Category Archives: Forgiveness

Do You Measure Up?

silver measure tape

“The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit.”    ~George Bernard Shaw

 

We read that King David was a man after God’s own heart. But according to Scripture, there were many people, even amongst his own countrymen, that did not believe David measured up to his role as king, let alone as a child of God. King David’s critics probably couldn’t let go of his past failures and mistakes, which is understandable because even David struggled with them occasionally.

I very much doubt that you and I will ever be exempt from that kind of scrutiny either. As long as there is breath in our bodies, someone is bound to question whether or not we measure up in one way or another.  Truthfully, dear reader, as long as God considers you to be a man or woman after His own heart, it doesn’t matter in the least what anyone else thinks  —and here’s the kicker; that includes you!

Most of us need to learn to forgive ourselves a little more readily.  Why is it so easy to forget others’ mistakes and failures, but cling to our own like some unshakeable disease, when the Lord promised: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).  Furthermore, Scripture informs us, He takes our iniquities and casts them into depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).

Thus, the next time you are tempted to dredge up your own past failures, remember that you don’t even know where God’s sea of forgotten iniquity is, so you couldn’t possibly going fishing in it even if you wanted to. Besides, there’s nothing in there worth retrieving anyway.

The next time an enemy throws your past in your face just smile and hand him a mirror.  Oops, scratch that –I was just thinking out loud; I’m sure you can think of something a little more spiritual.

Finally, every time the enemy tries to bring condemnation by reminding you of your past, simply remind him of his future.

None of us are perfect, but if we remain faithful to the Lord and His instruction, we will measure up in the end; He will see to that!

Who’s Holding the Scalpel?

Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive injury.”   Edwin Hubbel Chapin.

Forgiveness is a topic I could spend hours writing about, but I want to focus on just one thought for today.  Namely, who is really behind your pain?  By way of explanation, I will ask you the same question I have often posed to others:

If, during a routine surgery, the surgeon were to carelessly slash your face with his scalpel, would you blame the scalpel  for your  injury, or the surgeon holding it?  Even if you were scarred for life, would it be the scalpel’s fault? Or, would the blame lie with the one who was in control of it?

I submit, dear reader, that when others cut you deeply enough to leave an emotional scar, they are generally acting as unsuspecting instruments  in the hands of a very clever adversary –that evil, supernatural enemy which wages war against humanity.  I am certainly not negating the actions of those who hurt you; they are certainly responsible for whatever harm they have done and will be held accountable. But forgiveness is more for your sake than theirs, and it is far more easily accomplished when you truly understand the words of Ephesians 6:12:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Simply put, these dark powers are your true enemy, not other people. So the next time you are cut to the quick, dear reader, please remember that just as a scalpel is only a tool in the surgeon’s hands,  the person who hurt you was only a tool in the enemy’s hands. Then, in obedience to Scripture, forgive the offense:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

After all, forgiveness is also an instrument; it is an instrument of healing in the hands of the Great Physician –healing for both you, and  the one who hurt you.

(reposted from Sept 2011)

“Everyone but Judas” Clause

HATE

We hate some persons because we do not know them;
and will not know them because we hate them.
Charles Caleb Colton

In John 13:35, we find Jesus instructing His disciples, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It would be easy to assume that the Lord was instructing  each disciple to love the others who were gathered  in that room, or perhaps, to love every follower of Christ, whether they were present or not. However, in this passage of Scripture, Jesus had just informed the disciples of a traitor in their midst; one that would soon betray Him. Were the disciples supposed to love him as well?

Judas was obviously not a true disciple, but he was amongst the other men when Jesus commanded them all to love one another; there was no “everyone but Judas” clause. There is a great lesson to be learned here, one that is taught in many  passages of Scripture, including Matthew 5:44, wherein Jesus admonished, “….Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.”

It isn’t very difficult to love others when you know them, and they love you back, but loving someone that hates you can be quite difficult;  especially if they hate you for no apparent reason. Nonetheless, Jesus forbids us to repay hatred with hatred, no matter the circumstance.

Dear reader, there is little doubt that in today’s cold, impersonal society, some folks will hate each other for no reason other  than the one stated by Mr. Colton. It is all the more urgent, therefore, that you love others as Jesus intended. And that  includes every ‘Judas’ in your life!  Remember, there is no “everyone but Judas” clause in the Lord’s book.

Who’s Holding the Scalpel?

Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive injury.”   Edwin Hubbel Chapin. 

Forgiveness is a topic I could spend hours writing about, but I want to focus on just one thought for today.  Namely, who is really behind your pain?  By way of explanation, I will ask you the same question I have often posed to others:

If, during a routine surgery, the surgeon were to carelessly slash your face with his scalpel, would you blame the scalpel  for your  injury, or the surgeon holding it?  Even if you were scarred for life, would it be the scalpel’s fault? Or, would the blame lie with the one who was in control of it?

I submit, dear reader, that when others cut you deeply enough to leave an emotional scar, they are generally acting as unsuspecting instruments  in the hands of a very clever adversary –that evil, supernatural enemy which wages war against humanity.  I am certainly not negating the actions of those who hurt you; they are certainly responsible for whatever harm they have done and will be held accountable. But forgiveness is more for your sake than theirs, and it is far more easily accomplished when you truly understand the words of Ephesians 6:12:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Simply put, these dark powers are your true enemy, not other people. So the next time you are cut to the quick, dear reader, please remember that just as a scalpel is only a tool in the surgeon’s hands,  the person who hurt you was only a tool in the enemy’s hands. Then, in obedience to Scripture, forgive the offense:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

After all, forgiveness is also an instrument; it is an instrument of healing in the hands of the Great Physician –healing for both you, and  the one who hurt you.