"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
This week's chapter was about being content with your relationships by FORGIVING people who wrong you. Finally, something I am actually doing right, I think. I am thankful to find something in this book that I'm currently doing, of course, I can always improve as I discovered while reading these few pages.
Often times, I have had a lot of people ask me how I am able to forgive and move on so quickly. I am not sure other than to say by God's Grace. I am not able to "forgive and forget" on my own. I use God's Grace. God forgives me and extends grace and mercy to me on a daily basis. I never deserve it and I do not always ask for it nor am I always thankful for it. So if God is forgiving me and extending me grace even when I do not deserve it, the least I can do is extend it to others as well.
This chapter discussed how holding onto anger and resentment allows us to grow a bitter root and it'll cause trouble for us later. You ever hear the saying "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." How true.
God has instructed us to forgive one another, just as he forgave his disciples for falling asleep in the garden when he needed them the most or when he forgave Peter for denying he was with Christ or when he asked forgiveness for those who put Him on the cross. We are to forgive one another as many times as it takes. Matthew 18:21. When you think you've forgiven someone enough, do it one more time just to make sure ;)
So you may be thinking "okay I can forgive them but I'll never speak to them again." Well, that is not necessarily what we are called to do. Yes, we are asked to forgive but we need to extend love and grace to others. Love is a verb so we need to show acts of kindness and love to those who have wronged us. We have to make a conscious choice to not only forgive but to forget and to keep on forgetting even when someone may try to bring it up and suck us back into the argument or dispute.
We aren't able to control others in our lives but we can control ourselves and how we forgive and how we forget. In order to be content, we cannot have bitterness and resentment in our lives. Life is fleeting and can be over in the blink of an eye, practice forgiving now.
Remember, as Christians, we are suppose to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (the one I struggle with the most). These are all useless unless you exhibit sincere love which binds them all together.