October 7, 2015

Come On; I'm A Sprinter!

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. ~ Colossians 3:12-14

We have discussed in the past, that loving others is not an option, we are to love everyone. That being said, thank God we do not have to live with everyone, or it would be much more impossible. Sometimes I jokingly refer to the relationships we don't have to live with, or those not under our roof,  as the relational "sprints". The weakest of runners can handle a sprint from time to time. It is easier to grab and pass the baton of light and lovely thoughts, with those who only interact with us during short spurts of time. 

At times those relational sprints take place with the same people over a long period of time, building a type of endeared community; however, we cannot compare it as relational apples to apples.  There are complexities which those under one roof must endure if they are to remain together. Although the relational sprints we develop can be dear to us, they can also distort an individuals ability to see them selves clearly, regarding those they do have to live with.

For example: The expectation and authentic need of sharing of your feelings, hopes and desires in healthy ways are avoidable,unlike in our homes.  We now become liberated to act and say whatever we feel is in our best interest, which encourages the fellow team mates to think we are a super swell individual.  So of course, in the community when we act against our public persona, we can claim "we are having a bad day", and everyone moves on easily.  Why? Because they do not have the insiders data on us, it is only for a sprint, a pass of the baton.....and then we go home to our real intimate relationships.

Just as love is not optional, for a Christian, neither is the forgiving.  Most people do not understand that forgiving a person and having a reconciled relationship are two different things.  If someone will not admit there is a problem which needs to be forgiven, then coming to them, in sincerity, to offer a gift of forgiveness is senseless.  It would be much like having floor mats custom made, as a gift, and eagerly bringing them to someone who is adamant that the car in their driveway isn't theirs; nor do they ever care to drive a car.  This is how wanting to forgive someone who assumedly, unlike yourself,  deems themselves cleared on a matter, leaves you stuck in the mud or spinning out.

Fortunately, God dealt with this dilemma.  Forgiveness is about what God desires, not man.  It began with Him, comes from Him, and displays Him when/if  we chose to extend it.  In conversations with individuals, they tell me they cannot forget what has happened to them and they can't seem to find it within them selves to forgive.  Believe me when I type, I understand this dilemma, the ability to forgive, what cannot be forgotten, is not within my ability either.   Yet I have done it, again and again and again and again, because I know the one who forgave me when He was dealing with the dilemma my choices created. It is Him within me, His power, in my inabilities which are the strength offering such a perfectly, loving, kind, generous, undeserved gift.

Understanding the magnitude of this gift, we must talk about this: Just because you chose to forgive someone does not mean you will not remember, grieve loss, become angry about injustice or any other normal expression of wrong done. Forgiveness is not optional, but it is our personal choice

When we desire to forgive and ask God for the ability to repent of any wrong we have done and forgive another person, we will loose the desire to be malicious toward the person.  We can speak of things without having to blame or accuse them.  Of course we cannot forget something which needs to be addressed, but forgiving them keeps us from injuring our self or others as we continue to live under one roof.  We also begin to express the heart of God and Christ's image become more and more visible within our homes and communities.

While being at peace with everyone as far as it depends on us doesn't always accomplish popularity, I pray that God give us all something much more fitting: the ability to ask for our self and others to repent and be reconciled to Him.   And IF it be His will, at His perfect time to allow the relationships we have with each other to glorify Him. Maybe even give us all a cross country team t-shirt (just kidding).

Hopefully, we will go deeper into this topic, next time.  Only God knows the plans He has for us all!

With love and prayers for us all, in Christ.

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

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