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Ephesians 4:31-32

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

February is love month and as we focus on the people we are in a love relationship with (parents, spouses, girlfriend or boyfriend, children, Pastors, etc.), I believe we all can say we want to be treated and we intend to treat those people kindly, tenderheartedly and ready to forgive. But truly, I have to ask myself some question as Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper anger, harsh words, slander and of course bad attitudes. I have to ask myself, “Am I bringing sorrow or pleasing God with my attitudes and actions?” If I’m honest, the people closest to me see and hear the worst of my attitudes and harshness and yet they are the ones I love the most. I heard Joyce Meyers say once, “If I could just talk to my loved ones like I would to my pastor or even a stranger!” That was startling to me! Thank God they practice the law of forgiveness! It humbles me to the point of tears sometime. I see this carried forward to our clients, especially during Code Blue season. We have had 43 unduplicated individual Code Blue guests in 37 days since December, 2017. The situations are all different. Some are in this situation from their own bad choices, some are dealing with severe mental health problems, addiction problems and some are there from others mistreating them. One couple came in both with black eyes, freezing and humbled by their addiction and mistreating each other. They gained some strength and sobriety and ministry from us and to each other. They continued to help at the Center in many ways. One even got their construction job back. After working two weeks and paying for a room at the local motel, his boss offered him a job rebuilding Houston, Texas after their devastating hurricane. So now they are down in Texas for at least 2 months of work and possibly relocating there. This is a picture of “Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us”. God forgives us not because we forgive others, but solely because of His great mercy. As we come to understand His mercy, however, we will want to be like him. Having received forgiveness, we will pass it on to others. I believe this is the best Valentine’s Day present anyone could give or be given--forgiveness!

We are so grateful to you who support the ministry of the sharing the Gospel and hold up the Christian Caring Center and clients with prayer and then providing love through the sharing of food, clothing, shelter and other physical necessities when available. We know that we always don’t get it right, but thanks for your love and forgiveness so we can continue to support, love and forgive our clients!

Abiding in Him,

Madelyn Sutton

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