvation and restoration in Christ. Let us be instruments of the Holy Spirit to bring unity and healing in these times of so much uncertainty and affliction.

Let us be humble and bear witness that all the good that is there only comes from God.

Pray to the Lord and ask for forgiveness for the times we have not seen or treated others as He expects of us. May his Holy Spirit help us not to condition our love for others and help them to rise up and follow the example and direction of the Lord.