“Yes and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right.  When you go with your adversary….make every effort along the way to settle with him….I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid every last mite”  Luke 12:57-59

“Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is God.”  Luke 18:19

I am human.  We are human, everyone of us.  Heavy Sigh.  And we are going to make mistakes.  Everyone one of us, have made, are making and will make mistakes; consciously, knowingly; make mistakes.  Those mistakes will have consequences to those around us.  Heavy Sigh.

Jesus is God.  Jesus was human.  Because Jesus was human and is God, He never made a mistake.  But only because He is God.  So a man comes up to him.  The man doesn’t approach Him as the Messiah, the true Son of God.  No, this man approaches Him as if He is another man.  A good man, a teacher, but a man all the same.  And you just have to love Jesus’ response (I know I do).  Jesus has every right to accept the man’s praise at being good; but, he does not.  Why do you call me good?  Why would you want to make a distinction between one human being and another; especially in questions of God!  Like, how do I get to heaven.  Why not make that distinction between one man and another?  Because we all err.

Jesus preached much about forgiveness, about not holding grudges or keeping score on how many times someone comes against us.  Those are true and loving lessons.  Yet here, it seems to me, He is preaching about, gulp, responsibility.   In things of this world, we will make mistakes.   The one we have wronged, our adversary, may be gracious and forgive us, Yeah!  However, our adversary may want to hold us responsible and seek restitution, oh no!  In Luke 12:57, Jesus is not talking about the person wrongly accused.  No, He is speaking of the person who has done something wrong and owes a restitution for it.  In essence, again to me, He is warning against trying to duck out of that responsibility.  He says to own up to it, to make amends before you end up in court.  For once it gets to court, it is likely to go down hill from there.

Is our world not one filled with many excuses?  When my actions are wrong and do hurt, can I not find some issue with upbringing, some physiological trait or reaction that caused me to act against what I knew was the right,or something that I was told from someone else that caused the wrong?  So in all things and all my actions I can find someway out of taking responsibility.  Has not our civil legal system come to be the incredibly huge, expensive, complicated and highly adversarial process that it has, because I refuse to take responsibility?

Believe me when I say, I hate to make mistakes.  I dread to be found at fault.  I have at times and am sure will again search for the most ridiculous excuse to absolve me from my responsibility.  And, I will be wrong in doing so. 

I do pray for the grace to truly learn how to forgive and the mercy to truly be forgiven, both from above and from here.  But I also pray for the strength of character and the honesty to own up to my responsibilities when I make a mistake.  To not hide, but to accept.  Think about the world that would have no need for magistrates to judge over us.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, I humbly and penitently declare that I make mistakes.  My imperfect will, does not match Your Perfect Intention.  Pour out Your Strength on me, Dear Father, to take the responsibility to accept and acknowledge my mistakes.  Give me the sense of Your Justice, Dear Father, to restore to those whom my actions have caused to see decrease.  Keep from the temptation, Most Merciful Father, to search for excuses and schemes by which I can relieve myself from the obligation that I owe.  Finally, Most Loving Father, pour out Your Sense of Mercy on Me, that when I am owed by the acts of other, instead of seeking retribution, that I will seek to find the heart and love to forgive.  That, through You, I can live a more perfect life, a life exemplified to us by the life of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray this prayer.  Amen

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