Week 19: “Be kind and forgive one another”
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
There are likely people in your life who you cannot help but step on their toes. It seems you cannot always know what will offend them, only that you will eventually offend them. What are you to do about this? Certainly, you cannot always try to live your life to avoid offending people. This would be impossible, if for no other reason than the choices necessary to avoid offending one person might, at the same time, be offensive to someone else. You must live your life doing all you can to be at peace with all people, while also realizing that you cannot always actually be at peace with others. There is something else you can do with this reality of people in your life who seem to have perpetually “large toes.” You can learn from their negative lesson and be careful to not be like that yourself. It can be hard to see in ourselves what we do not like in others, but it is important that we do. Be honest. Are you easy to offend? Do you find that people are often “stepping on your toes?” Then perhaps you should pray that God would decrease the “size of your toes” and increase the “size of your heart.” Don’t be a petty person. You do not have to let things bother you like they do. I am not speaking of large, truly hurtful wrongs done to you. This is about the ongoing things that others, who mean you no harm, do that offend you. You must become more generous in your heart towards others. To be continually offended by multiple, smaller offenses is an indication that you have made life about you. It is not. Pray that God will give you a “larger heart” and “smaller toes.” You might find that you have fewer things to forgive others for than you thought you did.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.