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Making Space

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves. If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry - get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.

If anyone is stealing he must stop it and begin using those hands of his for honest work so he can give to others in need. Don't use bad language. Say only what is good and helpful to those you are talking to, and what will give them a blessing.

Don't cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.

Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. Ephesians 4: 25-32 (TLB)

Bob LaForge lives in New Jersey. Their kitchen sink was not draining. They tried several clog removers, but nothing seemed to work. With no other option, Bob got out his tools and took apart the pipes. It was simultaneously amazing and disgusting. after Bob physically pulled smelly debris from the blocked pipes, water once again flowed freely.

Forgiveness is a lot like that process of breaking down and cleaning those pipes. Bitterness, anger, and resentment clog up our lives. Often, we just want to ignore the problem or find an easy fix. While those may seem to work for a bit, eventually the pain and rancor build up once again.

True forgiveness takes effort. It requires us to take out our tools and remove the debris that builds up in our hearts and makes it difficult to have compassion for others. We can do this only because God has forgiven us first. Once we offer that grace to others and release them completely from their debt, our own lives can open back up.

Forgiveness makes space in our lives for the good things - God's grace, love, and kindness - to flow freely. When that happens, it is better for us and better for everyone around us.

Prayer: Dear God, give us the desire and power to forgive others. Clear our lives of resentment and anger so we can forgive and make space for love, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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