Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not Taking into Account a Wrong Suffered

We are told that love does not take into account a wrong suffered (1 Corinthians 13:5). Now it is clear from Scripture that, as Christians, we need to forgive others (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 2:6,7). And the basis of our forgiveness of others must always be the fact that God has forgiven us (Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 8:12; Matthew 18:21-35). If we recognize that we ourselves are sinners (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9). If we recognize our sins were paid for by Christ’s sacrifice (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And that we are saved by putting our faith in Christ apart from works (Romans 4:4,5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Philippians 3:9). Then it follows, we need to forgive others. But there is another aspect. 
An underlying issue is, who is in control of your life? If circumstances are in control, then any seriously bad thing that happens to you can devastate you. This being so, any person who does something really nasty to you has the potential of ruining your live. And there are many people who go through life with the concept that someone destroyed the life they should have had. Needless to say, such a thing can be hard to forgive. Or if we believe we control our own life, then people, or at least those who are opposed to us, can become obstacles that we need to overcome. In this case, whether we succeed or fail, it can be hard not to continue to be hostile to them. But Scripture says God is in control of my life, and this gives a different perspective (Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 43:13; Daniel 4:34,35). Because of this, I realize that God is at work in my life to accomplish His purposes (Romans 8:28-30; Genesis 50:20; Ephesians 2:10). Whether we understand this makes a difference in how we face circumstances. To have the idea that what someone else does to us, or even our bad choices, will so mess up our life that God can never get it back on track again is to live on the edge of a precipice. Now God does want us to live in obedience to Him (Titus 2:11-14; Romans 6:12-14; Galatians 5:13). But we are all people in process, and we are not there yet (Philippians 3:12-16; Galatians 5:16,17; Romans 7:14-25). But God has promised to bring His people through, victorious (Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Philippians 1:6).

Now I do not want to excuse bad choices. Nor do I want to excuse doing bad things to others. But God uses these things to accomplish His purposes in our lives. Even if we are told to go to Nineveh and we run the opposite direction, God can bring us back on track and use even this to accomplish His purposes (see Jonah). Therefore, we can repent of our sins and leave them behind us (2 Corinthians 7:10) and forgive those who have wronged us (1 Peter 4:8).

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