Recently, a friend told me the story of how she was having problems with a coworker. The coworker disagreed with everything she did constantly. She tried to resolve the differences, but to no avail. As the disagreement continued to escalate she asked the coworker if she carried any burden of the blame for their differences. The coworker full of pride, answer “No” and cast all the blame on my friend. My friend admitted she was so frustrated and hurt. So, she cried out to Christ. The Lord told her to forgive the coworker and to apologize to her! She wrestled with having to ask for forgiveness when she had been wronged. But the Lord ministered to her and told her she must forgive the offender and apologize for offending the coworker. She asked God to work through her, knowing she would need His strength to be humble. She felt confident the Lord would carry her to obedience! God gave her the perfect words to speak and she began to humbly ask for forgiveness from the coworker. Glory to God, His Spirit went before her and my friend consumed by the love of Christ began to cry as she asked for forgiveness. Her coworker, seeing her emotion, was moved to receive this Christ-like love and the healing process began for their relationship.
Life lesson: Make the first move
So many times we come to an impasse in a relationship. It can only be solved when we submit fully to Christ and extend forgiveness. We must follow His lead. Philippians 2:5-9 tells us,
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.”
You see, Christ in His perfection humbled Himself to serve unworthy, unholy generations. Not only did the King of Kings and Lord of Lords become a servant, but He submitted to the horrible, God forsaken death of the cross. Remember Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ didn’t wait for us to become perfect or stop sinning before He served us. He submitted Himself to the death of the cross while we were still sinning against Him. HE MADE THE FIRST MOVE!
We find ourselves at an impasse with Christ. He offers forgiveness as a free gift, because He bought it on our behalf. Can we accept it? We come to Christ wanting the gift of eternal life, we want what Christ has to offer. But, can we accept forgiveness? Before we can accept it, we must admit that we need it. We must come face to face with our sin. We must see ourselves as undone and incomplete without Him. We cannot accept His forgiveness until we admit we are WRONG! HIs great love melts our hearts and moves us to see our need for forgiveness.
Like my friend who struggled with her coworker, I am learning true worship is cloaked in humility and forgiveness. We must be PEOPLE of forgiveness. We must freely extend it to others, and we must accept it for ourselves by admitting we are wrong. When we walk in forgiveness, we are made into the image of Christ! Be brave, make the first move. He will lead the way!