Friday, 03 September
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!” – Psalm 32:1 NLT
One type of relationship that mimics our relationship with GOD is marriage. You have two people who love each other and decide to be united in holy matrimony. I won’t even go into how a husband as the head of this unit is meant to build, cleanse and encourage his bride as Christ did for His church. Unforgiveness also creeps its way into this institution unbeknownst (I chose to believe it’s hidden) to the couple. By God’s grace, I’ve sat through many marital counseling sessions, and many times than I care to remember the root of most problems is unforgiveness. The woman tells of a time she was once hurt and instead of the husband apologizing (instead of listening and reflecting: James 1:19) he then becomes defensive and goes on the attack as well. Things that were said and done in the past get revealed again and again and you sometimes ask yourself how did we get to this issue of a controlling mother-in-law (that moment I only asked how they met).
There are two Scriptures that are so profound and powerful, if couples and Christians understood and applied them we wouldn’t have more than 90% of the issues that we have now. “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted” Titus 1:15 NLT. This means that if a brethren or your partner says something hurtful to you, your first response should be that you misunderstood the remark because you know the motive wasn’t evil. You know this person loves you and wouldn’t intentionally do or say something offensive to you, you assume good instead of bad.
The second Scripture is Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. This, then, means everything I say, especially during arguments or discussions, should benefit and build people up according to their needs. So if I happen to mention that my wife hates the church during our counseling session what is my motive and how am I building her up? How is it going to benefit those that listen? Because this is someone I’m still going to spend my life with and I can’t embarrass her before others.
Psalm 32:1 reveals how not only GOD forgives but also forgets our past iniquities. So when we decide to forgive our fellow brethren or spouses we must also forget their faults. Yet in marriage, we remind our spouse what they did to us 15 years ago. It is this same unforgiveness that is still ravaging Christian marriages (you’d assume we are quick to forgive because it’s an expectation from the Bible) and churches today. We are offended because we expect the worst from people (Titus 1:15) and we hurt others because our speech lacks the power to build those who listen (Ephesians 4:29). We are like a charity organization that receives handouts yet fails/struggles to give out to others in need, an uncharitable charity.
We are like a charity organization that receives handouts yet fails/struggles to give out to others in need, an uncharitable charity.