I find that a lot of people limit the struggles they believe a person will face when he/she becomes saved. They place struggles such as sex or lust at the height of the Christian battle. I find however that there are some other ‘little’ demons that many of us are struggling with that causes us to stumble ever so often. These include the failure to love, failure to forgive, and a major one is failure to let go of all bitterness and wrath. As I was pondering these things I saw a post written by Chinedu Uhiara on Social NetWORD that I found to be edifying. In his post he said:
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
We must understand that the key to ensuring that all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and malice be put away from us is in our act of ‘forgiving one another’.
When we are offended/insulted/hurt/disappointed etc. generally our instinctive reaction is to become bitter; which may also be accompanied by feelings of wrath, anger and malice and we may also be inclined to slander the person(s) we consider to be at fault. However, in Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul beseeches us not to be conformed to the pattern/ways of this world but rather be transformed by the renewing of our mind (through the truth of God’s word); our attitude in respect of forgiveness is no exception to this instruction. Thus if we are offended/insulted/hurt/disappointed, we must immediately make a decision to be kind, tender-hearted and forgive, so that the seed of bitterness etc. does not germinate and take a hold on our soul (mind, will and emotions). We must be alert to the fact that such potentially destructive seeds give the devil a foothold by which to enter into our lives and cause further damage. Saints, leave room for God’s justice to be done.
We are called to be tenderhearted; this is not an easy thing – but who said it would be? In fact it is easier to be hard hearted. Note however the great benefit in being tender-hearted. A tender-heart is receptive and similar to the heart of flesh God speaks of through Prophet Ezekiel when he says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27. Saints, a hardened-heart (a stoney-heart) cannot receive the things of God.
Moreover, we must also remember that our attitude should be like that of God the Father, who in Christ forgave us. In Isaiah 1:18 God says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” In Christ we are completely forgiven – the wrath of God was satisfied by Jesus as he hung on the cross and there is no more enmity between us and God. In that same spirit of forgiveness, do unto others as God has done unto you.
Be encouraged by the promise of Mathew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
**Social NetWORD** Be Encouraged.
<Photo courtesy of Marvin Brown>