Scripture: Jeremiah 10:17-25
“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die” (Jeremiah 10:23-24, NLT).
It’s very human to want to see people get what’s coming to them. Jeremiah had been beaten, imprisoned, slandered, and left to die in a pit. Yet as the invaders approach (v.22), Jeremiah feels his people’s pain (v.19-20). He laments the poor leadership that brought the people to this tragedy (v.21). Yet Jeremiah prays for his people as though their problem was his own (v.23-24). He asks God to divert his wrath to their enemies (v.25).
How do I respond to people whose lives have been shipwrecked by their own choices? Do I stand apart, silently chastising, “you reap what you sew”? Or do I bear their burden and bring it before the Lord? Do my prayers reflect my justification of myself like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14)? Or do I acknowledge my own need for correction and dependence on God’s grace? Am I willing to give time and resources to meet their needs?
Father, thank you for the grace and love you have lavished on me. Teach me to extend your grace and love to those whose lives are in chaos. Forgive me when I substitute judgment for compassion. Move me from self-righteous inaction to passionate prayer. Direct my thoughts and actions that I may be a true ambassador of your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.