A special devotion by Ruth E.
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Forgive and forget right? That’s the popular saying. Or maybe forgive, but never forget as a way of protecting ourselves from future harm. Can we really protect ourselves from harm? Maybe if we didn’t enter into relationships with people, or deny a relationship with God. Some people look at God as a protector. God does not provide protection but rather a belief in God will provide faith and support to get us through the hard times. To get us through the betrayal of another, of a friend, of a spouse, of a family member. Without faith we have nothing but our own wits and thoughts to rely upon. In faith we pray to God and ask for the strength to make the right decisions, to take the path of forgiveness, to release the bitterness and the pain.
But what about forgiving ourselves? Our own minds can conjure up the wrath and anger and clamor and slander against our own selves for the things we have done that we feel ashamed of. God does not want this for us, God wants us to find forgiveness for ourselves so we may live the life that we were created to live.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
Forgiveness of ourselves also leads to compassion and forgiveness of others. I’m all for protecting myself, I learn lessons about people, I find their limitations and I attempt to accept them as they are, even if that means I cannot rely upon them, or turn to them in a time of need. Not all people provide all things to us but we all have gifts to share. Think about being tenderhearted and forgiving of yourself, and think about how you can be a gift to others.