Week of June 3rd- 10th 2012
The last 5 weeks in “living on the edge” we have been discussing how we are called to sincerely love our brothers and sisters, honoring them and serving with enthusiasm even. Now as we begin the last section of the book we are going to address how we are called to love, honor and serve those who may not be our spiritual brother and have hurt us.
The first thing we have to do is examine our relationships and identify who hurt us. There are many different levels of pain and hurt and evil that we encounter every day. So in our R12 mindset and remembering that God trumps ALL evil let’s ask ourselves: What does it look like to allow the Spirit of God to give us the Grace to treat those who have unjustly wronged us the way Jesus would treat them?
The answers to this question will depend on prayer and forgiveness. Depending on the magnitude of the pain and evil in your life, I encourage you to seek the counsel of a Pastor, or trusted friend. Now on to forgiveness. How is it that we are to bless our enemies? The title of Chapter 22 poses a very good question.“Will you let Christ heal you?”
Healing, forgiveness, and learning to bless those who persecute us is a three stage process. First we must have a true desire for God to forgive their sins. Then we have to make a choice to forgive them as God has forgiven us. Stage one is making a choiceto not desire revenge and to ask God to give them the same mercy you receive. Step two is where your choice turns into an emotional response of forgiving. It may take some time, But this process is where you will see the Spirit change you internally as you move closer into the third stage.
Lastly, Forgiven. When you have competed forgiveness of those who persecute then you will feel a sense of sincere joy when that person receives blessings. By this joy you will learn that blessing those who persecute you means praying for that person until the time when you find yourself feeling genuine joy in their presence.