The other day I was asked to help someone. The person doing the asking is not a close friend, more of an acquaintance, and the person needing help I know only slightly. I was asked to help because I have some experience with the problem at hand. I don’t think of myself as one who holds grudges but the first thought I had was, why come to me, when have you helped me? And I don’t even know the person you want me to help! The minute after that thought was in my head this came to mind,
Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13 (gwt)
That stopped me from saying the ugly words. It was awful of me to think those words but saying them would have been worse than awful. Jesus heard my thoughts and knows my heart and He stepped in to keep me from causing someone pain…again. Thank you, Jesus!
Later on, I was getting comfortable for a chat with Jesus and this was brought to mind,
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Mark 11:25 (nlt)
You see I was holding a grudge against this acquaintance of mine. I had forgotten all about the day I asked her for help and she said she couldn’t help. Or I should say I thought I had forgotten. Obviously, I held that day in my heart and let it fester until I was reminded of it and then let the ugliness come forward. I hadn’t forgiven her this little thing. I know better than this. I want to be like my Lord.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Eph 4:32 (esv)
What have I learned from this?
- I can be resentful and unforgiving
- I am not examining my heart as I must
- My prayers are more self-centered than I thought
- Jesus wants us to be better than we are and helps us get there
The Word has been given to us to teach us what we need to know to be like Christ.
All we have to do is let it into our hearts and use it as needed.
Blessings this day of grace,