Title: Abnormal Compassion
Bible Reference(s): Colossians 3:12-13 – “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
Forgiveness can be one of the hardest commands God has asked of us, and yet in marriage, it is vitality and breath. The health of your marriage depends on being skilled at forgiving. When you refuse to forgive, it’s like putting your marriage in prison—much like the foolish unforgiving slave in Matthew 18.
Forgiveness can feel unnatural, inhumane, unthinkable, but still, God asks it of us. And not just extended to our spouse but to all—as in, everyone. Following Jesus Christ sometimes means accepting and acting on commands which don’t make sense. Do you think the blind man in Mark 8:23 thought it was a good idea to have Jesus’ spit placed in his eyes? And yet, that’s the exact compliance which gave him his sight. How about the blind man in John 9:6-7 when Jesus made mud from his spit, applied the “clay” to the blind man’s eyes, and told him to then go and wash in the Pool of Siloam? A bit strange, but it gave him his sight. And let’s not forget about the captain Naaman who had Leprosy in 2 Kings 5. The prophet Elisha instructed him to wash in the Jordan river not once, not twice, but seven times. Initially, Naaman was downright angry refusing to comply, and finally at the urging of his servants, followed through. And guess what? He was healed. It was weird, but he was healed.
Even when things don’t feel natural, we must follow God’s commands. First John 5:3-4 tells us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
Faith means following through on even the strange, weird, or difficult requests of God—like forgiving when everything inside of you screams, “This hurts and I don’t want to forgive.”
In order to have a heart free from bitterness, wrath, and resentment, we must master the art of forgiveness.
Always remember that forgiveness started with God, the creator and sustainer of life, who created all things. All things. Including forgiveness. He first forgave us.
Refusing to forgive and allowing resentment to creep in will give Satan a foothold in your marriage, attacking the core of your vulnerability and trust. Resentment causes us to focus on ME. Satan wants you to focus on “me” and destroy “we.” A lack of forgiveness will slowly erode trust and build resentment. A lack of trust will affect all areas of your relationship from communication to sex.
If you are going to keep a forgiveness score chart, keep track of the times your husband has forgiven you.
So what? Decide today that you will take every hurt to God first and work out any resentments accumulated along your happily-ever-after way. Hold no grudges.
Dear God, please give me the ability to forgive whatever—and I mean whatever—offense comes my way. Give me a heart which loves all out and forgives all out with no grudges carried along my “loving” way.