Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is the little path off the main road leading to Chimusanya Baptist Church where I have been teaching on Thursdays for the last 6 weeks. Today's lesson was on how we should forgive one another. Often things happen in life among our friends or in our families where we get hurt. Bitterness and anger can easily come between us. This is not God's plan. God tells us that when trouble comes between people we need to, "forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." (Col. 3:13) We must put away anger, wrath, hate, lies, and evil talk(Col. 3:8). When another offends us we must not answer back with these bad things. Colossians goes on to tell us that we must be patient and forgive even when another has hurt us. Col. 3:12 says, "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience.."
We forgive because God has forgiven us. One time Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive. He asked whether he should forgive his brother seven times. Matthew 18:22 says, "Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." That means 490 times. Jesus meant that we should never stop forgiving one who offends us.
Question time can always be interesting and a cultural learning experience as well. Today, one of the women asked me, "If my friend hits me in the face what can I do?" I had to first ask if that was really true and she said it was. I told her that she may not really be a friend after all. Anyway, our job is to forgive even if the other person doesn't ask forgiveness. I'm not saying it is easy, in fact, it is very difficult to do. People cannot forgive in this way unless God helps them. Jesus is our example and his power gives us strength to forgive. All we can do is our part that God wants us to do and then pray for that person that God would work in them and change their heart. Interestingly enough, I had a very similar situation happen to me just this week that I could share with the women of how I had forgiven someone of a wrong deed when that person had not actually asked for my forgiveness. If I had not forgiven that person I could have become quite bitter in the long run. Now, I'm just praying that God would change that person and show them their wrong deed. I can't change anyone only God can do that so I'm just leaving it up to Him. I think that it is neat how when I teach, God allows me to use examples from my own life.
Posted by Suzie Rodgers at 8:03 PM