Have you ever heard that command before?
I feel like the Holy Spirit is telling me that a lot here lately.
I ran across a book that I've had for some time and I started reading it again.
The title of it is, 'Break The Power of Negative Words.' The author is John Bevere. It's a small book - 86 pages to be exact. Please purchase this book and read it. After you read the book, take it and give it to someone else.
Yeah, it's that important.
Below is a small excerpt of the book.
Maturity, obedience, and.........offense.
"When we obey the Word of God, which is spoken by the Holy Spirit, we will grow and mature in the times of conflict and suffering. Our knowledge of Scripture is not the key.
Now we understand one reason why we have people in the church who have been Christians for twenty years, can quote verses and chapters of the Bible, have heard a thousand sermons and read many books, but still wear spiritual diapers. Every time they meet with difficult situations, rather than responding by the Spirit of God, they seek to protect themselves in their own way. They are "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).
They never come to the knowledge of the truth because they do not apply it.
Truth must be allowed to have it's way in our lives if we are going to grow and mature. It is not enough to give mental assent to it without obeying it. Even though we continue to learn, we never mature because of disobedience."
........"There is a false sense of self protection in harboring an offense. It keeps you from seeing your own character flaws because the blame is deferred to another. You never have to face your role, your immaturity or your sin because you only see the faults of the offender. Therefore, God's attempt to develop character in you by this opposition is now abandoned. The offended person will avoid the source of the offense and eventually flee, becoming a spiritual vagabond."
'A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment. Proverbs 18:1'
Like I said - this is a great book and, in my opinion, a must read for people who 'claim' to know Jesus Christ.
Because all of us who claim to be 'following Christ' don't always act like we're following Christ.
We often act out the harsh reality of our lives as we follow our emotions, our feelings, and our heavily skewed points of view.
Behaving in that manner spells out three prophetic words for our lives:
So, by the grace of Jesus Christ, I choose - I willfully make a choice - to forgive all offense and offender past, present, and future. I've made up my mind to release everything into the hands of God and make a request to 'overflow in love' instead of flowing over in poisonous rage.
Bless instead of curse.
Forgive and ask to be forgiven.
Ever mindful that the Judge is listening to my words and recording them for future reference when I stand before Him.
Learning to live in peace and joy as I travel this journey unhindered and as light as possible.
'Whew', that's a tall order!
Man, I need to grow up.