Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | September 21, 2014

September 21, 2014 “As The Lord has Forgiven You”

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.: (Colossians 3:13)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day My Friends!

Some years ago, the late singer/songwriter Roger Miller penned a song expressing the sad plight of the inability of reconciliation between a married couple called “Husbands and Wives”. The first verse of that song sums up in quite succinct terms a reality that has resulted in the demise of many a marriage. Miller wrote,

Two broken hearts, lonely, looking like
Houses where nobody lives
Two people, each having so much pride inside
Neither side forgives

The angry words, spoken in haste
Such a waste of two lives
It’s my belief, pride is the chief cause and the decline
In the number of husbands and wives

I believe there is great wisdom in Miller’s song, for it reflects the great benefit which may be derived from a faithful following of the Biblical principle Paul laid out to the Colossian Christians, urging them to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This principle is applicable to every human relationship, but I believe speaks a particular word of counsel and truth to those that are married. The key is in the second sentence: Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.”  Most Christians would readily understand that they have sinned and fallen short of God’s desire for righteous living. In fact, the Word reminds us that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). The Christian would also understand the fact that he/she is forgiven the wages of those sins…death…through Christ’s bearing of them on the cross. So here, Paul reminds the Colossians, and us, that we should strive to emulate Christ by “bearing with each other”, that is, “putting up” with wrongs done to us by another and forgiving one another, just as Christ has forgiven us.

Why would I say this directive is particularly applicable to those who are married? I do so because, of all human relationships, marriage involves more “one- on- one” personal contact than most any other, and a greater likelihood of saying or doing something to grieve the spouse which calls for forbearance and forgiveness.  Ruth Bell Graham, the late spouse of famed evangelist Billy Graham once said:

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” 

Do you imagine that such a renown Christian couple ever needed to forgive the other for something one or the other had ever said or done which caused grief? Of course! The very fact that she made this statement indicates this. Hurtful words or actions occur even in the best of marriages. I think both Roger Miller and Ruth Graham had it right. Pride leads to an unforgiving spirit and marital strife. Forgiveness leads to reconciliation and healing, but only when both husbands and wives are both “good forgivers.” Learn to forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. You’ll be much happier in all your relationships! Let’s pray!

God of Grace; I pray that in my marriage, and in every one of my life’s relationships, I may learn to forgive as I have been forgiven by You. I thank you for the grace You have most freely granted to me…totally undeserved. Bless my marriage, I pray, and every human relationship I share. This I ask in Jesus’ blessed Name. Amen!

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