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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27: Accept Another's Essence

The pages of my journals and old pieces of correspondence often yield descriptions of my journeys through Pivot Points. Today I'm sharing an excerpt from my journal on February 6, 2004 while working through a study on forgiveness:

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.

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