Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Magnanimity

That's a mouthful, huh? I'm still not sure if I'm able to pronounce it correctly.

Being magnanimous means: Rising above pettiness and meanness, noble in mind and spirit, generous in overlooking an offense.

(As communicated by our pastor this last Sunday).

The reference was Genesis 13 when Abram chooses magnanimity in regards to parting ways with his nephew Lot. While that is a great story, I feel like there are plenty of examples in my own life that illustrate the concept much more profoundly - or should I say, have the potential to.

Because, you see, being magnanimous is really a choice- a choice you must actively, repetitively make. More of Pastor Ben's sermon: "Faith affords us a magnanimous spirit towards others in the face of strife. Faith reminds us that as children of God there is nothing of essential value we could lose here on Earth."

Has the choice to be magnanimous in the face of strife been something you've encountered lately? Have you witnessed the destructive path the Enemy has in mind when magnanimity has not been chosen......I know I have. And, in an effort to clear-cut the "logs in my own eye" those circumstances have greatly challenged me to seek to bestow grace in circumstances in my own life.

As far as it coming full circle (and seemingly to have this point hammered home to me) this is an excerpt from my daily devotional:

The Christian life is an exchanged life. Jesus’ life for your life. When Christ takes control, your life takes on dimensions you would never have known apart from Him. When you are weak, then Christ demonstrates His strength in your life (2 Cor. 12:9–10). When you face situations that are beyond your comprehension, you have only to ask, and the infinite wisdom of God is available to you (James 1:5). When you are faced with humanly impossible situations, God does the impossible (Luke 18:27). When you encounter people whom you find difficult to love, God expresses His unconditional love through you (1 John 4:7). When you are at a loss as to what you should pray for someone, the Spirit will guide you in your prayer life (Rom. 8:16). When Christ takes up residence in the life of a believer, “all the fullness of God” is available to that person (Eph. 3:19).

So, here's to magnanimity - and my own efforts to make it my active choice in day to day life.

2 comments:

Growin' with it! said...

"When you encounter people whom you find difficult to love, God expresses His unconditional love through you" THANK the LORD for that. especially when it's someone loving ME when I'm not so nice.

great post stephanie!

JustMe said...

I was watching one of those cheesy old Jesus movies the other day, and was truly touched in the scene in the garden where Judas comes to betray Jesus, and Jesus says with the utmost MAGNANAMIMITY (or something like that): "Do what you have come to do, my friend" as he embraces Judas and accepts the kiss. What a great example to us, from a guy who knows what it's like to rise above. Wouldn't it be tempting to say, "Go ahead and betray me, you jerk, and then go to hell!"

I am also remeinded how he said from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," instead of, "Father, punish them, rain down judgement on their heads for doing this to me!" I have noticed that I am slowly becoming more able to 'rise above' in my life as I allow the Holy Spirit to make me more sensitive to the pain in others' lives that often causes them to make trouble with me. If I always look at others through eyes of compassion instead of focusing on my own feelings, I tend to be more forgiving.

Great post, Steph - sounds like it was a great sermon!