Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Col 3:13)
Because of our human nature, there’s probably someone out there that we just can’t get along with. Forgiveness can be difficult when intense pain has been caused by wrongdoings. It is so hard for us to forgive and forget. Even though we try to forgive, those hurtful thoughts may keep creeping up in our minds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to stop our fights or arguments, ask God for healing, and learn to forgive and forget. If not, we won’t have inner peace. Worst of all, if we do not forgive, just as God in Christ also has forgiven us, God will not forgive us (Mt 6:15).
I have been through the phase of seeing other people’s flaws and even recalling what people have said and done to me. Whether those things were intentional or accidental, I do not know. But one thing that is eye-opening to notice is how God’s grace abides with people despite their flaws. When I talk about flaws, I am not talking about those who speak against the truth or preach a different gospel than that in the Scriptures; such are cursed according to the word of God (Gal 1:6-9).
But for those who have had an oversight, who did not realize what they did wrong, God’s mercy extends to them when they realize and repent (cf. Lev 4:22-31). Are we patient enough to be patient with others? Continue reading
“So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” (Joel 2:13)
Have you ever cried with a broken heart? What does it mean to “rend your heart and not your garments”? In Old Testament times, when tragedy occurred, smearing one’s head with ashes, tearing garments, and putting on sackcloth was the expression of mourning. This was a customary way for Jews to show their grief. However, God instructed the people that He was not interested in outward expressions but in a broken and contrite heart. The tearing of outer garments is useless unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition. Continue reading
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:21)
Conflicts among people are common. After David killed Goliath, Saul’s attitude toward David had changed from one of love (1 Sam 16:21) to one of hate (1 Sam 18:11) because of his extreme jealousy of David’s increasing popularity. Selfish desires such as jealousy, ambition, covetousness, and competition are often causes of conflicts. Conflict and disagreement will arise when we try to step over others to get ahead or preserve our self-interests as Saul.
What distinguishes those who are driven to stir up conflicts like Saul? Take a good look at the “Saul” within us. Continue reading
There are a number of incidents in the Bible where we are privileged with an omniscient point of view. One of them is recorded in John 12:4-8, where Judas denounces Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet with costly spikenard. Not only do we see Judas’ apparent ‘righteousness’ in questioning why the oil was not sold to be given to the poor, we see his evil intentions from Jesus’ all-knowing perspective. Although the gospel of John writes that Judas was a thief, it is likely that no one at the time knew this except for Jesus. What can we learn from the dialogue that ensued?
Judas was being a hypocrite when he criticized Mary’s offering because he did not actually care about the poor at all (Jn 12:6). For this reason, Jesus had a number of ways He could have responded to Judas. Continue reading