Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father search us and try us, to see if there is any unforgiveness within us. Father, too often and too easily we hurt one another. We are born again within, from above, but our flesh for now is still broken and weak. Please help us to be patient with each other. Please help us to be known as a forgiving people, not doormats, but sincerely forgiving nonetheless! In the name of Jesus and by the Spirit who lives within us, please help us to be obedient to your call, "Forgive one another!" Amen.
Your Morning Song: "O Come O Come Emmanuel" by Reawaken Hymns
Your Morning Scripture: Romans 12:11
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
Church. One of the strongest tools we have as the Body of Christ, to obey God's will is forgiveness. It is a very, very potent tool to achieve that which God desires and delights in, our unity.
A few things here to consider about forgiveness.
The command to forgive each other here is without context. Forgive. No exceptions. Now, this does not mean immediately trust someone again after they have hurt you. This does not mean to immediately resume the same intimacy you had before, say with a friend. This does not mean that everything goes back to how it was before the hurt was done.
But it does mean that we tell the heart that we are to guard, "It doesn't matter how you feel, we are not going to harbor any grudges. We are not going to let conflict remain. Because ultimately forgiveness is both a thing done to and for others, and also a thing done to and for yourself, according to God's Will.
There's another thing, I like this one perhaps less than the first, which is itself hard to swallow.
We are to forgive without context, not only forgiving these things and not those things, but all things. And we are to do so "as the Lord has forgiven." Our act of forgiving each other is to be the obedient echo of how Jesus has forgiven us. We are to be living our daily lives in response to Jesus's great, beautiful sacrifice on the cross. He forgave us and so we too should forgive.
Our act of forgiveness is not by our power, but by God's power. Our forgiving one another is not for our purpose, but for God's Will. Our forgiving one another is, at its core, an act of obedience.
It is possible, and all too common, that we are God's children, but not forgiving one another. It is a shameful act of disobedience, even if it is hard sometimes, to forgive those that have hurt us. We are commanded, and so we ought to obey.
This Christmas season there will be friends and family aplenty, relationships intersecting and colliding all over the place. There will be a need for forgiveness.
May we forgive without context. May we forgive as an act of grateful obedience to our Lord Jesus. And may our Heavenly Father share with us His delight at our dedication to His Son!