I realized, the other day as I was cleaning my room, that under my bed needed some attention. So I got the vacuum cleaner out, and I pushed the beds apart (my sister and I have two twin beds pushed together). A thick layer of dirt covered the floor, along with a bunch of miscellaneous items: pens, paperclips, a random sock, etc. I began picking up the unwanted junk when I found something that made my spirit drop instantly. The DVD of a favorite childhood movie that I had just bought was lying on the ground looking up at me without its cover. I had been so excited when I found it in the store after so many years, watching it again had brought back warm memories as a girl. But when I picked it up, I knew the scratches were too severe. It was ruined.
I knew my little sister, and some friends had been on my bed watching movies recently. I had been okay with allowing them; they knew whatever they borrowed they needed to put back. But apparently, she had missed putting it back, and now it was ruined. My initial reaction was to show my little sister the reason why you should be very careful with other people's things. I was extremely disappointed, and she needed to see that so she would learn. But as I went downstairs, I prayed.
I found her in the dining room, and by then my disappointment had cooled down. I showed her, but I wasn't angry like I would have been if I hadn't taken the time to seek my Lord.
All I had to do was show her, and I could see the disappointment in those beautiful blue eyes. She had let her big sister down, and the tears began to flow as she defended herself. I told her I wasn't upset with her and explained why she should be careful with things that weren't hers. It didn't feel good. In fact, I had to force myself not to be upset with her. Then I went back upstairs. It didn't take long before the Lord told me to go back down. Your sister is more important than a movie. Make sure she knows that. So I went back. I hugged her and told her the reason I wasn't upset with her was because I loved her more than a movie. Her little eyes told me she needed to hear that.
Once again, I returned to my work. This time I found a CD without a case. It was scratched, not nearly as badly, but the CD was my other sister's. It was the CD that I had borrowed a while back and forgotten to return. Despite my best effort to live my beliefs and be a good role model for my little sister, I had slipped up. I had forgotten to return something I'd borrowed. I tried to imagine how I would have felt if I had gone down, been harsh with my little sister for her mistake, only to come up and find that I had done the same thing; I just didn't know it yet. Aren't you glad you came to Me, and I gave you mercy to give your little sister? Instead of the justice you went to give?
As I picked up the phone to call my other sister and ask her for forgiveness, I was reminded of the parable of the debtor who didn't give the mercy he had been given. Right then and there, I knew there are so many times, I've tried to do the right thing according to the wrong done, but I forget what I've already been forgiven. If I had condemned the wrong my little sister had done, how much more should God condemn me for not being gracious as He is to me. Actually, God wouldn't have had to condemn me. My actions would have condemned me.
It was a good trade, giving and receiving mercy rather than what was deserved.