Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Facilitators of Forgiveness

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9. I have been hearing more and more about conflict lately. Even those of our number seem to be struggling to get along. We fight over "big" issues as well as lesser ones. Just Wednesday night, in ladies class, we prayed for one who had decided that hurt feelings would keep them from both fellowship and worship, vowing it would be forever. We hear of churches splitting, feuding, name calling, etc. And I know that God's heart must be breaking. We hear of folks doing unspeakable, sinful things to our church family and we know that satan is alive and well and waging war on our church.
While it is true that God has called us to minister to others, to evangelize, to baptize, to teach and make disciples, it is also true that He called us to be peacemakers. This is a very large task because we live in a very unforgiving world. If you listen to political newscasts, you hear about old votes, old affairs and old decisions. If you watch television, you hear about past behaviors, past indiscretions, and past bad habits. If you sit at the local coffee shop, you are apt to hear some of the same. Isn't there a verse that says, "love keeps no record of wrong"? That is forgiveness. Making peace has to do with forgiveness.
We must be the kind of people who facilitate forgiveness. This requires us to live like we are forgiven. We can't keep revisiting our sins, they are put away, wiped away and forgiven. We cannot go through our lives, walking our daily walk and talking our daily talk with an attitude of guilt. Why would we continue to keep a record of it, when God does not? We have been saved, not because of what we did or do, but because of His mercy and grace. Praise God, for His saving love!
Not only must we live like we are forgiven, we must also be forgiving people. I want to be the kind of person who forgives like Jesus does, immediately. I don't want to stew about the wrong done to me. I don't want to keep adding fuel to my fire of anger and hurt. I want to forgive immediately and completely. Jesus did that. His forgiveness was immediate and complete, even on the cross. I want to be more like Him. I am way too busy to take the time to wallow in my own hurt feelings. I pray we will continue learning that immediate and complete forgiveness. If we are to be peacemakers, we must learn to be forgivers.
We must also work to create an atmosphere or attitude of forgiveness. When our friends or fellow christians are venting to us, we need to be brave enough to encourage immediate forgiveness. We need to not add to their anger, not add to their hurt but rather work with them to diffuse it, work to salve their wounded feelings and help them to move into a prayerful forgiveness for their offender.
I know there are congregations who are wounded and bleeding. They have been injured by one of their own. They have been betrayed and lied to. They have been abused and misused. They will need our help to forgive. They will need forgiving people to help guide them into the healing and forgiveness they need. Once their wounds are no longer bleeding and their hearts are no longer breaking, they can move forward, working for the Lord, they themselves, facilitating forgiveness in others.
I know that some things are more difficult to forgive, but I also believe forgiveness is absolutely possible in absolutely every situation. If it were not, God would not ask us to forgive. He could not do so and remain a just and loving God. There have been so many times we have been hurt. Hurt with words, hurt by actions, hurt by events, but I have never been deserted by my friends and then lied about and then beaten and then hanged on a cross to die. For those would seem almost impossible to forgive. And yet . . . He forgave. He reminds us to forgive as we have been forgiven. He tells us that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. Measure to measure---forgiveness of our sins has a direct correlation to the way we forgive others. And we are to encourage others to also forgive. We are to be facilitators of forgiveness, peacemakers because we are sons of God.

Peace,
Neva

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, amen

Dan

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not near as many peacemakers as there are potstirrers and troublemakers. Too bad--Christians may very well be the reason the church is not growing.
Good post


Pat

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Paublo said...

Next time I'm venting I will expect you to encourage me.

Paublo

6:54 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Paublo,
You got it---It is the least I can do,practice what I preach.

Peace
n
PS, I will, of course, expect the same in return.
:)

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is one of the ways people can tell we are God's people. We forgive and we aer forgiven.
Good post, Neva

Jean

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, something we should all aspire to---be God's peacemakers.
I really needed this reminder and really needed this encouragement. Thank you

Eileen

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right!! We have to help our brothers and sisters get along. We have to teach forgiveness, live forgiveness and example forgiveness.

We can do this and we can make a change.

Rachel

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Venting is sometimes really destructive, forgiveness would be so much better.

Lyndsay

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right. We all like to rally others to feel our pain, maybe our efforts need to focus on rallying them to help us forgive as we help them to forgive. You are right.

Karli

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Monalea said...

Funny but I have really been struggling with forgiveness lately against several of my family members who hurt my feelings. I realized this morning that I had the "poor pittiful me syndrom." Then I read your artical about forgiveness. Isn't it amazing all the resources that God uses to get our attention? Pray for me please!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Monalea,
It would be an honor to pray for you. Praying right now.
Love
Neva

1:02 PM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

Neva - I too say amen & Amen -- I left some comments at Bobby Cohoon (little sorrell's)site on his post on reconciliation that sort of fits with this.

One of my lovely lady's favorite verses is the one that says "as much as it is within you live at peace with all men" (and it isn't just because she has to live with me that she thinks that :):) -- in fact it was that attitude that in part drew me to her some 45 years ago).

God Bless
Charlie

p.s. Thanks for coming by my site a week or so ago-- I haven't updated since the Anniversary piece but I will be back eventually.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is a struggle for all of us. And it really shouldn't be. Thank you for the encouragement.

Dean

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience, the more we practice forgiveness the better we get at it.


Mary

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is much easier to say than to do--this is however necessary for christians. we have to be forgivers. I like this essay--it is a good reminder of how christians are supposed to be. We all fall short but we are still christians in the process--the process isn't finished. we are becoming something greater than our petty squabbles and hurt feelings. We are becoming something greater than our heated discussions and name calling, we are becoming something greater. Forgiveness is one of the steps in the "becoming".

6:32 PM  
Blogger Bobby Cohoon said...

Good post sis! I beieve forgiveness is possible in every situation also.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I too believe forgiveness is an absolute must for Christians, but sometimes that forgiveness does not come easy. Sometimes all we can do is pray about it and ask God to show us how to forgive. That's when we have to make a decision, to totally turn it over to God, not only to help us forgive, but that God will also be the judge and will deliver the ultimate punishment for any wrongs rather than us trying to do that ourselves. God must really be trying to get my attention with your blog, thank you for your insights.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

II Thessalonians 1:6ff
"God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you when you are troubled and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels"

We forgive --He vindicates

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a good reminder--we need to be so grateful -how could we not be forgiving people when God forgives so much. I liked this post.


Carol

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always have to do a self check to make sure I am being a peacemaker rather than a pot stirrer. Sometimes things clear up by themselves but sometimes they need some help.

good thoughts
Karin

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--what a great encouragement to be more like Jesus--the true example of forgiveness in my book.

good post

3:09 PM  

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