Don’t sweat the small stuff
Hello blog readers! I’ve missed you for over a week, but God has been dealing very lovingly with me. I told Him I would write about the experience, and I pray it blesses one of you. It’s about forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:26-27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
Anger isn’t always a fit of rage. It’s not always an explosive argument. For me, it was a series of small offenses, that I didn’t immediately forgive. A sarcastic comment towards me here… A mean statement about me there… An act of rudeness soon after… Before I realized it, I was bitter about it. I was upset because I thought I had turned my cheek enough. And so, in my heart I switched from praying for help, to “forget you too.”
When there’s a foothold (anger) for the enemy, he’s not courteous about coming in. He doesn’t knock first, and he doesn’t waste time barging in. You recognize him by your emotions and thoughts. I was constantly reminded in thought of how this person has no right to treat me in such a way. I began to think back on all the times I forgave this person.. and all the times I tried to keep peace. I remembered many of that person’s faults. I became the one giving the cold shoulder… blatantly ignoring, and counting another’s errors.
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
I decided to visit a friend one night, who shared that she has been attending a class at her church. She told me the recent lesson was on forgiveness. She was excited about it. It touched my heart when she said “forgiveness”, because I knew God was offering me a lifeline. Before I left, I asked her to pray with me about some grudges I was having a hard time letting go of. Her prayer brought me to tears. God’s Holy Spirit led her, and she prayed in such a loving way, and asked for so many things that I needed – without me telling her I needed them. God is always ready to help us overcome.
The next night, the same friend sent me screen-shot pictures from the book her church was studying. The entire chapter was on forgiveness. I felt a rush in my spirit as I read it. I feel like I smiled through every word. It was like warm soup to my soul.
The next night, I went to bible study at my church. As soon as I sat down, the teacher said “Tonight’s lesson is on forgiveness.” I was like a deer in head-lights for a moment. He will supply all our needs. The lesson was full of love, and no ridicule. Here are some of the scriptures that were shared:
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
On Sunday, the pastor said something that touched my heart. He said, “It’s easy to like someone when you don’t know much about them. It’s when we really begin to get to know one another that we need grace.”
I wasn’t offering grace. We don’t know what others have been through. Our job is to love one another, and be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom.
In my anger, I was no better than the person I was pointing the finger at. God allowed me to see that for a reason. He loves everyone. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)
It’s amazing how God melted away the anger in my heart after I surrendered to Him, and welcomed His guidance. He’s Perfect in all of His ways. I thought I was doing so good! Praying, fasting, giving to others… then I let anger in over small, petty things. The enemy is crafty.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
It’s easy to recognize what we consider “big sins”. Sin is all the same before God. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay connected to the vine (Jesus). Stay prayed up. Read His Word daily. When we stay connected, we recognize better when something is coming between us and Him! We recognize our own sin. The enemy can never outwit our Lord and Savior.
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.