This applies to us all. Whether you came from an abusive home, have toxic relationships, or deal with people; unless you are a hermit with no contact with people, there are times where you need to be the person to break the cycle.
This is precisely what Jesus calls us to do. In a world of hate, be love.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.John 13:34
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.Phillippians 2:3-4
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[b] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Galatians 5:19-26
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
During this time, we are celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the hope and joy that filled the people. It is also the time that Jesus spent with his disciples, washing their feet and preparing for them for his death and resurrection.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.John 13:2-5
Jesus already knew that Judas was going to betray him. Jesus already knew the state of Judas’ heart and how Judas had not been what he portrayed himself to be. Jesus already knew of the betrayal to come. Yet he still washed Judas’ feet. Jesus was giving the disciples, and us, an example to follow. Break the cycle of sin and do it in love, even when it makes no sense.
To actually do the things that we read in the verses above, you have to be the person to break the cycle. You cannot wait for someone or something else to do it. Jesus is telling us that we are not to repay others for what they do to us and we should not allow our circumstances to change the transformation that the Holy Spirit is doing in us. The Holy Spirit is making you more and more like Jesus. Do not allow your circumstances change you back into what you were before.
It’s just like this meme says so eloquently. Just because someone sinned against you, you do not have to sin against others. Choosing love, choosing to obey Jesus, not only keeps you out of sin yourself, but it also releases you from being bitter.
Just like a child can break the addiction cycle in his family by choosing to stay away from the substance entirely, or just like an abused spouse can break the cycle by seeking help, you can break the cycle of sin by choosing forgiveness and love.
Once you choose to follow Jesus in this way, you will act from your heart. Since you are filled with the Holy Spirit, that is what will come out in your actions. What can be better than the Holy Spirit responding to the situation?
- Is there a relationship that is toxic? Are you adding to the toxicity?
- How easy do you find it to forgive? Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven?
- Do you have any bitterness about anything?
- Are your responses to negative encounters breaking the sin cycle, or enabling them?
- Has the Holy Spirit ever prompted you to act in a way that made no earthly sense? Did you obey? What happened?
Meme pictures derived from social media and shared under Fair Use Copyright Law