Posts Tagged ‘forgive one another’

Love one another and more

September 23, 2019

The Verse of the Day for September 22, 2019 offers this reminder of how we should behave toward fellow-believers:

Romans 15:7 (NIV)

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

So, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.

The J.B. Phillips Translation offers this rendering:

So, open your hearts to one another as Christ has opened his heart to you, and God will be glorified.

In the Scriptures we find seven principles expressed as verbs which connote action specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” Here is a poetic summary of those principles:

We must learn to value and enhance relationships,
As we ever strive to nurture and to maintain them.
Within the One Body, with each sister and brother
As we love, honor, forgive and encourage each other,
We must admonish, serve, and make peace with one another.

To apply these seven principles, believers must apply the overarching principle expressed in Romans 15:7 and that is to “receive one another” that our lives may glorify God, our Father. His desire is that His children remain fruitful and bring glory to Him. Similarly, our desire is to give glory and honor to God by the way we choose to live. As believers, our heart’s desire is expressed in these lyrics:

Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.
Let our heart and soul sing of Your goodness.
May we proclaim each day new mercies and Your faithfulness.
As we apply Your Word and consider our ways,
May we praise Your name all our days

Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.
When we arise in the morning, we greet You.
With the dawning of a new day we rise to meet You.
When we begin with praise, somehow, we always find
Throughout the day You are on our mind.
Let our lives bring praise to you Lord, so the world will know that we are Yours.

The Verse of the Day also reminds us of the first principle: “love one another.” Each day we receive or accept one another, as we decide to demonstrate, freely give, and practice love: the first thread whereby we must initiate all relationships and follow Christ’s command that we love one another. The Lord further explains in

John 13:35 (New Living Translation)

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Michael W. Smith offers comments and a spirited rendition of a “Love One Another.”

We choose to forgive

May 11, 2018

The Verse of the Day for May 11, 2018 encourages believers to forgive one another:

Ephesians 4:32 in the Amplified Bible:

Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.

Forgiveness is also a topic discussed in detail in the forthcoming book Not Just a Survivor—More than a Conqueror. Chapter 7 examines “Forgiveness: A Forgotten Factor” in the healing process related to my diagnosis with prostate cancer. Here is an excerpt from that chapter which includes comments on Ephesians 4:32 and other related Scriptures:

Forgiveness is not only a vitally important concept in Christianity, but it has universal application as well. Described as a two-way street, this virtue is eloquently expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . .” The subject is connected to some of the last words that Jesus Christ, who was also brutally slain, as he spoke before his death on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In addition, Paul also exhorts believers to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Dr. Arch Hart, Christian psychologist, offers a definition of forgiveness that seems to be particularly applicable in the situations with where one individual has hurt another in some way: “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”

What does it mean to forgive?

To forgive means: to send away, dismiss, set free; to acquit by a verdict; to give no punishment to the guilty person and to view the guilty person as if he is innocent. Another definition means to let loose or set at liberty (a debtor).
Literally to forgive means to “give for.” You give to those who choose not to give. This poem by John Oxenham also expresses a profound truth about love and giving:

Love ever lives, outlives forgives,
And while it stands with open hands it lives,
For this is love’s prerogative:
To give and give and give.

You actually could keep adding “and give” to last line ad infinitum. For such love expresses endless giving.
Some of the lyrics to the song “Please Forgive Me” reinforce this truth.

God first gave to us so that we might live.
We give to others when we learn to forgive.
Jesus, our example so perfect and true,
Said, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”
I forgive you. I forgive you.
I forgive you. I forgive you.
I forgive you this time. I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

When we practice forgiving, we apply the principle of “giving and receiving.”Luke 6:38 relates this principle:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

When we forgive, we also recall another expression of truth by Jesus who said, “It more blessed to give than to receive.” In a situation where one person offers forgiveness and another receives forgiveness. Who is most blessed? I often say, “When you choose to give, you cannot lose, but when you choose not to give you cannot win.” In his book Total Forgiveness, R. T. Kendall states,

“Forgiveness is not total forgiveness until we bless our enemies—and pray for them to be blessed. Forgiving them is a major step; totally forgiving them has fully been achieved when we set God free to bless them. But in this, we are the first to be blessed, and those who totally forgive are blessed the most.”

Dr. Sidney Simon offers this definition of this critical concept:

“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”

Dr. Robert D. Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute and pioneer researcher with the first scientifically proven forgiveness program in the country, has developed Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope. This study guide demonstrates how forgiveness, when approached in the correct manner, benefits the forgiver far more than the forgiven, indicating that forgiveness can reduce anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem and hopefulness toward one’s future. The title of Dr. Enright’s workbook also brings to mind this response:

We Choose to Forgive

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

We choose to forgive and to release from payment,
To clear the account and forego the debt once more.
Though rightfully owed to us, we choose to forgive,
To be gracious, in spite of the ingratitude.
Our desire is to be kind and tenderhearted;
Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us,
We rise to the occasion of the Word of God.
Not keeping a record of any wrongs suffered,
We seek to walk in the footsteps of the Savior.
As Joseph, in compassion, assured his brothers
What Satan meant for evil, God fashions for good,
Widen our vision to see a much more grand scope:
May we also see all things working together
For the good, even in perilous times as these.

We close with Matthew West singing “Forgiveness”:

Beyond race relations: Forgive one another

July 23, 2016

Ephesians 4_32

The blog post for July 23, 2016 is a continuation of the series based on the concept “It’s all about relationships,” the theme from a conference attended three years ago that related seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” These principles can be universally applied in achieving and maintaining successful relationships, but they can also be specifically applied in race relations, a critically important area in America today.

These seven principles are related to verbs that connote action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” The reciprocal pronoun used in the plural carries the notion of a group of people acting upon themselves, i.e., upon one another. For example, we are to “love another and so forth. . .”

1) Love

2) Honor

3)  Forgive

4)  Encourage

5)  Admonish

6)  Serve

7)  Make peace

Earlier posts have discussed the first two principles, and today we will talk about the third:

Forgive one another

The Verse of the Day posted on June 26, 2016 centered on Leviticus 18:19 (AMP):

You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.

The expression to “not take revenge nor bear any grudge” is “to forgive,” and most remarkably, June 26 is National Forgiveness Day, a designated time to forgive and be forgiven. In some sense every day could be seen as Forgiveness Day, not only in America but across the globe. Some of the following comments are extracted and expanded from that blog entry:

Forgiveness, a vitally important concept in Christianity, is described as a two-way street. This virtue is eloquently expressed in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. . . .” The subject is connected to some of the last words that Jesus Christ, who was also brutally slain, as he spoke before his death on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

In addition, Paul also exhorts believers to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Dr. Arch Hart, Christian psychologist, offers a definition of forgiveness that seems to be particularly applicable in the situations with where one individual has hurt another in some way: “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”

James E. Hurst cites Dr. Sidney Simon who offers this definition of this critical concept:

“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”

Dr. Robert D. Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute and pioneer researcher with the first scientifically proven forgiveness program in the country, has developed Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope. This study guide demonstrates how forgiveness, when approached in the correct manner, benefits the forgiver far more than the forgiven, indicating that forgiveness can reduce anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem and hopefulness toward one’s future. The title of Dr. Enright’s workbook also brings to mind this poem:

We Choose to Forgive

 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,

forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

 

 

We choose to forgive and to release from payment,

To clear the account and forego the debt once more.

Though rightfully owed to us, we choose to forgive,

To be gracious, in spite of the ingratitude.

Our desire is to be kind and tenderhearted;

Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us,

We rise to the occasion of the Word of God.

Not keeping a record of any wrongs suffered,

We seek to walk in the footsteps of the Savior.

As Joseph, in compassion, assured his brothers

What Satan meant for evil, God fashions for good,

Widen our vision to see a much more grand scope:

May we also see all things working together

For the good, even in perilous times as these.

More than a year ago on June 17, 2015, a series of horrific events occurred in Charleston, SC, where Dylann Roof, seemingly mild-manner young White man,  sat in on a midweek Bible study for an hour before opening fire in a brutal attack that left nine dead at historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. When Roof appeared in court on the following Friday facing nine counts of murder, many of the family members of those slain stated, “I forgive you.”

The response to the events in Charleston has served as a glorious demonstration of the power of forgiveness in an interracial context. Throughout the nation we find similar situations where Caucasians have inflicted injury, even death, on African Americans and where African Americans have retaliated in attacking those of another ethnicity who injured them. Without question, race relations are strained, to say the least, but we recognize that to overcome such enmity a spirit of forgiveness must prevail. Christians must set the example and lead the way in responding to the Biblical command:

To forgive, release from payment, to do a favor,

Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do,

Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.

Matthew West, popular Christian singer, tells the story behind one of the songs that he wrote “Forgiveness”:

Listen to the complete recording of “Forgiveness”

Confess your faults and be healed

May 6, 2016

James_5-16
The Verse of the Day for yesterday, May 5, 2016, the National Day of Prayer, emphasized the power of prayer on a corporate level, as groups of individuals focused on the powerful words of 2 Chronicles 7:14. This conditional sentence indicates that if the people of God will meet certain conditions, God will respond and heal their land. The Verse of the Day for today, May 6, 2016, however, looks at the powerful effects of praying for one another on an individual level, as expressed in James 5:16 (KJV):

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Here is how the New Living Translation renders the verse:

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

We find a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Take a look at the New Living Translation:

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

In examining the verses found in James and Matthew, we ask, what does it mean to “tell him his fault” or “point out the offense”? Similar expressions are also translated “to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. 1 John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I recall lyrics” which are addressed first to God and then to others in this original song:

Please Forgive Me

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,
For each time I failed to follow your lead,
Each time I ignored you and went astray.
And let go your hand and walked my own way.

Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me this time.
Please forgive me each time.
Please forgive me.

Though I may have offended unknowingly,
I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.
As God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me,
I release all past hurts, and I set you free.

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

God first gave to us so that we might live.
We give to others when we learn to forgive.
Jesus, our example so perfect and true,
Said, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

Do not resist Him; He wants you to yield.
Accept His forgiveness, and you will be healed.
Each sin committed, each iniquity
Is cast into the depths of the deepest sea.

God forgives you.
God forgives you.
God forgives you
God forgives you.
God forgives you this time.
God forgives you each time.
God forgives you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”:

Love, honor, forgive one another

May 24, 2014

 

Romans 12 10

10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. Amplified Bible

Here is a video reminder of this verse

The Verse of the Day for May 24, 2014 incorporates two of the seven principles for achieving successful relationships. Developed by Apostle Carolyn Warren of Equip U Ministries, these valuable, practical principles can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.”

Each of the seven principles is expressed as a verb that connotes action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another,” a phrase that is used 31 times in the Scriptures.

1)      Love

2)     Honor

3)     Forgive

Love one another:

Love is an essential element of life. Jesus Christ is the model, the standard of love who offered this reminder:

John 13:34-35

 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.

35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

Honor one another:

To honor means to place value on, respect, to place esteem upon, to esteem. The word also means “to prefer—to go before, to lead, to be intentional.” Clearly, this is the essence of the latter part of Romans 12:10

Apostle John Tetsola comments, “Honor produces an exchange, in that when we give honor, we receive honor in return.” He elaborated upon this principle by stating that associated with honor is the “process of welcoming the person you honor in your heart, whereby you celebrate their anointing and receive the individual with gladness.” He calls this the “process of acceptance” which we apply when we honor one another.

Song writer Jimmy Scott sings a composition “To Honor You,” a tribute to the memory of a loved one.

Forgive one another

In actuality, a third principle—that is—to forgive one another is incorporated in the first part of the Verse of the Day which encourages us to “love one another.”   An aspect of love is giving. Literally to forgive means to “give for.” You give to those who choose not to give. It has been said that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. John Oxenham reminds us of this truth:

Love ever lives, outlives forgives,

And while it stands with open hands it lives,

For this is love’s prerogative:

To give and give and give.

You actually could keep adding “and give” to last line ad infinitum. For such love expresses endless giving.

And so the Verse of the Day encompasses not only the exhortation to love and honor one another but also by implication to forgive one another.

Spoken word poet, Amena Brown reads selections from Romans 12, from The Voice, a new Bible translation, from which the Verse of the Day was taken.

Confess your faults

May 10, 2014

Matthew-18 15

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15 KJV

The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2014 brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2014 which centered on James 5:16, a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated  “. . .to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationship first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”: