The New CommandmentThe New Commandment
In John 13, Christ is washing the disciple’s feet and He gives them the commandment in verse 34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another…”
The disciples were taught to turn from the ways of the natural man to the loving and caring ways of the Savior by replacing contention with forgiveness, kindness, and compassion.
I have pondered on what that looks like in my own life. Do I cause contention by not forgiving?
Lesson of the Headband and the iPadLesson of the Headband and the iPad
While pondering these scriptures in preparation for this talk, something very interesting happened. I was helping the children get ready for a special dress day at school and my daughter was excited to wear a particular headband. She had the headband the night before, but could not find it that morning. I gave her the regular lectures of “if you put it where it belongs, you could find it the next day” and “I don’t wear it, so I do not know where it is.” We were both frustrated and contention filled the morning air.
She finally left for school disappointed she could not find her headband. A small, but very important thing to her.
I planned to get on my exerciser and I wanted to watch my iPad while I exercise. Guess what? I could not find my iPad. I searched everywhere! I wanted to ask for help to find it. I found myself in the same situation as my daughter. I thought to myself, “why could I have not allowed her the grace that we all misplace items?” I could have been more understanding, forgiving and helped her look for it.
Now I know this is a simple mishap, but in this moment I believe my Heavenly Father was trying to show me a lesson: to replace contention with forgiveness and kindness.
I need to learn to love and forgive in small ways - every day – so that I can practice and be ready to forgive and love when greater things come my way.
Breaking FreeBreaking Free
Part of being a Christian is bringing light, love and hope to others. Forgiveness can be an incredible tool.
Being unwilling to forgive someone can be like a chain that holds one down and accountable to a former version of themselves that they do not what to be.
Elder Kevin R. Duncan reminds us “as human beings we live in a fallen world, sometimes It comes as no surprise that mistakes will be made, injustices will occur. As a result, there is not a soul alive who will not, at one time or another, be the victim to someone else’s careless actions, hurtful conduct, or even sinful behavior.”
So how wonderful we have a Savior and He has taught us that we can forgive! Even though we may be a victim once, we need not be a victim twice by carrying the burden of hate, bitterness, pain, resentment, or even revenge. We can forgive, and we can be free!
An Act of LoveAn Act of Love
As we strive to forgive others, let us also try to remember that we are all growing spiritually, we are all at different levels. While it is easy to observe the changes and growth in the physical body, it is difficult to see the growth in our spirits.
One key to forgiving others is to try to see them as God sees them. At times, God may part the curtain and bless us with the gift to see into the heart, soul, and spirit of another person who has offended us. This insight may even lead to an overwhelming love for that person.
Certainly those who are less spiritually mature may indeed make serious mistakes—yet none of us should be defined only by the worst thing we have ever done. God is the perfect judge. He sees beneath the surface. He knows all and sees all. He has said, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10).defined
Forgiveness is an act of showing love. It is extending the love that our Savior showed us, to others. We must give others the grace we hope to find ourselves. By doing so, we will find joy and peace in our daily lives.
Excerpts from a talk given by Sis. Wendy Jorgensen, Singapore 4th Ward.Excerpts from a talk given by Sis. Wendy Jorgensen, Singapore 4th Ward.