Love you all, praying for you,
I just love God’s Word. It tells you what to do - that brings life and success and hope. But sometimes it’s difficult, and if you don’t do it, it gets harder the next time, or as time goes by. Sometimes you never do it, and your life reflects the loss. Have you ever “knew it, but didn’t do it?” One of the most difficult things to do, is to live honestly and transparently with brothers and sisters in Christ, with family. God said if you come to the altar, but remember you have aught against your brother. Something between you. Leave your gift at the altar, first go and be reconciled to your brother, then come back and offer your gift. Is your slate clean? Have you forgiven others? Is there anything outstanding? God said if you do not forgive those who sin against you, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you (Matthew 6:15). Like the man forgiven much, demanded payment of little, having the offender thrown in jail. They then came for him, and the Master had him thrown into jail, until he should pay the last penny. Unforgiveness is a ball and chain. It affects your life, your relationships, and your relationship with God. It even has physical effects on your body, it can affect your health. Unforgiveness is often not purposeful. It’s just that we don’t have the honest conversation. We don’t want to admit our faults or our feelings. We don’t want to appear petty, or easily offended, so we don’t talk with that person. And things can build up over time, that God instructed us not to allow – for our own sake, and for others. Maybe just say, “Do you have a minute to help me with a problem I’m having?” Did I misunderstand something you said? Or am I just imagining things, but here’s how I felt when this happened… Did I miss-understand something? I want to make sure our relationship has nothing between us… If you do approach someone transparently, be sure to avoid the word “you.” You made me angry when you did that… No, you decided to give anger a foothold, they didn’t make you angry. No one can make you anything – you choose it, no-one can make you. God said it is to a man’s honor to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11). God said forgive others as well as ask for forgiveness from those you have wronged. If you let things remain, they just build up over time, souring relationships, building walls and barriers. God said Hebrews 12:14 – Make every effort to live at peace with everyone, and to be holy. For without holiness, no one will see the LORD. Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (How can we bear with one another, if we don’t share what we are feeling or thinking? If they don’t know, how can they bear with you?) Verse 3, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." It takes effort… Unity only happens with conversation, those difficult ones - that allow for honesty, transparency, forgiveness, and reconciliation. When we confess our faults to one another, and humbly accept responsibility for any fault we have done – and make things right. What if we humbled ourselves, and in love confessed our sins to one another, and approached those who have offended us? Giving both of us the opportunity to demonstrate love and forgiveness and grace They might double down – “That’s your problem.” OK, but at least you’ll know you did your part. You were humble and honest, you made every effort to live in the bond of peace. You’re not responsible for them, but you are responsible for you. You can forgive and overlook, whether they seek forgiveness or not. What if everyone did that? What if we were humble not only in approaching others, but when approached ourselves? Maybe just a regular conversation with other people – Is there anything I’ve done that made you feel not valued? Or any blind spot that you see in me, that I might not see? What if we were intentional about giving the opportunity to keep short accounts with one another? You can always agree to disagree, but what if we preferred one another? What if we would seek to understand, more than being understood? What if we were quick to seek peace, quick to forgive, and quick to overlook faults, bearing each others burdens in love. What unity could God bring in a family or community? It could become that place of unity where He commands a blessing.
Love you all,
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Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!