March 17, 2012

A Cultivated Propensity Toward Forgiveness

"As a Christian matures, he will just naturally forgive those around him all the time. It will become an unconscious and yet true attitude. Instead of focusing on what people owe him, he will remember how much he owes Christ who forgave him of such a great debt." ~Paul Bucknell
As Christians who stand before God, we owe each other love, forgiveness and compassion. I might also commend that a Christian maintain this same attitude toward non-believers, just to make dealing with ungodly persons more bearable and to aid in evangelism.

As a Christian expectation of other believers, we should expect nothing. We should not consider that anyone owes us anything. Each of us is accountable to God for our management of responsibilities, our reactions and our attitudes. We cannot assume control over the reactions and choices of others. Imagine the freedom from anxiety this perspective creates.

Harvesting this attitude will decrease one's ability to allow bitterness to take a foothold. When a bitter thought enters the mind, immediately attach forgiveness to it and let it slip out of focus. Then you will be free to serve the other person and afterwards rejoice that God has demonstrated such a wonderful work of forgiveness and contentment in you - that you have been made more like Christ.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender - hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

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