Tuesday-July 12, 2011
God’s love is not…
irritable or resentful. Let’s face it; life in this realm can be very stressful, and when we are not careful with our emotions we hurt the people we say that we love the most. The longer it takes to forgive someone, the longer we remain irritable and resentful for what we believe has been an offense on the wholeness of who we believe ourselves to be. One of the most difficult things to forgive is an interruption of what we assumed to be our peace; the things we thought we achieved as a result of our participation and hard work. When the reality of our situation and participation is revealed as merely a compromise to keep peace, we are devastated and reconciliation seems impossible. The good news is that nothing is impossible for God. Jacob’s relationship with his brother Esau (Gen. 27:1 – 46; 32:1-32 – 33:1-16) is a wonderful example of irritability and resentment being changed by God. Jacob wanted the blessing of the first-born and his mother wanted it for him. There is no doubt that Esau was foolish but the blessing of the first-born rightfully belong to him. Why indeed would his own brother steal it away from him? Once the blessing was bestowed, Esau is furious. Jacob, like a bat out of Hades, runs for fear of his life and takes his blessing with him, but his peace was disturbed. Later, the relationship Jacob experiences with his father-in-law places him in an all too familiar position of being deceived. Not until he wrestles with God are his efforts to appease the relationship with his brother is made whole. In life we will find ourselves on both sides of right and wrong. On either side, in the same way we honor God first, our offense is also first towards God, and therefore our first confession should be made to God who graciously and mercifully forgives. Then like Jacob, we pursue and ask our neighbors forgiveness, allow the reconciliation to manifest itself the way God always intended and move on (Gen. 33:15-17).
Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and it is to his glory to overlook a transgression.”
Psalms 37:8 “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm.”
Ephesians 4:25-32 “Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another … do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil … And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”