Tag Archives: forgiveness

“I Sat Where They Sat”

Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. —Ezekiel 3:15

The experiences of life play a big part in shaping who we are—your upbringing… your education… your friends… your sufferings. The things you go through in life have a profound effect on you. They may harden you, or soften you / embitter you (Job), or strengthen you (Paul).

It is hard to help someone when you’ve not experienced what they are going through. If I’m having a problem, I’d want to be with someone who has already been through the same thing.

When you have gone through a certain trial, you can be “touched” when someone else is going through the same things. You’ve been there. You’ve sat where they sit.

Have you experienced God’s mercy? Then you should be merciful to others.

Has God been kind and gracious to you? Then you should be kind and gracious to others.

Has God forgiven your sins? They you should forgive others who have sinned against you.

As Jesus said, “Freely you have received. Freely give.”

We should treat the lost with compassion because we were once lost ourselves. We know what it’s like to be lost. As God told His people, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Dt. 10:19). Paul reminded the Corinthians, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed” (2 Cor. 6:11).

When facing death, I want someone who has already gone through it!   Jesus will go with me through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23), because He’s already been there and back again (Heb. 2:9)! But if you are not saved, you’ll go through death alone.

I SEE GRACE!

When he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad… —Acts 11:23

    Barnabas saw something at Antioch that made him glad. What did he see? He saw “the grace of God” in the lives of people who recently turned to the Lord! When a person experiences the grace of God that brings salvation, it will be observable in their life (see Titus 2:11-12).

    I “see” the grace of God every time I attend our church. I “see” the grace of God in a mother who was recently in bondage to drugs, but now disciples others for the Lord Jesus Christ. I “see” the grace of God in the life of a young man who lived like a wild animal, but now is a manager of successful a business in our city.  I “see” the grace of God in a man who was controlled by an angry and violent spirit, but now is one of the kindest gentlemen you could ever know. I “see” the grace of God in women who once had an abortion, but now live in forgiveness. I “see” the grace of God in the lives of people who were blinded by heretical doctrines but now walk in the truth of the gospel. I “see” the grace of God every time I look in the mirror.

As one song says:

I see grace, in every life, on every face.
On the faithful who gather each week in this place.
I see grace.

    What do you “see” when you come to church. I hope you see “the grace of God” in the lives of those who attend. It will make you glad, like Barnabas. Do people “see” God’s grace in YOU?

Forbearance

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” —Ephesians 4:2

Are there people in your life that you have trouble getting along with? Their personality, manners, and peculiar quirks get on your nerves? Being in their company drives you up a wall?  C.S. Lewis writes about such people in his book God in the Dock.  He points out the things that frustrate us in other people are the very same things God endures in each of us everyday!  Lewis writes: “You are just that sort of person. You also have a fatal flaw in your character. All the hopes and plans of others have again and again shipwrecked on your character just as your hopes and plans have shipwrecked on theirs.”

Knowing this should motivate us to show the same patience and acceptance to others that God shows toward each of us everyday. It’s called forbearance. Forbearance is to politely and patiently restrain the impulse to retaliate when you are irritated.  Basically it is the capacity to “put up” with difficult people and exhibit grace instead of allowing them to get you riled.

Next time someone’s idiosyncrasies rub you the wrong way, respond with the same grace and forbearance that God has shown you. As Paul writes, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” —Colossians 3:13

 

10 Important Words in Christian Relationships

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:2, 3, 32).

This exhortation from the Apostle Paul is a plea for church members to exercise some T.L.C. towards others.   We all have our shortcomings and weaknesses.  None of us are perfect.  I pray these 10 words will be manifest in all our dealings with one another:

1.“Lowliness”— Being humble. Not proud.

2.“Meekness”— Not easily provoked; Yielding rights.

3.“Longsuffering”— Patience.

4.“Forbearing”— Tolerance of another’s shortcomings and failures.

5.“Love”— Putting the other person ahead of yourself.

6.“Unity”— Sticking together.

7.“Peace”— Freedom from strife or agitation; calm.

8.“Kind” — Sympathetic, gracious, adverse to hurting.

9.“Tenderhearted”— Affectionate, pitying.

10.“Forgiving” — inclined to overlook offenses; mild; merciful.

These 10 words will make a difference in your church and in your family.  How many of these words are manifest in your relationships?

The Chain Reaction of Unforgiveness

Chain Reaction of Unforgiveness

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32

Have you ever been the brunt of someone’s verbal barrage.  It may help you to understand that it may have nothing to do about you, but some unrelated problems in that angry person’s life.  You may just happen to be the nearest available “punching bag” whereby they can vent their frustrations. They are hurting in one spot, but grunting in other.

For example, a husband gets chewed out by his boss at work. When he gets home, he yells at his wife. Then his wife takes it out on the kids. One of the kids goes out and kicks the cat. The cat runs off into the woods to find a rat to bite. The moral of the story is: If the husband would have forgiven his boss, the rat would not have to worry about getting bitten by the cat.

The best cure for past hurts and offenses is to forgive the one who has hurt you. Forgiveness will stop the chain reaction of pain.

When someone treats you wrongly, look beyond their mistreatment of you and try to find the reason.  Ask yourself, “Why is this person acting like this? Have they been offended themselves? Has someone hurt them to make them lash out at me?”  The truth is, hurting people often hurt others. To stop hurt, engage the heart, and forgive the offender.