"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)
Think for a moment about the hurting places in your life and some of the injuries you have experienced in your role as a concerned person. Have you responded with any of the bitterness, anger, or other behavior described in verse 31 of today's scripture? Have you been able to forgive your loved one for any pain he or she has brought to your life?
If not, begin right now by turning the bitterness over to God and asking him to help you forgive.
Another area of forgiveness that gets to the heart of our role as concerned persons is our willingness to forgive ourselves. Verse 32 tells us that God has forgiven us—but we need to show ourselves the same kindness and compassion we are to show others.
Our tendency is to carry a lot of blame for our loved one's problem. But God says if we have confessed our sins, then he has forgiven them and made us clean and pure in his sight. Then those sins are behind us and forgotten. We need to acknowledge his forgiveness and not continue blaming ourselves.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)
How about you? Are you carrying a load of blame? Have you forgiven yourself for any wrongs you may have done that have contributed to your loved one's problem? If you have confessed that sin, God sees you as righteous. You need to let it go.
Father, I know you don't want me to condemn myself. I believe you have forgiven my sin. Help me to forgive myself as well as the one who hurt me. In Jesus' name . . .
THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .
Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.
This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. 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.
We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!