Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forgiveness Releases Us

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; 
just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
Colossian 3:12-13

Every one of the virtues listed here has to do with relationships. If we want to live in harmony with others, then we must take seriously what God is telling us. We can't wait for the other person to go first in putting on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It begins with each of us. If we say we belong to God, then we will imitate Him. God did not wait for us to love Him, He loved us first. "We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:19-20). Forgiving those who have hurt us, especially when they are not repentant, is a hard thing to do. But God has told us that if we want to be forgiven by Him, we must forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15). We forgive the unrepentant offender and leave the rest to God. He will deal with the other person. When we refuse to forgive we become embittered and resentful. We're not fun to be around and our bodies take a toll from the resulting stress. Dale Carnegie tells about a visit to Yellowstone Park where he saw a grizzly bear. The huge animal was in the center of a clearing, feeding on some discarded camp food. For several minutes he feasted alone; no other creature dared draw near. After a few moments a skunk walked through the meadow toward the food and took his place next to the grizzly. The bear didn't object and Carnegie knew why. "The grizzly," he said, "knew the high cost of getting even." [House of God p. 122] God wants us to live in joy and peace. Forgiveness releases us to do so. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments and read each one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...