Day 28

“Who Needs Instructions”

It is remarkably interesting to see how some people view instructions. Some have the thought: “When all else fails, read the instructions.” There is a humorous anecdote about men not seeking directions when they are noticeably lost. “I know where I am going. Anyway, a map (or the GPS) is simply another man’s opinion.” This type of attitude is usually faced with repeated attempts for corrective action.

Too often the Bible is mistakenly placed in this same category by both men and women. We will read the Bible and agree with what it says about life in general. But when our life comes to a specific obstruction, crisis, or predicament then we move on to treating God’s Word as simply ‘another man’s opinion.’ Perhaps one of the most difficult cautions in the Bible is the one regarding forgiveness.

Colossians 3:12-13 (CSB) Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.

Unfortunately, when we are wronged, holding a grudge seems to be the appropriate action to take. “Don’t get angry, get even” is a dangerous lifestyle resulting in personal internal injury to ourselves and collateral damage to others we love. God’s Word says,
Hebrews 12:14-15 (CSB) “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. 15Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many”.

Unforgiveness develops bitterness which acts as an internal toxin slowly destroying and causing hurt to those around you. As another writer said, “Unforgiveness is like you drinking poison expecting the other person to die.”

Matthew 18:21-35 adds even greater depth to the issue of unforgiveness and the pain caused to the person injured, not the perpetrator. Peter approached Jesus and asked Jesus how many times should he forgive a person who had wronged him. Peter guessed 7 times. Jesus corrected Peter by saying not 7 times 7 but 70 times 7. Jesus added that if a person were unwilling to forgive, God would allow a tormentor to inflict pain on the unforgiving person until forgiveness was given. “So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).

Just as the Lord has forgiven us, we should forgive others. Forgiving others, even before they ask to be forgiven or even if they never ask for forgiveness, frees us from pain and bitterness.

Let’s take a scenic detour in our journey of life. Fasting is most often thought of in terms of doing without food. How about an alternate direction in this notion that fasting only involves food? Fast retaliation and vindictiveness against anyone who has caused you pain.

God’s Word is the ultimate GPS, God’s Positioning System. God’s Word is not simply another person’s opinion. God’s directions are the only ones that will lead you safely home!
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