Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Wednesday word of encouragement

Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share a really great lesson a friend of mine taught several years ago at a retreat I attended. Before I start, I need to back up a little. Before this retreat began, some drama took place at one of the planning nights. I attended this retreat as a leader, but for some reason was unable to attend this particular night of planning. I say "for some reason", but I know the reason was that God kept me from being there. I had several friends who were there and had I been there, our friendship might have been damaged. I don't say this lightly—I am so thankful He kept me away that night. God works behind the scenes all the time—do you believe that and have you seen evidence of it in your life? If so, I would love to hear from you at the end of this post in the comments. I love hearing stories of that from friends.

I have seen this evidence in my life, countless times. I never want to get over this about the Lord. He works in all those tiny details and that is what never fails to amaze me. Isn't He so good? 
Back to this time at the retreat. My friend had planned a different message to teach the girls on this particular day, but after witnessing drama, the Lord put something different in her heart. I've never forgotten what she taught to the teenage girls that day, and I remember thinking that it was something I needed to hear every bit as much as the girls attending the retreat. She actually typed this message out and handed it to the girls to keep, but because things get lost, I decided to write the words on the inside cover of my Bible. Here are the words my friend shared on this day four years ago at that retreat.

"Forgiveness" (written by my friend, Sunday)

How do we forgive? 

1. We pursue peace and holiness.

Romans 12:18—"If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Hebrews 12:14-15—"Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many."

2. We overlook petty offenses.

Proverbs 19:11—"A person's insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense."

3. We go to that person.

Matthew 18:15-17—"If your brother sins against you, go tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won't listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he doesn't pay attention to them, tell the church. If he doesn't pay attention even to the church, let him be like a Gentile and a tax collector to you." 

4. We need to go to the person in gentleness, knowing that the battle is again Satan and NOT that person.

2 Timothy 2:24-26—"The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

5. We need to confess our own sin. 

Matthew 7:3-5—"Why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye but don't notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' and look, there's a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother's eye."

6. We need to do practical good to those who have done us wrong.

Romans 12:21—"Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good."

NOTHING is unforgiveable! As the Lord extends grace to us, so we must do to others.

Don't we all struggle with this topic of forgiveness, friend? How about forgiving someone who will never apologize? That is a hard pill to swallow, so to speak. The message of forgiveness remains the same, as does the truth of God's word. Aren't you glad that we have His word to live by? I know I am. Thanks for reading my blog today. I pray it encourages you and challenges you. 

Love to all. ❤

Because I love a picture of someone in my mind, here is my friend Sunday—this was right when she and her family came to our church. My mom and I helped her decorate that table behind us for a women's event we had and I made her stop for a picture. They're not at our church anymore, but she made a huge impact in my life—she AND her mom—through her teaching and certain events we did together. She asked another friend and me to join her in praying over the house they bought before they moved in, which is one of the sweetest things I have ever participated in. I will never forget Sunday and her family, who were friends of ours in person for only a few short years. I'll forever hold in my heart the memories we share. 


  1. Such an important lesson in the world we live in now where offense is so great & so PASSIONATE towards others. We'll never get anywhere until forgiveness & grace is applied.

  2. This is such a good word!! Thanks for sharing these wisdom reminders.

  3. Marilyn- thank you! I appreciate those kind words.


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