Monday, October 17, 2011

Forgive and Forget

Today I read 1 Corinthians 6. I found this chapter very interesting. Paul is telling the Saints in this chapter to view each other as brothers, to not take each other to the law but to settle disputes between themselves. It is a sad thing when brothers and sisters cannot forgive one another and move on. It's a toss up for me as far as which one is more sad, that fellow Saints will treat one another in such a fashion, or that after they are treated so poorly they will not forgive one another. I have a very hard time understanding this because I was blessed with the gift to forgive others. I have never been able to hold a grudge about anything, no matter how hard I have tried at times. I will always forgive those who treat me poorly, give me a day, sometimes a little longer, and I will be ok.

But I have met those who seem unable to forgive and it eats them up inside and it is horrible to watch. I had a friend once call me up in the middle of the night. I don't remember why he called, but I remember that eventually the conversation turned to a period in our lives when we lived together and things had not gone well. We had a really rough time, not with each other, but just our circumstances at the time were not ideal. We were treated poorly by those around us and we did not have a lot of money so from time to time we went hungry. I had long since gotten over it and chalked it up to live and learn. But that night it was clear to me that my friend had not gotten past it despite it being 2-3 years since those events occurred. I am not usually a forceful person, but that night I was a little harsh in what I said to my friend. I told him that he needed to let it go. Yes it was horrible that we had to go through that. Yes we were mistreated by some, but there were wonderful experiences during those years too. I told him he needed to move on and take the lessons he had learned from those years but forgive those who had made them necessary.

Luckily for my friend, he took my advice and is a much better person today because of it. But I have seen the other side of things, where people could not let it go and it ate them away inside and they turned away from the Gospel and wanted nothing to do with the church. They even went as far as to blame God for their misfortune. As if God was causing people to behave so poorly! I hate the question, "why do bad things happen to good people". I have talked about this before. People who say such things do not understand the plan of salvation. If we have faith in God's plan, then we understand that everything that happens to us is for our benefit. Bad things are going to happen, but when they do, we must turn to Him to help us through them.

Such people may even need help forgiving those who did them wrong. They may even need help forgiving Heavenly Father, at least in their own mind. Perhaps forgiveness is the wrong word, I would say understanding is the better choice. God has a plan for each one of us and our growth and development is part of that plan. In my opinion God has done nothing to us worthy of forgiveness because He knows what will be of the most benefit to us. If we will be humble and submit our will to Him, then we will slowly, but surely become as He is and become a little more perfect.

There was another part of the chapter I really liked. In verse 13 Paul tells the Saints at Corinth that the body is not for fornication but it is God's. I found that very interesting. Most people who do things like have sex outside of marriage, or drink alcohol or take illegal drugs fool themselves by saying that it's their life and it's not hurting anyone except themselves. However, Paul is telling us here that our bodies are not ours at all, but we belong to God. That, to me, means that we cannot just do as we like with them. But rather we need to respect the wishes of the one whose it is. If we were to borrow someone's belongings we would not just treat it without respect, but rather we would treat it with respect and try and return it in as good a condition as we received it. So we should treat our bodies. Since they belong to God, we need to make sure that we are treating them with respect and not abusing them in any way at all. I will be honest that I had never thought of it like this before, but it is a beautiful sentiment. As we learn to treat our bodies with the respect they deserve, we will find that we want to treat them that way. That it is not a burden but a pleasure to obey the commandments. That is where I want to be. That is my goal, hopefully it is yours too. Until tomorrow.

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