Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Little Bruise

One little bruise doesn’t hurt very much. In fact, it doesn’t hurt at all unless you put your finger on it and push. Pressing against a bruise causes pain, so we tend to avoid doing that, don’t we? Then the bruise is merely a small spot of discoloration that is quickly healed and gone. It is so insignificant we hardly even think about it until someone else notices that black and blue mark and asks about it. It’s just one little bruise.

Instead of one little bruise, can you imagine what it would be like to have thousands of little bruises? Even though each little injury would be minor, having thousands of them at the same time would surely cause a great deal of pain. Then, what if you constantly pressed on all these little bruises? The pain would be tremendous. What had been insignificant as just one little bruise would become significant.

This is how it is with our emotional pains One little word said by another might cause a small injury. Was it intended to be cruel, or did it just come out wrong? If we dwell on that little pain, it is the equivalent of pressing a bruise. Reliving the emotional pain only re-injures us, causing additional pain and bruising We tend to go over and over (press our fingers on) this intentional or unintentional slight, causing additional, unnecessary pain. All those little hurts accumulate, making us miserable. Soon, we lash out at someone for one little injury that should not hurt at all, but in our minds we have been pressing down on those little pains and reliving them, making ourselves miserable.

God understands the way we remember and relive our little hurts. He knows that we tend to make just one little bruise become many little bruises. We turn a small injury that doesn’t hurt into an injury that nearly paralyzes us. This is one reason He commands us to forgive. One little emotional bruise, when forgiven, stays one little bruise.

Our relationship with God is damaged when we are unwilling to forgive others. If we are not willing to forgive another for sinning against us, then our God is not willing to forgive us when we sin. Do we ever bruise others with our words or deeds? Do we ever injure someone else by our lack of words or deeds? Of course we do. None of us is perfect. Before God is willing to forgive us, we must first forgive those who have injured us. Christ forgives our sins; therefore, we must follow His example and forgive the sins of others. In this life we will suffer bruises and we will inflict bruises on others. Whether or not each of these injuries will remain just one little bruise is up to us.

Oh God, help us to forgive others and forget the injury.

Matthew 6:14, 15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

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