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::Devotional:: ‘The Power of Transparency – Forgiveness’

November 25, 2009

God has continued to stir in my heart since my Monday morning devotion experience this week.  In fact, through being transparent and seeing the Holy Spirit move among my little group of co-workers that morning, I believe a relationship I have with one of them has been forever changed.  Yesterday I mentioned the presence of confession during that time and while that was certainly powerful, something else was present that morning that was even more powerful for me – forgiveness.

It’s an unrealistic expectation to think that we’ll always see eye-to-eye with other people in this world, even other brothers and sisters in Christ.  We’re not that perfect and neither are they, you know?  I certainly did not see eye-to-eye with one of my co-workers and that has created a few heated moments in the past between us.  Admittedly I let that fuel a critical spirit in me over this past summer and I was very negative towards working with this person, in my thoughts my words and even my actions to a degree.  

To make a long story short, working with this person this year has been completely different from what I was so convinced it would be.  In fact, I remember early only this year telling my wife, “There’s something different about them, God has softened their heart.”  Unfortunately, my critical spirit was rooted pretty deep in pride and I wasn’t about to admit any of it to this person.  The ole sweep it under the rug trick you know?  Well, in the midst of transparency during our Monday morning devotions this week, God uprooted my critical spirit and the Holy Spirit was freed up to restore something in me and my co-worker.

The Presence of Forgiveness

Towards the end of our devotional time, this particular co-worker confessed to each of us their struggle with a critical spirit and their course attitude towards us and the things going on at work in times past.  The presence of confession.  They shared a bit about how God was working in them and that they were making an effort to change and hoped we had seen some difference this year, which many of us had already commented on to one another during the year.  Then they asked for forgiveness from us for their prior attitude and behavior.  In that moment I was convicted not only to pour out that forgiveness but to admit my critical spirit against this person and ask for their forgiveness.   That’s just what happened too.  Forgiveness was granted all around.  Why?  There’s only one answer to that question – the Holy Spirit.  As I said yesterday, confession leads to brokeness and that frees up the Holy Spirit to move in mighty ways.  One of those ways is in forgiveness.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14

In the past two days I’ve felt an incredible warmth and compassion with this co-worker where I once felt the continual ache of cold bitterness.  In the presence of forgiveness, through handshakes and hugs, we’ve reinforced the activity of the Holy Spirit in one another.  I truly believe we’ve spurred one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24).

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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