|International Forgiveness Institute|
“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. . . . so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.” 2 Corinthians 2:5, 7 (ESV)
Paul wrote these words to the believers at Corinth. His message is simple, forgive the sinner. As a young mother, I heard a senior citizen woman tell us she had read that if we hold grudges, those hard thoughts would eat at us from our insides.
I have known some people who did not have a forgiving nature. After a while, that attitude seemed to work on them. They seemed to find fault with everything and everybody. They evolved into people no one wanted to be around.
How can we maintain our relationships with those around us while staying close to God?
Through prayer, I recently had to conclude I had to be the bigger person in an issue and not stand my ground about a necessary task I had chosen to undertake. This most recent instance of being instructed to do this is not the first time God has spoken to me about this. If we have any issues with another person, we need to pray about it before we seek guidance from another person and definitely before we confront that person.
I am reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer In one chapter she talks about how we can defeat the enemy and the hurts he causes us simply by forgiving the person whom we think has caused our hurt. When I read the topic scripture, I realized how important it is to forgive another, even if we have to do it through the Lord. She gives stumbling scriptures to pray as we confront our own stumbling places in our spiritual make-up. More about this book will come later.
God looks out for His children. He is still in control, no matter how events look to us. He sees the big picture, we only can see what is in front of us.