Monday, 2 December 2013

In Spite of

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 1Corinthians 5:14-15

Andy Stanley’s series on families (futurefamilies.org) is triggering a number of thoughts for me to ponder, which is apparent from my recent postings.  One of the things that I was not prepared to deal with as a new counselor were the number of clients who were struggling in their marriage, who at the same time had some significant issues with someone in their past.  The wounds they carried may have been inflicted by one or both parents, a sibling, another relative or someone they dated.

Often the anger the person was harboring toward the person who wounded them gets expressed toward their spouse who had nothing to do with the hurt.  In previous postings I have talked about the need for us to forgive those who have left a negative, indelible mark on us.  One reason is because our lack of forgiveness creates a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15) in us that often manifests itself in a relation with someone else.

The verses for today remind us and challenge us.  As a born again Christian we should feel “compelled” to love even the unlovable.  Why?  Because in spite of our continued transgressions Christ has forgiven us.  Christ died on the cross even for the one who has so grievously hurt you.


In turn verse 15 basically says, “get over yourself, if I (God) can forgive you for your sins, past, present and future; and endure the pain, and humiliation of the cross, for you and the one who sinned against you, who are you to not forgive such a one?”

We as Christians can be so glib when we acknowledge that Christ died for us on Calvary.  Jesus not only died an excruciating death for you and me, He was separated from the Father and incurred the Father’s wrath, for a brief period in history when your sins and mine were heaped on His shoulders.

In these verses God is saying, my Son died for you so that you might die to yourself.  And in dying to yourself you would be willing to at the very least reach out to the person who has sinned against you.  After all that is what my Son has done for you.

Forgiveness is a must or it will eat away at you, physically or emotionally over time (Matthew 6:14-15).  You are not expected to forget or condone in any way what was done to you.  However Christ’s death should compel you to attempt to reach out to the one who hurt you.

 

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