Sunday, October 27, 2013
Day 27: Accept Another's Essence
Lord, as I look at all these lists [lists of people I needed to forgive and the things I needed to forgive them for] I see character issues, actions flowing out of heart issues. I see things that without Your intervention will not change. I am not looking at single instances, single offenses, I'm looking a patterns of behavior, at character issues. I'm looking at human beings with character flaws.
How do I forgive character flaws and patterns of behavior? I can understand how to forgive a single instance, a single behavior, but how about character flaws? How do you forgive a person for being who they are?
I think I can't. I think that's not my call to make. I cannot look at someone and say, "I forgive you for being the way you are." Only God has that right.
I can forgive others for specific offenses against me that flow out of who they are. I can pray for God's work in their life. Above all, I need to accept their essence and love them as they are, where they are.
God has created each person with a unique, priceless essence, an imprint of Himself and what He desires us to be. That essence is His gift. I need to see past the wounds, past the flaws, past the broken places to the essence of the other person. I need to see the image of God in others, forgive when necessary, and love at all times. And, in the process encourage their essence to grow in strength and beauty.