Ephesians 4:1-4 NLT “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”
Last post, I talked about generosity in giving financially to God and other.
The key scripture was:
Proverbs 11:24-25 TLB, “It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.”
Another area that we are encouraged in the Word of the Lord to be generous is in how we treat one another.
This is an area that many people battle daily.
Matthew 22:39 “…. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
I truly believe, when we genuinely love others, forgive others, treat others like we would want to be treated, we become free.
Just like the overwhelming debt people are carrying that is crushing them financially, there is a debt-load of unforgiveness, a debt-load of unkindness and, to be blunt, a debt-load of hatred toward others that is crushing our lives.
You and I might have a good reason NOT to like someone, but this “good reason” has handicapped us, keeping us from living free and reaching our full potential in the life God has for us.
Ephesians 4:2-3 NLT, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3 KJV, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Guzik comments, “A worthy walk before God will be marked by lowliness and gentleness, not a pushy desire to defend our own rights and advance our own agenda.”
John Chrysostom defined longsuffering as “the spirit that has the power to take revenge, but never does. It is characteristic of a forgiving, generous heart.”
Longsuffering means patience, endurance, steadfastness, perseverance.
Forbearing is to sustain, to bear, to endure.
Colossians 3:13, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NLT, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Some people are just not happy until they are “not happy.”
They are NOT free, because the enemy has convinced them to stay upset.
They do not love, because the enemy has convinced them the others do not deserve their love and their compassion.
They are not patient with others, because the enemy has convinced them that “nobody has time for that.”
They do not forgive, because the enemy has convinced them that the hurt and pain is greater than a resolution.
They are not kind, because the enemy has convinced them that they are not worthy of kindness.
All of this keeps us from being FREE. And the generosity that God has called us to have with others.
Today, I’m not trying to lessen your hurt and pain. I’m not saying a circumstance or situation never happened. But I am here to say that you can start the healing process in your life by making up your mind now to be generous in how you treat others.
What if every day we made it our purpose to intentionally make someone else’s day? Not out of obligation or grudgingly. But with a cheerful heart.
I know this next scripture is about how we give financially….but what if we applied it both how we are generous with our money and generous with our love and kindness to others?
2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Guzik writes, “True giving comes from a happy heart, and it also gives us a happy heart.”
If your heart is not happy, let God work on that today.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
There is freedom found in generously forgiving others. Being tolerant, practicing patience, and assuming the best will go a long way.
If you’re carrying the weight of unforgiveness, bitterness, or resentment, give it to God. Ask Him for help forgiving that person and putting it behind you. You will feel such a freedom without that weight!
Be generous with your forgiveness today and be free!