Tuesday, July 5, 2016

When Forgiveness Is In The Past Tense

Kindness. Isn't it beautiful when people are kind to one another in difficult situations?

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 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 4:29-32 ESV

I like that it says, 'Let no... Let all... Be kind... '

Animals can get mean when they are in pain. Why? They are protecting something.

I think as believers we talk about forgiveness a lot. I remember back when my concept of evangelical Christianity centered around televangelists shown on late night channels. It was before I was a believer. I thought all this talk of forgiveness was so overemphasized.

'These people must be very guilty if they talk about this so much.'

I don't think I was wrong either. Religion makes people feel guilty. It misses something so important in it's standards and programs.

"...as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32b ESV

Forgave is in the past tense.

Kindness is simple when forgiveness is in the past tense. What if the annoying thing is instantly past tense? What if judgement about the pain we feel is in the past tense and covered in forgiveness?

When judgement is out of the way we can live grateful to God and in fullness instead of mean and protective.

I'm not always kind. I often forget how much pain I have caused God that He has forgotten because of His Son. In my self orientation convenience becomes king and I feel entitled to lash out. But today I decide to let kindness flow through me. I decide to let God's kindness fill me until there is no room for bitterness. I decide to remember the value of people.

People need kindness. Oh, Yes they do. They need it more than they need correction. Life is going to beat people down. Our help is not needed in that area. People need the ministry of the Spirit of God. The hungry get fed when Christ is revealed. The sick get healed. The blind see. The deaf hear.

Fill us God. Open our eyes. Let judgement be in the past tense for us. We want people to see Your kindness through us. Only you can make that happen. We pray you would do that today. Surprise us today with what You can do. Give us words that feed the hungry. We ask this in the precious name of Your Son who has made forgiveness possible for us. Thank You God.


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