"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Forgiving one another is crucial to the success of marriage and family relationships. Forgiveness means that family members do not allow anger to grow, hold grudges, or keep a record of misdeeds. Forgiveness can open up a whole new perspective on life.
Forgiveness is an act of God's grace. Today's scripture directs us to forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave us. God extended His grace to us. We can't earn His forgivenessit is a gift. Jesus paid the price for our sins; we receive forgiveness by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. God wants us to forgive others the same way. Not because they deserve it, but because of our love for our Lord and our gratitude for His forgiveness.
Sometimes forgiveness is difficult, but God will help us. We are dependent on His grace both to give and to receive forgiveness.
Consider this …
Dr. Steve Bradshaw of Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, often says that things that are buried dead stay buried but things that are buried alive come back to haunt us. Forgiveness helps us bury things dead. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It is choosing to remember the past in a way that does not affect the present in a toxic way. To forgive means to turn loose, release, or remit.
Have you buried anything alive? Offenses buried alive will fester and grow into bitterness. Someday they will come out, often in an ugly way. If you are carrying an offense from your spouse—or someone else—it's time to dig it up. Ask God to help you forgive, and then bury it dead.
Father, I know I've been carrying this resentment. Please forgive me—and help me to forgive. In Jesus name...
These thoughts were drawn from …Committed Couples: God's Plan for Marriage & the Family by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. Whether in a private or group setting, couples will be encouraged spiritually and romantically as they research biblical principles that affirm their vows. This book can help every married couple grow spiritually and emotionally in their relationship. It is also a great help for engaged-to-be-married couples.
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