In my 50 years of preaching the one problem I’ve found that is pretty consistent in all churches regardless of size, culture, or local customs is the challenge of maintaining good relationships.
Specifically, how do you deal with a personal offense from a brother or sister in Christ?
Recently a reader wrote to ask my perspective on Matthew 18. This post is in response to her questions. Continue reading
A couple was having some marital problems and sought counseling. After interviewing both together the Counselor separated them to discuss the issues individually.
When alone with the husband he asked, “What do you feel is the biggest problem in your marriage?”
“Well, every time we get into an argument,” the husband responded, “my wife gets historical.” Continue reading
Without forgiveness we cannot worship God acceptably. Obviously this is true in terms of our relationship with God, but it is also true regarding our fellow-man. Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15) Continue reading
Earnest Hemingway, in The Capital of the World, tells a popular Spanish story about a father and his son named “Paco.”
Paco was rebellious. Disobedient. Defiant. And irresponsible. Unwilling to follow his father’s rules, he preferred his own way of living. One evening in the heat of an argument, Paco hurled some hurtful and hateful words at his father. Packed up his few possessions. Stomped out the door, slamming it behind him. And traveled to Madrid. Hoping to never see his father again. Continue reading
While unpacking my office this quote fell out of a folder. There is no source named. Or author attributed. But it spoke to me in powerful way.
“Forgiveness is when you let go of resentment. We resent now. But when you carry resentment inside, it tears away at you. You become sick. You become a victim all over again. It can keep you from sleeping, eating, and thinking straight. It can keep you from going forward. One day we won’t resent anymore.” Continue reading
Last week in a post from 1Corinthians 13:5, we wrote about “(Love) keeps no record of wrongs.”
In response, one of our regular readers, Stephen, commented, “forgiving someone isn’t a license for them to keep on running over you (continue hurting you through their actions).” He then mentioned the analogy of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown and asked that I write about this issue.
It was a classic every football season for several years in the Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown practicing his place kicking and Lucy holding the football.
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was known for her sweet and kind disposition. In fact, it was widely reputed that she never held a grudge.
The story is told that a friend once reminded her of some hurtful act done to her years before. When Ms Barton seemed unaware of the event, her friend persisted, “Don’t you remember how much (she) hurt you?” Continue reading