Thursday, August 24, 2006

Forgiveness

I think I'm going to make it a point to share the most impactful of my week's devotionals once a week on the blog. I'm really loving these 3 minute applications, from another person's point of view, of God's Word. I appreciated today's entry because I find myself encountering this from time to time within friendship groups and especially with our kids. If one of our kiddos apologizes, we mandate the other says, "you're foregiven" so that they both hold responsibility in "taking action" to solve the problem. In fact, just two days ago, when somebody said "thank you" to Mikayla and I asked her "What do you say?" - she replied, "you're forgiven". Funny..... obviously she has been coached a lot more in apology issues than thank you issues! I hope these words touch your heart as they did mine.....

August 24, 2006
The Difficulty of Forgiving
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

My husband and I were living abroad and sharing a guest house with three others during a business project. The guest house had a guard and a live-in house overseer, which is common in the country where we were located. One morning, I realized we had been robbed. No lock was broken, nothing was amiss to the eye, but our travel money had been stolen and, based on the circumstances, it had to be connected with someone we knew. I was devastated. Not so much by the loss of the money as by the fact that a housemate had figured out how to break into our room, went through our things and took what was not his.

I became consumed as a detective trying to figure out what motive had pushed this person to steal and who it could be. In a place I had felt safe, I suddenly felt exposed, scared and homesick. He took more than money. This person robbed the joy and comfort of our travels. It would have been easier to forgive a stranger, but it was hard to forgive someone we knew.

Forgive as you were forgiven. Never before have these words meant as much as they did after this event. It wasn’t for strangers that God sent His Son; it was for His own creation, His children. Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, the sins of His people, so they could stand white as snow and cleansed of sin. He died for those He loved. He died for those who betrayed Him and those who spit on Him. He died for His beloved and forgave us all, in spite of the fact that we continue to sin and fail Him daily.

Our money is gone, the locks are changed, and I must admit sometimes I still feel hurt and confused by what happened. I try not to think back to that group living there and wonder who the culprit was. What I do know is that I must not harbor bitterness nor resentment that can only cause a heart to callous. If the Lord can forgive me for my sins, then I can forgive, I must forgive, others for theirs.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Is there someone in your life towards whom you harbor bitterness or resentment? Why?
2. Take a moment to pray to the Lord and ask Him to give you God-sized love to forgive others as He forgave you.
FURTHER READING:
Psalm 99:8; Luke 6:37-42; 1 John 1:9

7 comments:

HollieHobbie said...

Good Words to live by, Steph! Thanks for sharing. Is this online?
1. So to answer the question: I really don't harbor any bitterness or resentment towards anyone that I can think of right now. But there is one person that I can say I really do not like in a sort of "doesn't deserve respect sort of way" If that makes sense. I'll never see her again, and she just did me wrong by turning a confrontation around to attacking my character. She was basically an acquaintance before, so I just feel like I lived and learned and just removed her from my life, but I don't hinder resentment or anything, just apathy maybe. It's not like I can't receive communion over it.
But, man, in this world of selfishness it sure is easy to feel wronged by another and not see their point of view etc. and just hold onto resentment and perpetuate the case in our minds so that the little mole hill really becomes a mountain. But I feel it really is our problem and not that of the other. We need to make peace with the issue in our own mind and heart
Anyways, good thought provoking post, Steph!

chele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chele said...

Wow.
Thanks so much Steph for sharing the devotion on your blog. I hadn't read it this morning - very powerful.
And thank-you Hollie for being bold enough to share about your own experiences. I've been to many a youth retreat where this subject has been addressed - where students are asked to break down satan's bonds in this area of their life. Generally there are many, many, many tears, but so much freedom that is gained when the youth finally trust in God to make right what was wrong and let go and forgive. Like you, I have had very few occasions - praise God - to work through this process. But, even just recently, I have had to recognize that forgiveness must sometimes be a continual process of seeking God and trusting Him - even when "trust" is the root issue of my distress. He absolutely never fails.
The website for these devotions is:
http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/devotionals/homeword/
P.S. To satisfy any possible curriosity that might exist - I just posted this same blog without the devotion address and then "trashed it" so I could post the address with my blog. Steph - I thought you might like to know that I was the source of that other "deleted comment".

chele said...

It looks like the website address still didn't get printed right. Let's try it again:
http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/devotionals/homeword/
Sorry.....

chele said...

Alright - now I know that it is the computer's problem and not mine.
The last word in that web address should look like this:
homeword/
Good luck...

StephieAnne said...

Just so you all know - I didn't intend for anyone to respond to the "DIGGING DEEPER" questions - that came with the devotional. I included them because I thought they were good - but, thanks Hollie for your transparency in answering them!!!

HollieHobbie said...

next time I will just answer with "My favorite color is Pink...." haha