**And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.** Luke 11:4
In yesterday’s post we talked about forgiving others. If we want the Lord to not hold us accountable for our mistakes, then it is important that we are merciful and forgive the errors of our friends and family.
It is interesting that our verse for today comes right after the forgiveness part. It is like Jesus knew that the forgiveness part is not easy for us, so He gives us a preventive cure. If we do not want to fall into the trap of being bitter against someone for how they have offended or hurt us, then it would be wise for us to pray that the Father directs us away from that temptation.
In order to do that the Word of God shows us how to stay far away from thinking evil of others. If we are really wanting to do well in our relationships with others, there is plenty of advice and guidance to do so.
** And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. ** Ephesians 4:32
Paul is paraphrasing Jesus’ answer to the disciple that asked him to teach him to pray. He is explaining to us the preventive measures we can take. Be kind. Be tenderhearted. Don’t be hardhearted. Don’t be cruel. Don’t provoke someone to treat us badly and get the mean circle spinning.
**Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. ** Colossians 3:13
Paul repeats his teaching here to those at Colosse. You see, conflict is a common occurrence, wherever you are from. We all have sensitive buttons others push. We all need to learn to be more thick-skinned.
Forbearing one another means that we need to learn to just put up with each other and our different personalities, temperaments, attitudes and opinions. We need to be patient and bite our tongue. If we want to be accepted at face value and be shown some patience and mercy for our growing process, we need to do the same for others.
The Lord always does his part in delivering us from evil, and giving us a way out of a bad situation. Proverbs 15 tells us **A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. **
Looks like we have a good amount of homework practicing to be kind, tenderhearted and respond softly to those who know how to provoke us. The idea isn’t to get perfect at it, but to learn how to handle touchy situations just a bit better. Because unless we live alone on a island in the Pacific, we will always have someone that tries to get under our skin.