Friday, January 30, 2015

Learning to Forgive COMPLETELY

Genesis 50

When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 
Genesis 50:17b

But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid, Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
Genesis 50:19-20

Wow! What a beautiful picture of forgiveness! Joseph obviously was a deeply emotional person. Yet he was able to forgive his brothers so completely that when they sent this message asking him to forgive them it pained him to realize that they still had feelings of guilt and feared him.

I have a hard time forgiving this completely. There have been times when I thought I'd forgiven, then some new friction between that person and me causes that same old bitterness to rear it's ugly head again. It's like I'm peeling away painful layer after layer of gunk when instead I just need to steel myself and dig the whole nasty, ugly mess out of my heart. This is not something that I can do on my own. I need God to perform heart surgery on me by changing the way I think.

It always seems to come back to that. If my thoughts are being changed to become something that pleases God, then the bitterness will disappear. It will be replaced by love. And not a puny, based on feelings kind of love, but a sincere, unconditional love.

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.
Romans 8:5-6

Thank you, Lord for showing me this! Please help me to only allow the thoughts in my mind that please you. Holy Spirit, please be my teacher and show me when my thoughts are not so pleasing, because I so easily forget to remember! I love you so much!! In Jesus sweet, precious name I pray. 

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