Actualizing or Only Affirming?

Sometimes we decide to do something that is right, but our emotions refuse to cooperate. For example, we decide to be nice to someone who “rubs us the wrong way.” Then, they annoy or aggravate us and we respond with disgust and/or anger. We decide to treat people as God would want us to treat them, only to “cave in” to our “feelings” when we are irritated at these people. This is especially true in the matter of forgiving. We affirm in our minds that we forgive. We tell the person who has offended us that we forgive him or her, but our “feelings” do not actually agree with what we have affirmed. To actually forgive requires harmony of heart and mind! Failure to forgive leaves us with a spiritual cancer that “eats away” at our spiritual health. Trying to justify negative emotions, we reason that “they” have wronged “us” and do not deserve to be forgiven. This is only an excuse for not letting an offender “off the hook.” We have “wronged” Jesus far more than anyone ever has or ever will “wrong” us! He completely forgives us when we come to know Him as Savior and Lord. He affirms His forgiveness and He actually forgives completely! In Ephesians 4:32, Paul was inspired to admonish the Ephesian Christians and us: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Herman G. Stuempfle, in his hymn, “Help Us Forgive, Forgiving Lord,” gives us a prayer that we should pray: “Help us forgive, forgiving Lord, the wrong that others do, and, when our hearts are pierced by pain, to bring the hurt to You. For on the cross You bore for us the curse, the scorn, the hate and gave Your life to lift from us sin’s cruel and crushing weight. Let grace unlock each prisoned heart, uncoil each fisted hand until from hate our hearts are freed, our hands in love extend. And then, the broken circle closed, the broken friendships healed, Lord, hold us fast within the bonds by Your forgiveness sealed.” Selah! When we actually release others of any obligation to us, we experience an amazing release from bondage to bitterness.  Ron

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3 thoughts on “Actualizing or Only Affirming?

  1. And then there is the part of the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us as we forgive those who have sinned against us”. That is actually asking the Lord to forgive us in the same way we forgive other . . . pretty scary.

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