Tag Archives: Relationships

Forgiveness

Relationship issues are on the increase these days. There are clashes, wars and brutal killings demonstrating hatred among people. Family ties, the strongest of relationships, are also deteriorating. Everyone wants to get even with those who have offended them. It gets worse between communities. Peace negotiations and treaties between communities can only remain on paper because nobody is  willing to forgive the other.

Unforgiveness could turn out to be a health hazard. The Lord Jesus taught us to forgive others, even our enemies. The Bible says that God forgives any sinner who admits his sinfulness and reaches out to God for mercy. Those who have received forgiveness from God should be willing to forgive others. Jesus illustrated this through the story of an unforgiving servant recorded in Matthew 18.

A servant who owed a huge amount pleaded for mercy and his master cancelled his debt. He could never have paid back that amount during his life time. Even though he had received such mercy he was unwilling to forgive someone who owed him a meagre amount. He took legal action against that debtor. This made the master very angry. He summoned the servant and gave him what he deserved.

It may not be easy to forgive someone who has hurt you very deeply. But that is what we are commanded to do. Jesus was responding to Peter’s question as He narrated the above story recorded in Matthew 18.

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Mt.18:21 NLT)

God in His mercy has cancelled our debt. We have received the forgiveness of our sins. We need to forgive others as well. Is there someone who has offended you? Are you keeping that score
and waiting for a chance to repay? May be you are bitter towards that person even though you are not planning to take revenge. Why not forgive that person today, deliber.ately and consciously.

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Starting Right

The Bible says that God created us in His image, with the ability to think, relate and choose. He wants us to have unhindered relationship and constant communion with Him.

Broken Relationship

But sin has separated us from God. We try in vain to please God through our charity, piety and religious rituals. The Bible says that no one is made right with God through his/her own efforts. God’s justice is far beyond our reach, so no one can satisfy it and justify himself before God. Hence, God in His love offers a way for us to reconcile with Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus who paid the price for our sins. Thus God has made Jesus the only Saviour of His creation.

Reconciliation

All those who believe what Jesus has accomplished through His death on the cross and accept Him as their Saviour, Lord and God will be reconciled with God. God will forgive their sins and accept them as His children. This is called regeneration or a new birth. Jesus will live in them and remain with them for ever. This is the assurance of the Bible. One who has made such a decision is a Christian. The Bible makes it clear that no one is born as a Christian, but has to be born again.

New Life

The Christian life, according to the Bible, is a new life. As we continue to yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our attitudes, thoughts, words and actions will be renewed by the Spirit of God. God our heavenly Father loves to commune with us and reveal His plans for us. This is understood by regular study of God’s Word, prayer and fellowship with other Christians.

Interpersonal relationships

 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Mt. 18: 15-20)

Jesus taught the importance of unity of mind and Spirit in experiencing the power and the presence of God. He told the disciples how to handle interpersonal conflicts within the congregation. If someone hurts you or offends you, you must go to the offending brother privately and tell him his mistake. If he does not listen, then have one or two responsible brethren come along with you to talk to him again. If he still does not care, bring the issue before the congregation. If he refuses to listen to the church and correct himself he must be excommunicated.

Church discipline
This sounds harsh but that is the principle on which the church should settle interpersonal issues. Christians must be willing to forgive as the Lord forgave but sin should not be condoned for any reason. This is how the church should maintain Christian discipline.
To the people outside you may just forgive and not strive to correct them as you do with your own brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. In 1Cor. 5:9-11 Apostle Paul admonishes the believers not to associate with a Christian brother who lives in sin.

Power of two in agreement
When the body of Christ is in the unity of the Spirit it has the power to do things in the authority of its Head, Jesus Christ.

Power of God is released
Even just two people with the oneness of mind and Spirit ask God for something it will be done.

Presence of Christ is promised
Because when two or more are coming together in the name of Jesus Christ He will be there with them.