Related devotional: Holiday Gatherings and Unresolved Conflicts
Because of the negative response from the person I attempted to reconcile with, satan tried to make me question whether or not I really did hear God. But I’m sure I wasn’t hearing satan tell me to obey the Word in Matthew 5:23-24. Satan will not tell you to obey God. But I’m sure he did speak to the other person, and told them not to release their offense and participate in the reconciliation.
Remember, whether we know what the offense is or not, or feel that the person shouldn’t be offended, there probably is an offense on the other person’s part as well. Satan will make sure that he hands each party in the fight a loaded gun of offense with the intention of them destroying each other. In the other hand, he hands each person a permission slip that he wants you both to sign. This slip lists all the reasons why you have the right to sin, act the way you do, and not attempt to reconcile. But he doesn’t tell you what’s in the fine print—that his intention is to steal, kill, and destroy you both.
I’m sure that after rating and weighing my efforts on the mercy scale, satan gave the person I approached a convincing argument as to why my efforts didn’t measure up. Isn’t that what many of us do to others? We are not quick to forgive others, but we want to be quickly forgiven by God. After we measure our own sins and bring them to Merciful God, we then want and expect Him not to hold them to our charge. But we’ll sentence someone else to a life sentence for a misdemeanor. That is why God is God and man is man; sometimes the punishment that we inflict on our offender doesn’t fit the crime. God is always just and fair in His judgments.
But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent – not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is contrary, you ought rather to forgive and confront him lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
−2 Corinthians 2:5-11
Before salvation, our offenses before God were many, but God chose to throw them out of court and give us a full pardon (that we didn’t deserve) because of the sacrifice of His son. We, on the other hand, want to make sure justice is served and others get what they deserve. We pardon only those who have earned “it.” “It” can mean our love, our acceptance, our time, our relationship, our fellowship, our communication, our forgiveness, our mercy, and even more.
The carnal man is an enemy of God and is against the nature and thinking of God. God’s response to offense doesn’t make sense to the carnal man. The carnal man will fight against even its creator God to maintain its ground or logical stance. Again, the carnal man is selfish, self-centered, self-righteous, and self-preserving. It will logically convince itself that it doesn’t have to do or say anything to bring about restoration to a person or a situation—no matter what damage is done to the relationship, person, or a family as the result of this stance being taken.
When we accept Christ into our hearts, we accept His Spirit. Although His Spirit is within us, we still have a choice whether or not we are going to allow this Spirit to lead us. This is called “walking by the Spirit.” He will lead us to go against the nature, desire, and logical reasoning of the carnal man and walk out love—if we will cooperate with Him. The carnal nature does not walk, talk, or even think like God. It will not tell you to reconcile; it will give instructions like “Just give it some time, it will work itself out.” Is there something that you thought that time would heal or cause “it” to go away? Everybody’s “it” is different, and time heals nothing. If you do not deal with an issue, even fifty years later the issue will still patiently be lying in the dark corners like a person waiting their turn in line to be chosen. You may be able to silence it for a moment (sometimes even years). Some take “it” to their grave, hoping to have kept it quiet and eventually bury it. But eventually it will rear its head—even if it pops up in the next generation.
Monday, 14 January 2013 15:19
posted by Bomsaffomow
My wife and i have been quite fortunate when Emmanuel managed to do his research from your ideas he made when using the weblog. It's not at all simplistic to simply possibly be freely giving concepts which usually a number of people have been trying to sell. And we recognize we have got you to give thanks to for that. The entire illustrations you've made, the simple blog menu, the relationships you can make it possible to foster - it's got everything exceptional, and it is letting our son in addition to our family know that that subject is awesome, and that's wonderfully fundamental. Thanks for all! - Get more info http://www.ehitech.info
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:09
posted by Rita Robinson
I must read this book my sister-in-law put it on her page on facebook, and the tile jumped out at me. I allowed my carnal mind to cut me off from family members that I love dearly and it paind me that we are seperated and didvided after all we had together as a family I want it back but was afraid of rejection by theses family members. right now I can't aford to buy but will attempt to check it out of the libary asap thank you for writing this book. GOD bless you.