Matt 5:22 “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, Raca, is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘ You fool! Will be in danger of the fires of hell”.(NIV)
Raca- (Jewish meaning)- vain, empty, worthless, to spit; a word of contempt.
June 24th – In 1958 Nina Simone released her debut jazz album, “Little Girl Blue”. In 1509 Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. In 1853 US President Pierce signs Gadsen Purchase buying over 76,000 sq km from Mexico for $10 mil (present day Arizona and New Mexico). In 2019 people worldwide were urged fly Chinese artist’s Ai Weiwei’s flag marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN document that sets universal fundamental human rights that are to be protected). But I will best remember it as the birthday of my sister, eighteen years my junior.
I want to call her, wish her a happy day, make plans to hang out and rate a local New York City restaurant as was our sisterly tradition (Two Yums Up or Down). But I remembered we are not speaking anymore. So instead, I occupied about the same amount of time I’d be doing those things renewing my car inspection registration-not so “happy” or eventful. In silent prayer, hoped she would be blessed and envisioned a day of our reconciliation. It is not a fun place to love someone you cannot show and miss someone you cannot tell. It feels like a robbing and holdup of a heart’s freedom. As is the case with a death, a long distance move or a sharp disagreement between two people once joined together in some special, common way.
As I dealt with this loss, my graduating daughter was happily engaging in a reunited conversation with her best friend. They had a falling out because of hurt feelings a week before school year’s end. My best texting advice to both of them—the teenager’s preferable way of communicating– was simply this:
“Seems a lot of hurt feelings cause such strong responses. So I always try to keep my friendships in a forgiveness state cause we are all human-making mistakes and feeling emotional. I wish you the best”
This advice does not work best with the world, which can be cold and look down on you as soft. This guidance does not work best (though I loved her columns in younger years) from Dear Abby –for who can expert the specifics or really place significant change in the situation and outcome. No this counsel works perfectly sister with The Counselor -God. For forgiveness is a command of God! How we should and must conduct ourselves with one another. Matt 6:14, Col 3:19, 1 Jn 1:9 and the scripture list goes on. God ain’t playing sister. The Holy Spirit requires us to have loving relationship with our other brothers and sisters. For we are not Jesus we WILL hurt each other. But with Jesus the hurt can mutually heal. Insightful understanding leading to Graceful mercy is always a possibility for the Lord. Before his death, Jesus prayed it for the believers in John 17:20-21 “..that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” That is some serious unity sister; the same way as God and Jesus? Lord help us all with that goal-help ME.
Concern (C): Sister, How many times have you harbored unforgiveness, dissent, jealousy, discord, etc with another person, others or let alone believers?
Encouragement (E): To be in alignment with Jesus-Forgive someone asap! Scripture shows us the urgency to get right right now! Matt 5: 23-24, “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you 24. Leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother.” Do not miss the immediate opportunity or waste any time but Do The Christ Thing and make it right today. If you step and sin against believers (and future brother and sister believers), don’t get turned back, make the very next step to forgive them too and strive for unity. Work it out in this life, the life to come WILL BE too late. It may take time and space but make it a priority. Why? TO GET TO HEAVEN. We are not there yet sister..we are all on the road! Don’t enjoy the ride in pride leading straight to the Satan’s side.
Act (A): Sister Forgiver that’s your new name like Simon became Peter choose with every divisive strand in your being to be the church and not play church. It takes an intent active decision, to get in step with the Holy Spirit’s conviction that nuh huh me and you and me again got to go get ourselves some more Love up in these here hearts. But it starts with you, God holds you personally accountable. He is not going to accept blame-shifting for He took all the blame on the cross. He’s not going to accept finger pointing. For they pointed at Him in disgraceful mocking and He still rose. No. He’s going to look at you and try to find how much of his image is in there and call you higher to his Name. Let perfect Jesus be your perfect example let him perfect it all through. He sister and the treasured promises of heaven will be far worth every cheek turned.
In closing, it cannot be stressed enough your need to forgive. Ask God to examine your heart in this area. If there is anyone that comes to mind alive seek advisement on how to go about resolution (without mentioning names because you would may fall subject to gossiping which is a SIN.) If they are dead or it’s a situation not advisable to contact the person write a letter to God how you set your heart to forgive them. They murdered Jesus and Jesus still forgave. So nothing is impossible with God. 1 John 4:20 “If anyone says I love God but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this commandment from Him. Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.“ In conjunction with the opening scripture it is certain as we teased as kids “Liar, liar pants on fire” Let Jesus be your Living Water. Sister He is most able to quench all flames. I love you!
Wishing all Graduates Congratulations! ACE Love