Journal Entry ~ 09/30/18

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. - Colossians 3:12-14

The most beautiful thing about us is how we love - it's not how we sing, how we clean or organize, how we dress or what we own - it is how we love. Period. The most beautiful thing about us is the way we love. The way we love should stop people in their tracks and cause them to take notice. 

We demonstrate our love for others when we put their needs before our own, and when we love until the end. Love is thinking about what the other person needs, what would bless that difficult person in my life. Love is asking what is the most loving thing I can do - not for the person it is easy to give to, but to the person who most challenges me. Love continues to give even when I feel I am the only one giving. Love is willing to receive injury rather than to inflict it. When push comes to shove, biblical love accepts the push rather than give the shove. Love does not keep track of the offenses, but lets them all go because forgiveness is our priority when loving others. 

Having difficult people in my life, I’m constantly come up against this truth. I have to be willing to let go of the offenses as fast as they come in if I am going to love these people in the way the bible instructs me to love them. The bible calls for immediate (now), total (all offenses), unilateral (all people) forgiveness as proof of true salvation in Christ. 

But there is no way we can do that on our own. This passage reminds us how we are to do that - we forgive as we have been forgiven. We need to spend time daily in meditation of the gift of forgiveness we have been given - daily we need to focus our thoughts on the fact that we are not being thrown into the fiery pits of hell for our own offenses because he has forgiven us. When we do that, our perspectives shift, and the major offenses become minor. We let go of those things we want to hold on to, the things we want to show others to justify our righteous position against that person, and we love in return. If we ever want that person to change, to see the love of Christ, and to love others as Christ loves us, then we must be Christ to them - we must forgive all offenses, not just some, and we must do it immediately, in the moment, as He has forgiven us. 

Jesus didn't hold grudges, He didn't push back, He didn't go to His friends or family members with stories of how horrible we are. He absorbed the wrong and showed love in return. Focusing on His forgiveness this week has grown my love for others in ways I could not begin to match on my own. It's allowed me to lay down my expectations and priorities, and pick up His priorities.  It's allowed me to absorb the offense, and love them in response. 

Press on ~ you loved 💗


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