Saturday, 25 June 2011

Get rid of those maggots!

There is a reason why Jesus said we should forgive those who offend us - every time they offend us. Even if we are offended as many as seventy seven times in a day, Jesus said we should still forgive (Matthew 18:21,22; Luke 17:1-4). This instruction is not to make us look weak and foolish; instead, as we shall see, it is for our inner sanctity and strength.

Ultimately, every offence from men is aimed at the heart. The same can be said of every unfavourable circumstance that affects us on the inside. No matter what happens or how it happens, we feel the pain of hurts and disappointment in our hearts. When we retain and process them for any length of time, they turn into bitterness, hatred, rage, depression and other unholy vices. This is why Jesus said we should let go of offences as soon as they occur. And when they seem to linger for a while, the counsel is, "do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26).

Offences and discouragements retained in the heart longer than a day contaminate us on the inside. When we brood upon them, they drain us of strength and become much harder to deal with; they rob us of grace and cause is to defile many (Hebrews 12:15).

When Israel kept the heavenly manna for longer than a day, it turned into maggots and stank (Exodus 16:20). Can you just imagine what happens when we keep offences in the heart beyond the setting of the sun? The truth is, many a believer's heart is full of maggots that keep on multiplying sunset after sunset. Whenever they speak out of their bitter heart, the stench is practically unbearable. It is not a sign of weakness when you forgive others; it is a wise action of someone who understands the value of a clean heart.

"Keep and guard your heart", therefore, "with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23 AMP). In other words, "Get rid of all the maggots in your heart and guard against them finding a breeding place in you. Only out of a maggot-free heart flows the spring of life that builds up others."

Cleanse our hearts O Lord!


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