Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
We are never too old to learn something new, but in order to do so, we must be willing learners. In our Christian walk, we also have to be sure that both the advice and instruction that we heed is based on biblical truth. If we allow our hearts to become hardened, we will not even accept advice that is offered in true Christian love. I shared my frozen heart regarding forgiveness in my post of March 17, 2015 entitled “Can You Afford Not to Forgive?”
Recently I was reminded of another example, this time, of a dear friend’s unforgiving attitude. This dear lady was a respected member of our United Methodist Women and had been recognized as the Honoree of the year for her service at our church. I was president of the unit, so it was I whom she called with her predicament. As Honoree for the previous year, it was her duty to present the pin to the Honoree chosen for the new year. She explained to me that this lady had offended her at a bible study some years ago, and she just could not bring herself to present the pin. She went on to explain that the woman had called to apologize the same evening that the offense had occurred and that was proof that she meant to be offensive! I was astounded and unsure what to say. This dear soul then added that her sister had told her she was in error, needed to forgive, and present the award. I told her I would take over the presentation, but I prayed that she might change her mind. She didn’t!
I share this story because it so clearly illustrates the refusal of Godly advice. Christ counseled we are to forgive “seventy times seven” without any conditions or reservations. How long do we harbor a hurt and let it grow or fester? The more we nurse it the bigger the toll it takes upon us. When we release that hurt, forgive and move on, we regain our health, both physically and spiritually. We need to keep our hearts open to loving as God and Christ love us; God who gave His Only Son to die on the cross to pay our sin debt in full, and Christ, the perfect sacrifice, for all our sins; Christ who said on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” How can we not forgive when we all have been forgiven so very much?
Opening our hearts and minds to Christ’s instruction is something we need to do in order to stay healthy and live lives dedicated to our Lord and Savior. No none of us is perfect. We need to remember the forgiveness granted to us through God’s grace and when counseled to do so by fellow believers, we need to accept their instruction. It will lead us on the path to greater wisdom and spiritual growth.