Scripture in the Morning #171
A neat saying to consider:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give all that you can – and it may still not be enough. Give it all you can anyway.”
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway…
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Is there someone in your life that you struggle with – a person who has hurt you and you have difficulty forgiving? If so, name that person in your heart and mind this morning.
Now, I have seen this many times in the lives of others and, unfortunately, in my own life as well. What have I seen? I have seen people try to convince themselves that they have forgiven another person – and successfully “convince themselves” that they have forgiven the other person. But, in reality, they have not.
We think that if the “feeling” of animosity against that person has largely subsided that we have forgiven them. We think that if we say to ourselves that we have forgiven them that that constitutes forgiveness. It does not. We think that if we pray for them that that is enough. It is not. We try to convince ourselves that praying for another – even repeatedly – is the real indication of forgiving another person. But is it?
Is that all Jesus did for us? No. Jesus expressed His forgiveness verbally to those who sinned against Him. And He sacrificially interacted with them, serving them, loving them and showering them with grace (which is unmerited favor). Yes, the Lord prayed for those who hurt Him. But He did infinitely more.
Of course, we cannot possess the degree of love and forgiveness of Christ. But the command remains — forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
For today, once more pray for the person you named in your heart and mind who wronged you. But then ask the Lord to reveal to you whether you have actually forgiven that person – or if you have just convinced yourself that you have (but, in reality, have not).
Have a blessed day.