Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

You Are Forgiven – The Call of Forgiveness

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Week Five – Day One – Monday, September 26, 2016

Read COLOSSIANS 3:12-14 (ESV) SOAP v. 13wk5d1

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

O – As God’s chosen ones, ones that are holy and beloved – what are we to do?   First of all – another decision, another decisive action:  PUT ON!  We have to DECIDE to do these things.  Which means, they are not easy to do all the time….

  • PUT ON compassionate hearts – “tender-hearted mercy” (Living Bible)
  • PUT ON kindness
  • PUT ON humility
  • PUT ON meekness
  • PUT ON patience –“ which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper” – (AMP)
  • Bear with each other
  • Forgive one another (just as God has forgiven us – we need to forgive as well!)
  • ABOVE ALL THESE ( the outer layer or covering) PUT ON love – it binds everything together in perfect harmony! “put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love” (AMP)

A – What is the call to forgiveness?   Today, it is to forgive others JUST AS God has forgiven me.  After reading today’s blog posting, it was convicting.   Joy wrote about her experience with being self-righteous, being so angry when her sister returned after “disappearing for the week” that Joy was preparing to leave for a four year term as a missionary.  She compared it to the older son’s reaction in the Prodigal Son.  She didn’t share in the joy of her sister’s return, but was angry that her father received her in love.  While I haven’t had that experience, I have experienced some of the emotions of the older son – to be jealous or self-righteous.  Do I forgive JUST AS God has forgiven me – freely, unreservedly, without reproach?  Do I hold a grudge?

During the past few months, I have returned to a situation in my own life that required forgiveness.  Have I honestly forgiven?  Or – do I continue to grieve the relationship?  It has been a heart-search, and I still wonder where I really stand.  I will always grieve the relationship.  I have written a letter of forgiveness, which was very freeing.  But – is there anything else that I need to do to TRULY forgive – and move on?  And – now that I have moved out of state, and am in another place in my life, is there anything else that I need to do – or do I “move on?”   I need to keep on searching my heart – so that I am right with God – and people in my life.

I also think about my former husband.  Where, in the dark places in my heart, am I with him?  While he left over 30 years ago, it left a hole in my heart.  He just disappeared – out of our lives, out of state, out of contact, when my daughter was four.  No contact since she was seven.  Now, she’s 33.  But – in talking with a girl from church whose husband recently left her, the emotions that I dealt with creep back in.  I want to cry with her.  I don’t want to relive those emotions.  But – in my talks with her, and in my prayer for her, I also remember that God doesn’t leave.  He is ALWAYS faithful.  People aren’t.  I do think that while I’ve forgiven Jerry, sometimes the human emotions come out.  There are scars.  There will always be.  But – I am free to go on in my life.

I am learning that forgiveness doesn’t mean that the hurt will stop.  But, the bitterness and anger will.  And – forgiveness on my part doesn’t mean that the relationship will heal.  It may never be restored.  But – that isn’t the guarantee.  The guarantee is freedom from the burden.  It is the ability to move on in other relationships.  It is learning the ability to trust in other relationships.  It is remembering without bitterness – but maybe not without pain or regret.  But that is being human.  Moving forward doesn’t negate our past – it covers it with His peace, His love, His forgiveness IF I forgive.  I can only be responsible for my actions, not the actions of others.  That is the pain in forgiveness.  It doesn’t guarantee restoration of relationships.  God’s forgiveness of us only is complete IF WE accept it.  That restores the relationship.  And – He calls me to forgive – even if others do not respond.

P – Father God, search me and see if there are still places in my heart that need to be worked on.  I think particularly of my friend and my former husband.  Father, I know that there is still hurt that surfaces from time to time.  Bring healing to those places.  But – I also ask for wisdom in any future actions that You may call me to.  I ask that You give peace and resolution in each relationship.  Thank You for helping me to move forward – even if there is still residual pain.  Thank You for new love and new relationships in my life – ones that are healthy and healing.  Help me to be a healer in those lives that I am involved with today.  Help me to be a source of comfort and strength in ___________’s life this week.  Help me to speak life, words of compassion and love.  Thank You for Your healing – and Your forgiveness.  Father, help me to forgive, as You have forgiven me.  Amen.

 

Speak Life – (Toby Mac) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rK6O0YtBRY

“Speak Life”
Some days, life feels perfect.
Other days it just ain’t workin.
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between.

Though it’s crazy, amazing
We can turn a heart with the words we say.
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.

When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
You speak Life, (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Some days the tongue gets twisted;
Other days my thoughts just fall apart.
I do, I don’t, I will, I won’t,
It’s like I’m drowning in the deep.

Well it’s crazy to imagine,
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion,
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
You speak Life, (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.

Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say.

Lift your head a little higher,
Spread the love like fire,
Hope will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the words you say.

So speak Life, speak Life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak Life.
When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak…
You speak Life, (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

You speak Life, (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak Life. (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Some days life feels perfect.

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