Patient Forgiveness

September 28
Yikes, it's another trifecta!  When trifectas of faith happen, I know the Lord is either preparing me for something or pressure washing a point in my heart.  UGH.
Wednesday morning in the car a radio show was on...could have been Stanley, Swindoll, Ingram.  I didn't take notice of the speaker, but the message on forgiveness and our witness stuck with me. He made reference to a pastor who was getting annoyed by the cleaners not getting the starch right in his shirts.  He made them redo the shirts THREE times.  One Sunday evening, when church members were going on visitation, the chairman of the visitation committee handed out a card to the pastor.  Looking at the name, he asked if this man owned a cleaners.  "Yes, he does," was the response.  "Do you know if he has said anything about me," questioned the pastor.  "He says you are very particular about your shirts." This message saved me from losing it at the grocery store yesterday with the worst checkout/bagger girl ever. I realized, that experience was not of eternal value, but loving her was. (She was not a happy camper.)

On the way home from the grocery store there was a Proverbs 31 minute on the radio by Lysa TerKeurst.  Just a quickie with a powerful punch.  She was speaking about how "Hurt people, hurt people."  Her personal challenge was this:  "When someone says something hurtful, I'm going to ask myself if any part of their statement was justified.  I want to learn the truth of the situation and let the untrue parts go.  I also need to pray and ask God to remind me of His constant love and forgiveness for me.  I'm not a bad person and the one hurting me isn't either.  We're both humans in need of the grace that God so freely gives.  Lastly, I must forgive this person before bitterness has the chance to set in and rob my joy."

Then this morning I open the Wisdom Hunter and he has a message that I read three times.  This Proverbs message is going into my memory bank (weak as it seems to be these days, I am praying scripture sticks in my mind if nothing know...just in case there is a quiz when we get to heaven. Don't get all huffy over that comment...I know the test part it is not scriptural. Bet it would make some people nibble on the Word more if they thought there was a chance.)

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult”
 (Proverbs 12:16).
 From Boyd Bailey:
"Fools are forever flailing away at an offense, while a prudent man or woman is patient to forgive. A fool is easily provoked to anger, always looking for an argument to win. He or she is combative without compassionate concern. However, prudence is careful in its response, not willing to be reckless, but to be right. Wisdom employs forethought and prayer; it answers with an attitude of respect. Prudence invokes patience.

Do you buckle under pressure saying things you later regret? It is better to keep quiet and cool down than to vent venomous words in the flesh. Make this a goal when disciplining your children. Avoid anger as the instructor of your punishment. We tend to speak harshly and to act unreasonably when driven by anger. Wait prayerfully for twenty-four hours; then revisit the infraction with your child. Use cool correction.

“This is what you are to say to Joseph: ‘I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly. Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.’ When their message came to him, Joseph wept” (Genesis 50:17).

Bridle your tongue by God’s grace. The Bible says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Your words can grieve another or give hope. They can hurt or heal. Therefore, submit to the Holy Spirit’s control of your conversations.

Lastly, you are blessed if you are insulted for Christ’s sake. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). Reward awaits those rejected for righteousness’ sake. Have you died to the right to be right? Do you hold a grudge or have to get even? In Christ we are dead to sin, and the dead are not insulted.

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).

Prayer: Whom do I need to patiently forgive for Christ’s sake?"