Welcome to Sunday sharing! Here’s where I share my favorite articles, quotes and videos that I have encountered this week!
One of the most convicting articles I read this week was The Joys of Obligation. I often find myself saying that I want to be involved in people’s lives, but then, I find myself trying to keep my relationships with those who are in my life at a very shallow, surface level. For me, the most convicting sentences from this article are: “We want to see one another on Sunday mornings, exchange pleasantries, and head on our way, without getting too mixed up in someone else’s issues. The truth is that many of us behave as if the Christian life is all about our private relationship with God, and has nothing to do with our relationships with other people.” I’m praying to become a little less self-centered and more centered on loving the actual people that I love.
I also encountered this theme in one of the Baxter books (I can’t remember which one) that I’ve been reading when I saw the quote: “You must take time to love the people God has put in your life.” Love takes time (and inconvenience), and I’m failing at it every day.
One of the books I’ve been reading is Ray Steadman’s Expository Studies in 2 Corinthians. This week, I was reading about chapter 2 of 2 Corinthians, and I came across a gem from the book on forgiveness. I decided that I would write the quote out here, even thought it’s a little lengthy. From what I can tell, this book is out of print, but used copies are easily obtained on Amazon. This is a little bit of exposition from 2 Corinthians 2:10 (and this book is full of gems like this one!).
Forgiveness, basically, is a promise that you make; it is a promise you make to three different individuals. This is true always, in every case of forgiveness. First, it is a promise that you make to the individual who has offended you and now has repented, in which you are saying to him or her, “I will not let my attitude toward you be governed any longer by this offense. It has been put aside. My treatment of you from here on will be as though this had never happened.” It is a promise you make never to bring it up again. In marriage many problems go on for years and years because we tend to go back and dig up all the past, an indication that it has never been forgiven. Some mates don’t get hysterical, they get historical! That is the problem, and it creates a problem.
Second, it is a promise not to pass it on to anyone else. When a matter is forgiven it is be forgotten. Now it may be that everyone knows it, because, as in this case in Corinth, it had been told to the whole church. But what it means is that no one throws it at the person again or holds it over his head or reminds him of it should any further difficulty occur. It is a promise to drop the matter, leave it in the past, and never bring it up to anyone again.
Third, and probably most important of all, it is a promise to yourself that when your memory goes back to the offense, as it will occasionally, you are not going to allow it to seize hold of your heart and make you angry all over again. The minute it comes back to remind you put it aside as something that belongs to the past; you are not going to dwell on it. It is a promise, therefore, to repeat your act of forgiveness, no matter how often the memory comes up. That is what forgiveness is; and Paul is ready to do this.
Love this book passage, and I want to come back to the idea of forgiveness and actually engage this passage and some other ideas I have floating about soon 🙂