Do you want to know who you are? Do you really want to know? Sometimes we say we do; sometimes we say we want God to show us, but we don't really want to see. We are too afraid. I think we are afraid because we already know that it's pretty ugly. Come on, if we are really honest with ourselves we all know that it's not a nice place in our heart. It's the whole reason we need Jesus.
If you want a true test of your character, of who you are, ask yourself how quick you are to forgive. I don't just mean the words you speak but the thoughts you hold on to. Do you make it your purpose to decide to forget offences. I mean to never bring them up again; ever! I mean to act as if it never happened. That's what forgiveness is. It is not a "putting off" but a throwing away, to be forgotten.
How are you with loving people who don't fit into your acceptable column? I don't mean just tolerating them but calling them friend, hanging out with them, inviting them into your life? Think of some people who annoy you in your church. Did you know that love means you work through that annoyance; you act as if it doesn't exist and you love them all the more. Love is not always so easy. Jesus said it is nothing to love those who love you. But he called you to a greater love; one that shows kindness to an enemy and prays for those who persecute us. If this is said of an enemy, how much more someone who is united with us by the same Spirit?
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
At the foundation of our life in Jesus is the fact that we no longer belong to ourselves, but we were purchased at a great price. We belong to Jesus and as such we take on the character of our Master. Obviously we can't change ourselves but the power of the transformation gives us the authority to make decisions. We have to make the decision to forgive and then the Spirit gives us the power to make it happen. We have to make the decision to love and then the Spirit gives us the power to see if flourish. We can't make the mistake of thinking we are going to get zapped with something and all the hurt and pain is going to disappear. We have to submit that hurt and pain to Jesus, just give it over to him as our Master, and decide to forgive. We will soon discover the power is there to make it happen.
Remember, we don't belong to ourselves any more which means no one can offend us. They may offend our Master but Jesus will take care of that. We cannot take offence because we died. Only someone alive can take offence. We died and were brought back to life, but not life in ourselves again; we are only alive in Jesus. We no longer live for ourselves.
We can't be satisfied to stay where we are. The transformation has taken place and is taking place every day. We have to know and act in the character of Jesus. If there is prejudice and unforgiveness found in us then we do not understand who we are in Jesus. We are a new creation and these things do not belong to us. Because we have received forgiveness, we forgive. Because Jesus bared with us and went to the cross for us, we can bear with each other, laying down our lives for one another. His power in us makes it possible. This is what we should see when we ask the Lord to show us our heart. It is what should occupy us. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.