Nancy Leigh DeMoss spoke Wednesday on forgiveness in her revival series. It’s interesting that the Club verse last week was “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” & I talked to the children about how Jesus forgave & we need to forgive. God knows what’s best for us & he told us to do this, so even though it’s sometimes hard, it is for our own good. It’s also interesting that I had the worst “run in” with the library nazis last night. I’m processing all this to glean what God wants to teach me.
Nancy broke forgiveness down into three categories: the offended, the offender, & the peace-maker. In the story of Onesimus, he was the offender, Philemon was the offended, & Paul was the peace-maker. We are all three at differing times. Shoot, I’m pretty much all three on a daily basis!
As the offender, just as most of the time when I am offended & nobody else knows about it, that should lead one to think about all the times we offend people & never know it. I guess that’s why Jesus said it the way He did, “for they know not what they do.” I am sure I have offended often without having a clue. That’s what I need to remind myself when others blindly (or blatantly) offend me. I need to give them the benefit of the doubt & give it to God; not dwell on it. Rush talks about how you shouldn’t give people that much power to offend you. That’s true! They aren’t bothered; you are. Why do that to yourself?
Nancy said, “…the Christian life is about relationship—our relationship with God and our relationship with each other.” Just look at the depths to which He goes to restore our relationship with Him? And He was the offended; we the offender! He gave His Son to bring us back to a right relationship to Him. When you see it in that light, what do I have to EVER get offended about, really? Some right I feel I have to something? The way I was treated? Money? Something not being fair? If I live according to Jesus, none of it’s worth it!
What big or little thing am I carrying around? Remember: 1) I am no doubt offending someone else today unknowingly, and 2) Nobody was more offended than Christ & look how He reacted. He pursued peace. I go around telling the kids to do that, “Depart from evil & do good; seek peace & pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14) That’s a good one to remember!
Lord, give me Your heart for others. Help me be the peace-maker more often than the offender or offended. Thank You for Your incredible love for me in spite of my stupid self-centeredness in so many areas. Give me Your eyes & heart on this issue today & every day. Amen.
“You’re never more like Jesus, you’re never more like God, than when you are forgiving and pursuing reconciliation.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss