God is All About Forgiveness (Proverbs 17: 9) – Your Daily Bible Verse – July 14


God is all about forgiveness (Proverbs 17: 9)
By: Anne Peterson

Today’s Bible Verse: Love thrives when a fault is forgiven, but lingering over it separates close friends. – Proverbs 17: 9

The atmosphere is tense. You have been caught off guard, and before you know it your first thought is not to remain silent. You’re not interested in praying before you answer, so you react instead. And this is not good. Has this ever happened to you?

God tells us to be kind and tender to one another, forgiving one another, just as he has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). I think sometimes we have a different way of looking at forgiveness.

Sometimes we make the decision to forgive based on the amount of hurt we have suffered. A small offense is easier to forgive. But when something pierces our hearts, that’s another story. And yet, God tells us that we must forgive as he has forgiven us. It means we have to forgive like he did. Made we deserve forgiveness? No, we didn’t. And yet, Jesus forgave us. We are supposed to forgive like he did.

I remember a speaker who once said, “If you are not sure whether you have forgiven someone, just imagine them walking up to you on the sidewalk. Would your heart welcome them or would you rather cross to the other side of the street? “

Sometimes we try to trick ourselves into believing that we have forgiven someone when in reality we have just pushed them out of our mind or into ourselves. Pushing away our emotions doesn’t help. They will surface, and sometimes it’s not pretty when they do.

When we suppress our feelings, we fail to sort them out kindly and in prayer. Instead of choosing which words to say and which to remember, they all jostle each other, demanding to be heard.

Solomon was wise when he said that a gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15: 1). Our words can be like gasoline on fire. We stand there watching the flames rise a few meters above us. And as we try to justify our actions, God tells us to respond with love and forgive.

Do you remember when Joseph was wrongly accused? He still chose to do what was right. And God honored Joseph’s decision. God worked everything together for good (Romans 8:28).

Time is a precious commodity. We can waste it, or we can let God show us how to redeem it. If there is a disagreement, we can be open to God showing us our part. We can ask God to soften our hearts as well as the hearts of those we hurt. He is more than willing to do it.

God is for unity, Satan is not. So when we disagree with someone, the enemy is happy.

What is the answer? When you are in the middle of a battle, breathe and send a prayer to the Lord. Like him to silence any word that will not be for the other person.

Pray that God will show you how you can be more affectionate.

Proverbs 17: 9;  inspiring image

When we care more about each other than our own feelings, we are moving in the right direction. God tells us not to do anything out of selfish ambition or vanity, but out of humility to consider others better than yourself (Philippians 2: 3).

Whenever we plan what to say next, we are focusing on ourselves. The point is, I am not responsible for what the other person says, but I AM responsible for the words that come out of my mouth.

I don’t believe we can truly forgive without the Lord. We intervene too much. We try to justify our own actions. Maybe because we care more about ourselves, or because we are right.

If we entrust our interactions to God, the Holy Spirit will show us where we need to be more loving, more forgiving. And then we have the choice. Will we choose to keep our wound, to put it away with others? Or will we forgive as we have been forgiven? When God forgave us, it was totally.

God will give us grace for our interactions with others because God loves unity. And God is all about forgiveness. He really is.

All along

The fog is finally rising, Lord,

some things are becoming clear.

And pictures that were once big

seemed to disappear.

I feel the pressure decrease

maybe I get strong.

And I’m not surprised to find

you’ve been there from the start. -Anne Peterson © 2020

Anne Peterson is a poet, lecturer, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always there: to find the comfort of God through loss. Anne’s early memoirs are: Broken: A story of Abuse, Survival and Hope. She has published children’s books and poetry books, such as Droplets: Poetry for These in Grief and He Whispers: Poetic talks with God. Anne also contributes regularly to Crosswalk.com. Anne’s poetry has been sold in gift shops since 1996. Check out Anne’s website at www.annepeterson.com or connect with her on Facebook.

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