Tag Archive | and you will be forgiven.

Forgiveness opens the door for change!

 I was  sad to hear of the passing of Nelson Mandela yesterday. Over the years I have admired his decision to forgive and live out that forgiveness in his actions. He was a man that stood out because he didn’t respond to prejudism with hatred and bitterness. He had the wisdom to realize that real change in South Africa, would only come with forgiveness and reconciliation. Hatred would just prolong the fighting and nothing good would ever be accomplished.

The Word of God teaches us this same principle. We are to live a life that demonstrates forgiveness. Our own forgiveness is conditional upon us forgiving others as we read in Luke 6:37 NIV 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Nelson Mandela was able to bring about amazing change in South Africa that eventually spread to other parts of the globe because he implemented this principle.  I can’t help but think about the awesome opportunity for change each and every one of us that follow Christ have. In our families, in our churches, in our neighborhoods and in our world, we can all make a difference when we love like Jesus loves, when we refuse to judge and condemn and when we forgive.

Christ does not want us to spend our time fighting battles of bitterness and unforgiveness. He wants us to use our time to love Him and serve others. My prayer is that we will not waste any more time walking in  unforgiveness but will do as Paul says in Colossians 3:12-14 NIV 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

If we start each day with this scripture in mind, we too will make an amazing difference in our world.

Vengeance is not OURS, despite how we may feel.

We live in a world where the media tries to manipulate us every day. They encourage us to think one way or another and are quite happy to put their world slant on their reporting.  It is refreshing when you read or hear from a reporter that reports what they saw, heard etc. without putting an individual or corporate slant on their version of the truth. However, this is getting to be quite rare.

I have been amazed at the medias response to the Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman trial. They have made it into a racism case from the get go. NO one was there at the time of the confrontation except George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. I watched and listened to the trial and have my own opinion about it but the fact of the matter is, I have heard Christians calling out for revenge on George Zimmerman. This is wrong on so many levels. The fact is the case went to court, the jury decided and the verdict stands. Vengeance is not ours! I can understand non-believers being vengeful but NOT Christians. We have the Spirit of God in us. If we think the verdict in this case  is wrong, we still have no right to call out for vengeance!

I remember being sickened when I followed the Casey Anthony trial and she was acquitted.  It bothered me for days, but I did not have the right to call for vengeance on her. It’s not my call to make!  Jesus made it very clear, how we are to demonstrate our love for Him when He said in John 13:34,35 NIV 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

And as Paul tells us in the book of  Romans 12:19 NIV 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord.

Instead of complaining and griping about the verdict, why not make a decision to do what you can during your lifetime to reach out and help others outside your own personal circle. God does not see us as different races in Christ.  He sees us all as His children and perhaps it’s time for each of us to do the same. Not just in our words, but in our actions!

Galatians 3:28 NIV 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 NIV11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

As followers of Christ, too often we spend more time complaining about the way things are instead of trying to make a difference in the way things can be. If you have followed the trial and believe the verdict was wrong, use this as a platform to try and make a difference. Reach out and show love and understanding to people outside your personal circle. If you happen to  agree with the verdict, do the same!  Complaining, tweeting and griping won’t do anything. Do something tangible to demonstrate the love of Christ to others! Make a real difference! Don’t be an armchair quarterback. Get involved and bless others.  Ultimately, George Zimmerman is answerable to God for his response in this crime, not us!

Luke 6:37 NIV 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.