by Bob Valleau
4/17/2010 / Relationships
There. I said it. It might be somewhat of a misnomer, but it's the truth. I'd like to think of it as a paradox than a misnomer because, as believers, the Bible tells us to love one another. But, how can I love my brother or sister in Christ who stabs me in the back or slanders my reputation under the guise of gossip? Oh, sorry. I meant to say: under the guise of "prayer."
Loving another when he or she has done us wrong is no easy task because it involves something that we must do. And this something is what I like to call "The 3Fs Formula." Forgiveness by Faith will bring us the Freedom we seek to be at peace with those who have wronged us.
Didn't Jesus say when we are wronged to turn the other cheek? (Matthew 5:39). Or, how about forgiving another seventy times seven? (Matthew 18:22).
Granted, some people are easier to love than others. It's those "others" who constantly challenge me. They are the ones who burrow themselves deep under my skin and make themselves at home. Yet, they seem to have no clue as to what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship. They test every fruit of the Spirit I try to bear, and sometimes succeed at squashing it.
But who am I to judge the motives of another? However, I am human, and I feel pain when I am slighted, slandered or my character is slaughtered by the insensitivity of those I am instructed to love. The only way I can find freedom from this pain is when I look into the mirror and see that I am no different than them. My reflection reminds me that there have been times when, I, too, acted similarly or just the same.
May our choice to forgive others start with a humble heart and faith in the only One who can forgive of all past, present and future wrongs.
Bob Valleau has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of four books.
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