Yesterday, I heard a lot about humility and forgiveness from two different preachers I listened to. I figure that hearing a similar message from two different individuals with different ministries, telling me essentially the same thing, meant I better sit up and pay attention to it!
As I begin to write this post, it occurs to me that I might be better off breaking it into two separate posts. Yet, I find that humility and forgiveness are inseparable. So, with that said, I shall proceed with [what could become] a large post with lots of things covered. Undoubtedly, though, a second post focusing on the fruit of the Spirit is forthcoming.
One of the preachers I listened to yesterday was Kenneth Copeland. Brother Copeland made some interesting points on the topic of forgiveness. Let’s begin with what is necessary to lay the groundwork for forgiveness. We must have love. Love, as he pointed out, is not a ‘feeling’ or a ‘concept’– it is God. 1 John 4:8 (HCSB) says the following: The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. I must have God dwelling within me (possible through what Jesus has done) in order to experience love and share it with others.
Knowing what Jesus has done for us and accepting God’s free gift of salvation establishes the seed within us to do what needs to be accomplished as His followers. Our mandate is clear, as expressed in Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
God obviously has every right to judge us, find us guilty and condemn us all. Yet, He does not. Instead, He sends His Son into the world as a sacrifice for our sin and to teach us how to live. How awesome is that? With all this being established, I best gather my tools and get busy on the path of forgiving. I have allowed to much bitterness and resentment to creep in over the years and ‘poison the well.’ I think it’s time to ‘purify that well’ with the Word of God.
What kind of people are quick to forgive others when they have been wronged and return unkindness with love? I’d like to say every Christian, but that would sadly not be the case. Such an attitude of humility is not automatically given when we first believe, no I’m afraid it must usually be learned along the way as we grow in grace and knowledge of His Word for us. Let’s take a look at some more Scripture to better understand what is required. I shall quote from the Amplified Bible to best illustrate this point: Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. -Matthew 11:29.
Joyce Meyer was talking about this Scripture recently and gave one of the best definitions for meekness I have ever heard. So often, we equate being meek with being weak. In reality, she said that meekness was strength with control [restraint]. She then illustrated with a story about someone who had wronged her with unkind words, who she was in a position to hurt out of revenge, but instead ultimately chose to bless. When we take that sort of action, exercising restraint when we could do otherwise, I believe we receive much blessing for it. More on such things later. May God bless you as you study His Word and apply it to your life.