Left-Over Candy

All of us have something in our life we just can’t seem to let go of and/or forgive. For most, including myself, that someTHING is a someONE. It is much easier for us to hold a grudge against someone than to move forward with a clean slate.

“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
Galatians 6:1-3 (Message; emphasis added)
What Paul writes in Galatians, though, is that we should not only forgive, but reach out and help them! Easier said than done? Of course, but being on the side of the forgiven myself, it changes a heart. When someone wrongs you, just think about a time when you were forgiven, even when you didn’t deserve it. I can’t begin to list off the number of times I was shown grace; it would take hours to complete! By staying in touch with our own failures, past and present, it makes it more personal to forgive the failures of others.
Numbers 14:18 says: “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” As we go throughout the rest of our week, let us be an example of God’s love to ALL, even to those who we still can’t forgive. Be slow to anger, try to be more loving, and try to forgive other people’s mistakes. It will be hard, but the reward is priceless.
The old saying is, forgive and forget. Let’s do that while loving with an open heart as God does.
Reflection Questions:
Who do you need to forgive? Why?
When was a time you were forgiven?
How does Numbers 14:18 describe God’s personality and God’s attitude towards us?
How does Galatians 6:1-3 ask us to approach our relationship towards people who have hurt us?
What are you struggling with in following Galatians, and what is a basic step you can take to become more forgiving? (i.e.: I keep telling people about how I was hurt, so I need to stop making critical comments about the person that wronged me.)