Week 6(May 28 – June 3)
Sunday – Principle 6
Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
To show mercy and be a peacemaker is about sharing forgiveness. In the midst of our brokenness, in the midst of our recovery from our brokenness, and yes, throughout our lives as we hurt one another we must forgive one another. The greater the hurt, the greater forgiveness is needed. As a part of that forgiving there may need to be amends done to aid in restoring relationships. But, there are times that to do so would be greater harm in life together.
Pastor’s Pondering: What is the connection between being merciful and a peacemaker and forgiveness?
Monday – Step 8 Amends
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Scripture Reading: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
Step 8 is the first part of principle 6 in that as we make a list of people we have hurt it is to be willing to make amends to each one. It is realizing that for each one on the list we should treat as we would hope people would do for us if they had hurt us. It is the word of God given to us through Christ that should be the standard on how we treat all people.
Pastor’s Pondering: What makes it hard to want to make amends to all people we have hurt?
Tuesday – Step 9 – Forgiveness/Grace
We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Scripture Reading: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
Step 9 is offering forgiveness and grace in making amends and sometimes it is to withhold direct amends when it would hurt them or others in doing so. It is so important that Jesus teaches that if we are in the process of showing our love for God and remember an issue we have with a brother or sister that has broken our relationship then we are “first” go restore that relationship before offering our gift to God. Offering forgiveness to one another demonstrates our understanding and appreciation for God forgiving us through Jesus Christ.
Pastor’s Pondering: How does Christ’s teaching challenge us in our making direct amends to one another?
Wednesday – Hurts
Scripture Reading: Genesis 23:17,18
As we look to grief in hang-ups, it also has a place in the hurts. As we find in Abraham’s story, once the place is procured to bury Sarah, her body is laid to rest. It is in a place that we read that all can see, “in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the city gate.” As all can see the grief shared in Sarah’s burial, they may all share in the hurt of that grief and the comfort of that shared love together.
Pastor’s Pondering: How can our relationships together bring comfort in our hurts?
Thursday – Hang-ups
Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:20
As we return to the story of Abraham, Sarai, and the Pharoah we find the last thing that Pharoah does after seeking forgiveness for what he did (even unknowingly) he made amends to them by sending them on their way with all that he had given them. As they leave, I am sure they are feeling the victory they had not in themselves but what God had done even in their lack of faithfulness. Even in the midst of our hang-ups like co-dependence, God can change, restore and recover couples into being couples who truly love and support one another.
Pastor’s Pondering: How is making amends/forgiving in grace needed to recover from our hang-ups?
Friday – Habits
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:24,25
After being restored to God, David finds he must be restored with Bathsheba. Consoling her may not just have been about their son’s death but also seeking forgiveness for all he did to her through adultery, murder, and the death of their child. In this then they were blessed by God together with the birth of Solomon.
Pastor’s Pondering: What all might be needed to be dealt with when our habits damage our relationships with God, ourselves, and each other?
Saturday – People
Scripture Reading: John 21:15-19
When Jesus questions Peter about Peter’s love for him, it is providing Peter a chance to repent by confessing his love three times countering his three denials and to make amends by “Feed my lambs/sheep.” Action is a part of forgiveness, it is not just to say, I’m sorry” but to show it by making amends, taking action in love sharing forgiveness and grace with people in our lives (even when they may not deserve it).
Pastor’s Pondering: How should we “Feed my lambs/sheep” out of our love for Jesus?