Devotions By Jan

Tough or Tender?

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Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (NASB)

Tenderizing meat is a wonderful way to work out frustrations! I can still remember my Mother whomping on a cut of meat with some scary mid-evil looking instrument. Pounding on a more affordable cut of meat will break down the muscle fibers that constrict when heated. If they are broken down beforehand they don’t tighten up but stay relaxed. The result is nice tender meat that seems to be a cut above the rest without breaking the bank!

Today’s verse tells us that we are kind and tender-hearted when we forgive. In theory we all like the idea of showing kindness and being tender towards another. But the most difficult part of showing this attitude is in forgiveness. Like the meat tenderizing process, we need to have what is tight and unbending be broken down. We stay relaxed and ready to forgive the hurt inflicted by a loved one when we take to heart God’s forgiveness towards us.

How is it that someone else’s sin against me is so much more grievous than my sin against God? Yet that must be my prideful conclusion when I withhold forgiveness. When this happens (and it happens more than I’d like to admit) I am likely to be disciplined through some intense “meat tenderizing.” The Lord wants me to be tender, forgiving and compassionate, regardless of the hurt, regardless of the injustice and regardless of the response. Yes, it’s hard, but He did it for me.

Lord, help me to forgive.

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