Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.This chapter is causing me to do some real soul searching. It's called "Content in Relationships." At first, I read the title and thought this would be easy; I don't feel like I have many relationships these days. God has been using these years to teach me to be content without real, close friends around me, and that's been good. He can use loneliness to turn me to Himself.
However, in this chapter He's going deeper with me. Linda Dillow writes about forgiving when others have hurt us. Of course. But then she talks about going beyond forgiveness, and that's what I need to think about applying. There has been a situation in my life that can be described like what I found right in this chapter: "You're in a standoff, and no healing has soothed the hurt" (page 69). I have forgiven and I hope that I have been forgiven, but there's still pain and awkwardness. Linda Dillow chose to actively try to bless the woman she had been in conflict with. I don't know that I can do that now, in this situation--because of physical distance and more--but I have been praying about how I can go beyond forgiveness, and I have decided that I will be this person's faithful prayer warrior. What could be a better start at "putting on love" than praying for her every day?
We can't control others: husband, children, friends, roommate, coworker, relatives. We can't make choices for others, only for ourselves. We can trust God, and we can control ourselves! We can do our part to pursue peace in relationships--and that brings contentment (page 77).
What have you learned about contentment in relationships? How do you go beyond forgiveness for someone who has hurt you?