Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Separation in a Positive Light

Most of the time when we think of "separation," it is in a negative way. Division is often an occurrence that includes offense. Oh the other hand, there are times when separation is a good thing. One of those times is what I learned from Bruce and Toni Hebel in their new book Forgiving Forward. They teach that in order to forgive someone, you first have to separate his actions from him as a person.

That's what we ask God to do for us when we pray the Lord's prayer. "Forgive us our debts." When we learn to separate the person from his actions, we learn how to love the sinner and hate the sin. We need to remember that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12 NKJV) The person that did an action (or lack of action) that offended us is merely a person. The source of the offense is truly the enemy of our souls, the devil and the demonic angels that follow him. That's not to say that we don't have responsibility when we commit a sin, but we are dealt with by God. We cannot truly deal with people who hurt us. We have to release them to God; He's the only One who can truly deal with them.

This act of separating the person from his actions not only helps us to forgive him from his negative actions, it will also help us to not put someone up on a pedestal when he does positive actions. Just as we remember that the negative actions someone does toward us comes from the true enemy, we also need to remember that the good actions someone does to us come from the Lover of our souls, God Almighty. If I do great deeds to help someone, I want that to point them to God, not me.

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