Skip to main content

Forgive, don't remind

Forgive someone, and you will strengthen your friendship. Keep reminding them, and you will destroy it. 10 Smart people learn more from a single correction than fools learn from a hundred beatings. (Proverbs 17:9-10 ERV)
Some of us find ourselves facing opportunities on occasion in which we know someone we care about deeply needs a little correction in their life - the choices they have been making aren't all that wise or they are going to take them into places they shouldn't dabble. There are times when we want to stop them in their tracks, but we must be very cautious not to over-step our bounds in the relationship. In those moments, we are caught in a hard place - we want to save them the hardship of the wrong choice, but we also know there are times when the individual just isn't prepared to listen to us no matter how imploring our arguments to the contrary might be.
Here are a few thoughts for us today:
1. Forgiveness might just be the ticket that changes someone's course. We might not think it, but there are times when we forgive the other person's failure, wrong steps, or plain ignorance and they find release, or their "way back" as a result of that step of forgiveness. We may not be able to stop the actions of the other individual, but we can extend the grace of forgiveness, not "overlooking" their missteps, but bringing them under the blood of Jesus, not holding those missteps against them. Grace draws them back - holding it against them because you "warned them" of the results of their actions ahead of time pushes them further away.
2. None of us wants to be reminded of our failures, but there are times when a gentle reminder of where certain past actions have landed us can keep us from making the same mistakes repeatedly. It isn't that we throw them back in anyone's face, but we use the lessons learned from those times to keep us each focused on the right path now. For example, when my kids were growing up, I tried to teach them to have a little bit saved up for those unexpected emergencies, or opportunities that came their way. There were times when they would have spent it all, having nothing for the next venture in life, then they found themselves sitting home, missing out on something they might have wanted to participate in. I simply reminded them of the wisdom of creating the "cushion" that allowed for these opportunities. I didn't have to rub their noses in their misspending, I just let the consequences of their actions help them learn the lesson.
3. We may want what is best for each other, but never forget that we each make our own choices in life. We can guide and advise, but we don't control the rudder of the other person's ship. We can pray for them, stand along side them, support them in hard times, and create a loving environment in which they can find grace and hope. We cannot always rescue, for sometimes the rescue someone needs is best delivered by the hand of God reaching out to them where they find themselves. It may not be easy to let God reach them, but it might save them lots more falls into that same pit! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce