"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. " - Philippians 4:8 MSG
Thoughts for Today
We cannot become all that God has designed us to be if we harbor resentment and bitterness. It is vital that we make the choice to forgive and even to reconcile with the person who has hurt us. Forgiveness requires our facing the truth. The truth of Christ's forgiveness. The truth of our own unforgiveness. The truth that if we are ever to be free, we must receive Christ's forgiveness and forgive those who have hurt us.
In taking steps to reconciliation, begin with your thoughts. Ask God to help you think about the person's needs, rather than the faults. Then begin to speak well of him or her, drawing attention to strengths, rather than offenses. Next take action—begin to seek reconciliation.
Consider this …
You might be in a difficult situation in which the other party is not willing to reconcile. If this is the case, make sure you have forgiven in your own heart. Then keep yourself ready to pursue complete reconciliation if and when the other person is ready.
Wait on God's timing for the individual to join in total reconciliation. It may not be safe to be physically reconciled with some people. Don't try to force—let God work it out in his way and time. Above all, remember that Jesus loves you, and he will give you the strength and courage you need.
Father, in all my relationships, help me dwell on things to praise, not things to curse. And especially help me to do this when I think or speak about this one who has offended me. May I walk in forgiveness and be open to reconciliation in your way and your time. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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