There are about 6.9 billion people in the world! That is 6.9 billion people uniquely created, diverse backgrounds, colorful attitudes, different world-views and many times we assume everyone acts and thinks like we do. No wonder relationships experience conflict.
This weeks Work The Word Wednesday will focus on Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness. Have you ever noticed how forgiveness is something we love to receive but hate to give. When I make a mistake I love forgiveness, “i’m so sorry… i didn’t meant to!”, but when someone does something to me forgiveness is not on my mind, “I can’t believe you did that!”. The reason we call it Work the Word Wednesday is because we have to Work the Word of God into our way of life. And we all know work is not easy but it’s worth it.
So what does scripture say?
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
How do we Work this Word into our lives?
1. Heart Check!
The first thing we need to do is a heart check! What do I mean by that? Scripture says “Pay attention to yourselves!”. Jesus is saying take some time and look at your heart. What is in your heart? Is there love & joy or is there anger & frustration?
The best way to check your heart is to constantly ask “why”. For example, “I’m frustrated”… “Why?” … “Because I’m angry at this person” … “Why?” …”Because they disrespected me”. Asking the “Why” gets to the root of the heart issue.
2. Be Straight Up!
Second thing scripture tells us to do is “If your brother sins, rebuke him…”. What does that mean? It means if you are offended, hurt, angered, bothered, tweaked, etc, you must tell that person! Be straight up and tell that person.
But pastor what if it is just something small? If you don’t deal with the offense asap, no matter how big or small, you are simply planting a seed of frustration which will bear fruit of frustration later on. Deal with it now.
3. Let it Go!
Third part of scripture that we need to work into our lives is forgiveness. Scriptures says if they repent, they change their heart; feel sorry for what they have done, then forgive that person.
But pastor it’s so hard. If it was easy then you wouldn’t need to work the word. Forgiveness is hard when we look at it in the wrong perspective. The right way to look at forgiving someone is to look at how many times you have offended, hurt, angered, bothered, someone else or even better… how many times have you let God down and yet He still forgives you.
The meaning of forgive is to let it go! You need to just let it go and move on!
The last part of Work the Word is to repeat the process. If they mess up again, and you let them know again, and they repented again…you must forgive…AGAIN!! Remember the context of this forgiveness is for a “brother”. This is someone you care for, who also follows Christ, who is trying!
Jesus is reminding us we are all works in progress! You will get offended but in Christ we can Work this Word into our lives and be Christ Like!