Sunday, July 28, 2013

God and the Grace to Forgive

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
— MARK 11:25 (NRSV)
Yes we get hurt all the time,
Most of it we can be unconscious about,
The mature person sees the risk,
They keep short account with God, no doubt.
They will ensure that forgiveness becomes habit,
For they realise the insidious nature of hurt,
Daily they come before God,
And give Him all their dirt.
Air the laundry by keeping a short account with God. Unreconciled hurts not only destroy relationships, but they propel us toward an estranging of ourselves. A lack of interpersonal integrity affects our personal integrity.

Simply put, when we remain hurt, we undermine ourselves.
Keeping a short account with God is the blessed state of union with the Creator who always designed life to be lived in close connection with the Divine Being. We can no sooner short-circuit this, as Adam and Eve and the serpent did in producing the Fall, than we can pray to God and expect everything to work out as we wish it to.
Keeping a short account with God necessitates us to pray, daily, momentarily in fact; continuously – as the apostle Paul urges the Thessalonians in his first letter to that church (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). For, when we pray, as Jesus commands it above in Mark’s gospel, we are to forgive as if forgiveness is part of our daily routine, because we are hurt daily.
We are to pray unceasingly, and, in that, to forgive unceasingly, also.
We need to do these things to stay in direct communion with the Spirit of God indwelling us. If we were not to communicate with our spouses, our relationship would soon become messy. Likewise, communicating haphazardly with God, or not at all, is a recipe for spiritual disaster.
Getting back to the initial subject, we necessarily need to comprehend that we are hurt by people routinely in life and we are blessed when we take each and every one of those hurts directly and immediately to God.
We waste no time in this. We know that time runs against us when we delay our forgiveness. We know that a lack of forgiveness when it is needed means we only damage ourselves, apart from splitting asunder the relational dynamics that may, in fact, be hard won.
When we remain hurt, we undermine ourselves. Forgiveness begins with us as individual persons and it ends with us having been blessed for surrendering our hurts. The mature person keeps such a short account with God that none of their hurts they allow to fester.
Blessed are those who air their dirty laundry before the King of kings and Lord of lords – and the Saviour, alone – so they may receive healing grace to forgive.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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