If our relationships were lived in perfection, they would constantly reflect Christ.
But how do you love the not-so-perfect people in your life every day?
- Your parents?
- Your siblings?
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend?
- Your BFF?
- And later in life…a husband or wife?
When you’re REALLY hurt–when they’ve done something to you that just plain SUCKS…what do you do?
Give up? Throw in the towel?
Give them a dose of the silent treatment?
Cuss, scream, punch the pillow and QUIT?
“Love one another like Christ loves the Church,” we throw around those Heavenly ideas, not knowing what the Hell we’re talking about. The last half of Ephesians 5 talks about love, comparing husband and wife to Christ and the Church. We know this is a teenage blog, but we believe the point for you to take away from this is that LOVE, in any relationship, requires constant forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an act sacrifice.
A sacrifice of what? Your pride. Your own way. Selfishness.
The other day on Facebook, my friend Becca said, “So many times we conveniently forget our own forgiveness hinges on our forgiveness of others.”
That’s Biblical, too. Colossians 3:13 says, “Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”
Lindsey and I aren’t perfect.
Our marriage isn’t perfect. Our lives aren’t perfect. Our speech, habits, and everyday doings are far from perfect, but the reason that others consistently comment on what a great marriage/relationship we have is because we try to model ourselves after this Scripture from Colossians.
We don’t quote it.
We don’t have it memorized or written down on an index card that we carry in our pockets, but without even thinking about it specifically, we try to live our lives in this manner:
- Be even-tempered: Steve says, “Lindsey is the most even-tempered person I know. She’s constant. Steady. Not a drama queen (guys–look for a girl who is not a drama queen. Trust me.)”
- Content with 2nd place: Lindsey says, “Thinking about what you need to reach your goals for the day. How can I help my husband (or in your case, your parents, friends, siblings) make something happen that will bring them joy or fulfillment.”
- Quick to forgive an offense: Steve says, “Countless times I have not been content with 2nd place, wanting my way, putting myself first, being selfish (even it it’s for something ministry-related), without first consulting or considering my sweet wife…but no matter what, she’s always quick to forgive. QUICK is relative–it could be 5 minutes or it could be two days. I have to also give her space to heal, so she will want to forgive my goof-up.”
- Realize how much Jesus has forgiven us: Lindsey says, “One day I asked God to search my heart. I began to cry because of what I was holding. I visualized Jesus standing before me, His body beaten and bloody just before being nailed to the cross. I looked straight into His eyes and then looked down at what I held in my hands. I began to weep. Choosing to hold onto my issue means that I have to look Jesus in the eyes and say “The price you paid was not enough!” The pain that is in your heart, and whatever caused it, let it go. Give it to Jesus, He’s already suffered the pain so that you don’t have to. When we choose to hold on to the pain in our lives we reduce the worth of Jesus’ sacrifice.”
So…how do you love the not-so-perfect people in your life every day?
Realize that every single day, every nano-second of every moment, Jesus Christ (the only Perfect One), still chooses to forgive YOUR not-so-perfect life.
Forgiveness, is not just a one-time deal…salvation is.
Salvation happens the instant you ask Jesus to forgive your sins and live in your heart, but you still live on this side of Heaven and until you breathe your final breath, will continue to screw things up. Jesus’ act of surrender on the Cross was a one-time event, but the forgiveness we receive as a result is constant…it is never-ending.
–Steve and Lindsey