Why We Have to Forgive Before Someone Asks

Jesus’ Forgiveness Model

Have you been wronged by someone? Have you been hurt by someone’s words or actions? Jesus has an answer that can bring healing to a broken situation. Believe it or not, our healing starts with forgiveness.

Why We Have to Forgive Before Someone Asks

I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been hurt by people and I’ve hurt others. Both situations can be very painful, especially if the situation seems hopeless. I’ve found myself longing for others to forgive me. While other times, having to seek that closure by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ Both of which can be so difficult.

How does a Christian navigate through these challenging moments?

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The Elbow of Trudeau

It’s a joke, Canada has “Micky Mouse” politics.  While the country is discussing the serious matter of Bill C-14 and Medical Assistance in Dying and its implications, our government is determining the implications of the elbow of Justin Trudeau.

http://andrewholm.com/the-elbow-of-trudeau

I’m not going to lie, our Prime Minister doesn’t have the greatest reputation among conservative Christians.  That said, the House of Commons, and reaction as a whole, is a little off course.

If you haven’t seen this yet, here is some of The National’s coverage:

The Christian Forgiveness Model

I’m not about to hold Trudeau to Christian principles, but I will hold Christians to their response to his actions.

When we wrong someone (whether intentional or not), we are called to follow Matthew 18. Here are the basic points:

  • If someone wrongs you, go to the person and explain the issue;
  • If they don’t listen, bring someone with you;
  • If they still don’t listen, tell the Church; and,
  • If they still don’t listen, move on.
  • BUT, if the person asks for forgiveness, forgive them.

Some call this a “conflict-resolution model”, but I call it a “forgiveness model.”  Why? Because, as believers, we need to have a forgiving spirit.  When we go to someone who has wronged us, we need to already be ready to forgive them.  According to Jesus, there are no situations where we are not to forgive someone when they ask.

Mistakes happen…

Clearly, our Prime Minister took off his thinking hat, and quickly acted in the heat of the moment.  Did he use force?  Did he mean to use his elbow?  Did the NDPs try to get in the way?  Does it matter?

Trudeau realized he made a mistake and apologized.  In fact, he apologized several times – not only for his direct actions, but also for his failure “to live up to a higher standard of behaviour.”1

As believers, we need to accept that and move on.

Stop Making A Big Deal Of the Wrong Issues…

There are much bigger issues that we need to be praying and thinking about.  The issue of Medical Assistance in Dying is far more critical than the “swinging of ones elbows.”  This is a turning point in our history, and the right decision will greatly impact our moral obligations.

I have no doubt that this is the work of the enemy.  Up until a few days ago, much of the attention was towards Medical Assistance in Dying, and now we’re talking about “fear in the workplace” and comparing his actions to that of drinking and driving.  Where did that come from?

Stop Complaining And Start Praying…

No matter how you feel about Justin Trudeau, he is still our Prime Minister and our leader.  Pray for him, his Cabinet and their leadership.  Pray they make the best decisions and know that God has everything in control every step of the way (Romans 13:1).

Every time we focus on the wrong issues, we distract ourselves from what we should be praying about.

Let’s move on.

References   [ + ]

New Year Resolutions (Part 2)

As we look forward to another wonderful year, many of us make new year resolutions.  Maybe this year we can set goals that help us grow spirituality over the next twelve months.  As Christians, we should be growing together in terms of three concepts: worshiping God, loving others, and serving.  Perhaps this year we can challenge ourselves with building stronger relationships within these three areas.

In part one, we looked at our relationship with God.  In this post, we’ll look at our relationship with others.

Our relationship with Others

We’re around others every day.  In order to have successful relationships, we need to ensure we respect and love one another.  Let’s look at a couple of ways we can work on this during 2013.

Forgiveness

Because we’re human, we sometimes butt heads with one another.  Sometimes it results in pain, confusion, heartache or otherwise hurt.  Generally speaking, we have no idea we’ve hurt someone unless that person has told us.  In that case, we need to make sure we initiate forgiveness so a positive resolution can be made.  Paul told us:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.[i]

We need to bear with and forgive one another like Christ did for us.  If that’s true, we’ll need to forgive without expecting anything in return.

Jesus told us how to forgive.  In Matthew’s gospel[ii], Jesus lays out four steps to follow:

1)      Go to the person one-on-one – let them know what happened and work it out.  If that doesn’t work,

2)      Gather two or three people together as witnesses to help mediate the situation.  If that doesn’t work,

3)      Tell the church body and hopefully a positive resolution can be made.  If that doesn’t work,

4)      Disregard the person and situation.  In other words, take the high road.

Let’s not wait any longer – mend relationships in 2013.

Loving Others

The Bible is pretty clear that we need to love one another.  In fact, the gospel is built on LOVE.  When writing to the Church in Rome, Paul wrote:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love.  Honour one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.[iii]

We are called to have sincere and genuine love for others.  We need to love when society tells us there is no room for love.  We need to love even when love isn’t reciprocated.  How will you love others this year?

How will you challenge yourself to better your relationship with others?  This year, let’s love as Christ loves us.

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From our home to yours, have a blessed and wonderful year!

Check out part one and three of “New Year Resolutions”

 


[i] Col 3:13, NIV.

[ii] Matt 18:15-20, NIV.

[iii] Romans 12:9-13, NIV.