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Dear Church,

Paul tells the Ephesians, “Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Eph: 4:2 NLT)  This simply means, cut people some slack!  It means demonstrating gentleness and generous love towards one another, especially towards those who may test your patience.  The main reason – this is the way Jesus accepted us as his own.  No one is perfect in this world; we are all sinners saved by grace.  If you’re married, you are married to a sinner – and your spouse is married to you, a sinner and it’s the same with everyone else in your circle of influence.

1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “love bears all things”. In its original language it means “covered with a roof.”  The love that God has poured into our heart is like the roof that covers a relationship.  So be patient with one another, able to extend grace to each other and forgive people in our lives.  Why is it the hardest to forgive the people we love the most?  This is because we are unhealthily married to our need to be right.  And we may be right, but holding on to this is unhealthy both physically and spiritually to the non-forgiver.  It creates in us an ‘inner hostility’ that chokes the freedom a believer ought to live. 

In Matthew 18, when Peter asked Jesus how many times, I shall forgive my brother (someone he loves most) Jesus’ reply was seventy times seven.  That is a ton of forgiveness going towards someone close to you. Extending grace and forgiveness to our offender is part of our Christian life, let’s embrace it even when it is difficult. God will provide strength for this. Who is someone in your life the Holy Spirit wants you to show grace and forgive?  Let’s reach out to them, don’t waste time.

Be encouraged,

Mathews

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