You want to be great? You want to make a lasting impact? You want to make a significant contribution? I don’t think that’s a bad ambition—if we’re talking true greatness.
The word forgiveness draws various reactions. If we’re talking about God’s forgiveness of us, it can be a soothing topic resulting in gratitude and peace. If we need to seek forgiveness from someone we’ve wronged, we might wrangle a bit with our pride before we finally approach that person in humility—but our resulting cleared conscience makes it well worth the effort.
Usually, however, the most uncomfortable kind of forgiveness is what we must extend to someone who has wronged us or hurt us deeply. The Bible says a lot about this kind of forgiveness—perhaps because our emotions arm wrestle with it and other lingering memories skirmish with it. It’s really hard to do.
Find out what God’s Word says about forgiveness, how essential it is to understand, and how to actually do it...if we want to grow in our walk with God.
Often we can’t control difficult circumstances but there are ways to change our perspective and responses, which can help transform suffering into something positive. Here are some perspectives to help transform suffering.
Paul’s letter to Philemon has great practical value for us today. It teaches us about giving others second chances, the equality that believers have in Christ, and the power of the Gospel to transcend cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. In short, Paul’s postcard to Philemon reminds us about grace.
We’ve all been there—recalling an experience and each time feeling the searing ache in our heart, the churning and knotting in the pit of our stomach, or the burning anger welling up.
Let’s seek the Lord’s counsel as we attempt to uncover the reasons an individual will admit his or her error, turn around, and come back to the Lord as a humble, repentant child of the King.
Whenever we come across passages of Scripture that seem to contradict each other the first thing to do is read the verses in context. Context can alter how we understand individual words.
Struggling to forgive someone? Chuck Swindoll likens the bitterness of unforgiveness to a ship trying to sail while dragging an anchor. What is our basis for forgiving others?
If I were on the search committee I’d probably place Paul’s application in the “maybe later” file. But that’s where God is so different from us.
In this letter, Paul requested that Philemon reinstate his runaway slave and accept him back in a spirit of forgiveness.