Anger or Joy
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” - Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
As my girls get older, sometimes I’m reminded and taken back to moments in their childhood. Moments that bring a smile to my face and a shake of my head.
For the most part, my girls have had very few arguments, very few moments where they became upset with a friend to the point of tears and raised voices. But there were moments, as few and far between as they may have been.
One such moment happened at least 13 or 14 years ago when the boy that lives next door came over to play. Ellie, Abbie and he were playing one board game or another, when suddenly the voices became raised...
“No you can’t”
“Yes you can”
“No you can’t. That’s cheating and you can’t do that”
“Well, I just did.”
And the argument went on from their until my name was being called.
“Daddy.... He’s cheating. He did this and the rules say that you can’t do that. That’s cheating.”
So we talked through the rules and how the game was to be played. Then, the little boy didn’t want to play anymore. Then Ellie didn’t want to play anymore. And they both sat there mad. Still talking about cheating and winning. Indifferent to each other’s feelings.
Until, Dear Old Dad got involved again and sort of forced them to hug and apologize to one another.
As they hugged it out, apologized and forgave each other, suddenly, they were friends again. Suddenly they were playing together again. Not that game, mind you (I don't think they ever played that game again). But playing together nonetheless.
Kids are great that way. Mortal enemies one second and best friends the next. Quickly Forgiving. Forgetting. Then moving on.
As adults, we’ve forgotten how to do that. As adults, we find it difficult to forgive and forget like that. We harbor ill feelings. We dwell on past wrongs. We make ourselves sick with anger, with past disappointments, with our lack of forgiveness.
Yet, like Ellie and our neighbor, Jesus forgives us. Washes our crimson stained lives and makes us as white as snow.
Shouldn’t we put our anger and ill will behind us and flush it? Shouldn’t we forgive as we have been forgiven by Jesus and His amazing grace?
I wonder if joy might soon return if we did forgive... if we did forget... if we did move forward?
O Lord, help us accept forgiveness and forgive as we have been forgiven. Help us have the heart of children, forgiving, forgetting and moving forward. Help us forgive as You forgive. Help us know and accept Your grace and forgiveness, and in turn, give it to others. In Jesus name. Amen.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” - Isaiah 1:18 NIV