Hi, it is me again. I am the one whose sister refused to listen and married her stepson . I tried to explain it to her, but she told me that her preacher told her it was okay, and that they married relatives in the Bible. She is not a Christian, though she professes to love God and Jesus. I did not attend the wedding, but I would like to know how I can be a loving Christian who forgives. I am sure our paths will cross at family functions. The thought of seeing them together makes me sick. How should I cope with this and still be true to God's Word? I do not believe that people should do whatever makes them happy.
You made a great statement when you said people should not do whatever makes them happy. In Psalms 15, God says the mark of a person who desires to live a holy life is one who . . .
. . . He swears to his own hurt, and does not change . . . (NASB) Psalm 15:4
When a man or a woman becomes a Christian, God gives us His love. He gives us all of it (1 Peter 1:22 ).
. . . the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NASB) Romans 5:5
When we became Christians, the Holy Spirit entered our lives (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:13) and has given us a greater ability to love others. So when He asks us to love one another, the ability to do this is present in our being. Now we ask the question, why do I not love others like Jesus? It is easy to say that the reason is due to sin, but that does not give us any practical steps.
How can we love? It starts by admitting or confessing to God that we are loving another person as we should (1 John 1:9). We need to straighten out our relationship with God first. If we feel that we have a wrong attitude toward this person, we need to admit that we are having trouble forgiving that person. It is not an issue of “bad feelings.” It is a lack of forgiveness for that person.
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (NASB) Eph. 4:32
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (NASB) Matt. 18:21-22
Jesus even asked us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:43-44). That means we need to forgive even our enemies.
Love is an action, but our feelings often prevent us from acting. Confession and forgiveness are the key to allowing God’s love to flow through us. I would treat your sister with love. Jesus loves all of us.
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (NASB) Galatians 6:9-10
Suggested Links:Love Your Enemy
Anger in the Heart
When Another Offends
A Forgiving Heart