It’s not always easy, bearing with one another as we learn, growing in the spirit, just like it’s not always easy being behind the cautious, slow-moving driver in training. I’ll admit, if there’s an opportunity to switch lanes and zip past the awkwardness, I’ll most likely take the first opportunity to pass the student driver.
The yellow critter in the photo above appears to be a firetruck look-alike, so to speak, used for training new firefighter drivers. It’s a guess, but it must be near the target somewhere, right? We had a passing encounter with him recently near the Honolulu airport, and the sign on the rear struck a chord, so I asked my sweet son to snap a picture while we were at a red light.
I wonder if we all wore similar signs for day-to-day living, perhaps it would be a great patience reminder for the rest of the crowd when we messed up and vice-versa? Mistakes and stumbles are inevitably going to happen. After all, we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God, and even after we give our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, we’ll still have hiccups at times.
I hiccuped this week. It wasn’t pleasant. I felt bad. It wasn’t on purpose or premeditated, but it was a hiccup nonetheless, and it affected others. The “driver in training” sign would have worked beautifully! I probably would have crawled in behind it, but alas, I didn’t have the sign. However, my Strength and my Shield was more than available. To Him I ran when the anxiety and guilt started to build. From Him I asked forgiveness and He granted it. I asked those impacted to forgive me as well. Many stepped up to the plate beautifully and overflowed with forgiveness. It was a work in action, a display of our Lord’s very words.
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.
Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 THE MESSAGE
I have to tell you, it was quite a relief knowing that these gals were quickly forgiving me, or as the NIV says, they were “bearing” with me. It was an immense comfort knowing that my God was bearing with me even more so.
Forgiveness is essential as we navigate the paths of life. It’s not always easy, but it’s crucial for maturity to blossom. The Lord has paved that road, going before us, beautifully forgiving each one of us. Not only that, but He has also set it plain and clear in the Word, instructing us to quickly and completely forgive as He did.
Quickly and completely, indeed, that is the way the Lord instructs us to forgive.
We all need forgiveness, both given to us and offered by us in return for an offense. We all have opportunity to bear with one another. I certainly needed it this week and was so thankful to have it offered. It was very humbling to say the least.
When those offenses occur, let’s pretend we see a pseudo-driver-in-training sign, bearing with one another in patience, overflowing with quick and complete forgiveness, OK? It’s encouragement and growth for all involved, and it’s discipleship in action. (John Bevere’s The Bait of Satan is a great tool in the process as well.)
Have a wonderful week, overflowing with forgiveness as we all bear with one another. Be encouraged to keep your eyes on the prize, not the offense, and watch as the Lord is magnified.
You are God and You are good. Your ways are higher than mine, and although I might or might not feel like forgiving the offense (name it here), I will out of reverence for You, because You have asked me to. You have paved the way for bearing with one another, forgiving my sins. Thank You. I now choose to forgive _____________. I cling to You and Your example. I give You permission to change my heart, Oh God.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.