Proverbs in Light of the Cross; Holding a Grudge is no fun!

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 NLT

Have you wondered what it would be like if Jesus reacted the way we do to people who mistreat us?

What if Jesus had called Judas a backstabber instead of friend? See Matthew 26:50.

What if Jesus had refused to forgive the repentant thief on the cross? What if, instead of promising to remember Him when He came into His kingdom, Jesus had reacted with, “No way! You were mean to me!” But instead of holding a grudge Love prospered. See Luke 23.

What if after the Resurrection, Jesus had sent a message to His disciples that He would be meeting them in Galilee, except for Peter, because of course He denied Him? Instead He told them tell everyone including Peter I will meet them in Galilee. See Mark 16. 

In all three scenarios Jesus let Love prosper. 1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT tells us love

 is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

When 1 Corinthians 13 describes love it is describing God for

God is love. 1 John 4:8 NLT 

In the three scenarios we just examined, Jesus gave us an example of love, and how it prospers.

While love prospers us, its no fun to hold a grudge. It is much more fun to forgive and love. Dwelling on love brings healing. Dwelling on other’s faults only brings pain. Jesus knew this. Don’t you find that forgiving and loving people feels a lot better than holding a grudge?

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson on Proverbs here.

Glimpse of the Cross Day 2; Jesus’ Mission Did Not Focus on Petty Grudges

Tampa Night

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.  Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Matthew 26:49-50 NLT

Jesus did not call Judas a traitor or back stabber.  He was not fighting   against people but against,

…evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NLT

Jesus looked beyond Judas and identified the real enemy as Satan, and identified Judas as friend. Now whether or nor Judas was a good friend or not is one thing, but Jesus had to focus on His higher mission and not worry about lesser things, like who His real friends were. His faith was not in His friends. His faith was in His Father. He knew His Father had His back regardless if His friends did or not. Likewise we can be sure God has our back, and focus on our higher mission, without being distracted by petty and even not so petty grudges.

Jesus Wept: The Bible and Human Emotions, Lesson 5

I am writing tonight from the dark and stormy Tampa Bay area.

 

Jesus wept: The Bible and Human Emotions, Lesson 5.

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“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3, 4, NIV).

I am so glad we have a God who does not hold our mistakes against us. I am grateful also for friends who forgive and forget so easily. When I was in junior high, I remember we used to tease a kid in our class thinking it was all in good fun. We did not realize how hurtful we were. Years later, as a Pathfinder club leader I had to counsel some kids one night for teasing one of the other kids, and making them upset. On the way home that evening, I realized that I had caused the same pain to the kid in my class years before. I felt bad, so that night I sent them an e-mail and apologized for my behavior years ago. The next morning, when I got up, there was an e-mail telling me they do not remember me teasing them. They said all they remember is that I have been a good friend for over 30 years. I just thought, “Wow!” I want to be loving and forgiving like that.

A few years ago, when I had not been in Tampa long at all, I said something (Its always my mouth that gets me in trouble) that I should not have said to another elder in the church. I called and apologized later, and the other elder forgave me very quickly. Still, I felt awkward and foolish for how I had acted. Ever since then the elder has always been very nice to me, but up until just here lately, I have always felt very awkward around this person. Then one day he and I were talking together, having a very friendly conversation when it dawned on me, that this elder does not even remember the situation that has me feeling embarrassed every time I see him. I told myself that if he has forgiven me and forgotten about it, then I should forgive myself and forget about it.

Jesus says, “freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8. I believe this applies also with forgiveness. We need to be very forgiving of others, like my friends have been with me. Likewise we need to forgive ourselves.