Aug 1, 2015

As Followers of Christ, we are called to forgive!

What good does holding a grudge toward someone do?  Not. One. Thing!

But you know what?  It hurts YOU, the grudge holder.  It festers in your soul and you become bitter and hateful and spiteful.  Certainly not something I, as a follower of Christ, want to have in my life.

So what do you do? Someone has done or said something to hurt you.  Maybe it was intentional.  Maybe not.  But you still feel hurt, offended, angry, bitter.

What does our ultimate authority, God's Word, say about this?

Ephesians 4:31-5:2

English Standard Version

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

How do we "put away" something like bitterness or anger?  What does this look like in our daily lives?

I had a pastor once tell me to pray for a person that I had confessed to him had done something that bothered me.  It wasn't anything sinful but it was really bothering me and causing me to have hard feelings.  He gave me very simple advice.  Pray.  Every time this person enters your mind pray for her.

Over the next 2 weeks I found myself praying for her several times a day.  She didn't know that what she had done had bothered me.  She didn't know that I was harboring bitter feelings toward her.  But I did and I knew it was sin on my part.   So I prayed for her.  At first it was hard but over time I found myself really and truly praying for her out of true Christian love for her as a sister in Christ.

So that is my advice when someone angers you.  Pray for them and as you do Christ will soften and change your heart to be more like his.

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