No good ever comes from allowing resentment to find a place in our attitude toward fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).
The mercy we receive is the mercy we are to bestow. This does not mean we merely sweep matters under the rug, or fail to honestly deal with each other in times of offense. The Bible prescribes remedies of reconciliation to follow when we believe ourselves to have sinned against another person, or when someone has sinned against us (James 5:16; Matthew 18:15-20). Just as the Lord beckoned Israel to "reason together" when dealing with sins committed, so the Lord would have believers address such matters in honest forthrightness. We thereby uphold His standards and maintain unclouded fellowship (Isaiah 1:18). However, we must do so without rancor or bitterness in our attitude, having sought the Lord for His enabling to avoid resentment and maintain loving determination to forgive.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice" (Ephesians 4:31).
Regardless of whether all parties faithfully engage in Scriptural procedures of addressing failures regarding one another, our Lord mandates that we maintain a merciful heart toward all. We are to put alway "all" expressions of fleshly and devilish bitterness. We cannot control what other people do who will not forgive us if we sin against them, or who will not repent of sins they commit against us. We can, however, relate to our Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit in order to walk with a heart of peace rather than resentment. We do well to encourage and challenge one another to be ever ready to bestow the same quality of mercy we have received. What an example we have in the Christ who on His cross prayed, "Father, forgive them," and what an empowerment through His indwelling Spirit to "be ye kind to one another" by the presence of His Spirit in our trusting hearts (Luke 23:34).
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God."
(I John 4:7)
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