Power To Forgive: Keep The Stream Pure

Here is the devotional:

As founder of Summit Leaders, I take people on outdoor expeditions around the world. A few years ago, I took a team rafting through the Grand Canyon. Our adventure started about two hours north of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Where we started, the canyon is only a few hundred feet deep. The water is crystal clear with a nice green tint. You can see all the way to the bottom of the river. After a safety lesson, and a few basic paddling tips, we set out on our six-day journey deep into the canyon. About two miles into the trip our guide pointed to the right. “Looks like the Paria is running,” he said. “Say good-bye to the clear water.”

I looked ahead and saw a nasty stream of brown water flowing into the crystal-clear Colorado River. In no time, our nice, clear river was brown and milky, and it stayed that way for the rest of the six-day trip. That one tiny, muddy seasonal stream miles upriver turned the mighty Colorado River into a cloudy mess.

In today’s passage, King Solomon talks about the importance of diligently guarding or keeping your heart protected. Our hearts are meant to be pure and clear. But if we aren’t careful, hurt and bitterness can flow in and pollute the clear waters of our hearts.

When we don’t release hurt it turns into resentment. In both Spanish and French, the word sentir means to feel. When we re-sentir something we feel that emotion over and over. We relive the event. And resentment can have dire consequences in our souls. It’s like drinking from a polluted water source – it won’t go well.

But forgiveness is the filter that can clear out the pollution from hurt in our hearts.

When I lead teams into the outdoors, I always bring a top-of-the-line water purification filter. It removes pretty much anything in the water that can harm you. I’ve pumped water from stagnant streams and not gotten sick. Those filters are expensive, but I purchase a new one for every trip. The price is absolutely worth it to make sure the team doesn’t get hurt by unclean water. We sit around in a circle every night and take turns pumping pure water for the next day.

I wonder what could happen in our lives if we developed a daily habit of filtering out those offenses that can build up and taint the clear, flowing streams of our hearts. What if every evening we processed what happened to us through our own filter of forgiveness and decided to not let the sun go down on our anger?

Forgiveness can actually become a daily habit that keeps us free and clear from resentment.
It helps us keep the waters of our hearts flowing pure and clear so we can be a life-giving source to others.

Here are the scriptures referenced:

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23 KJV

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 KJV

Here are Stu’s thoughts:

What would happen if we started each day with Lord, give me the strength to forgive those who hurt me?

Would that put us the proper attitude of forgiveness or would we be fine until someone hurt us🤔

I would love to tell you that we could keep that proper attitude of forgiveness all day but I know, that for me, it just doesn’t happen.

I’ll be going along just fine until I see something that triggers an incident from years gone by. Do I immediately ask the Lord to forgive me for the anger or hurt that pops up? No.

I wish I could. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with the emotional side of things with the stressors I already have to deal with. I’ll harbor them for a few days until I finally have enough of it and then ask for forgiveness for my emotional state and the anger.

The anger only shows me that I truly have not forgiven said person over what had transpired.

I find it odd how easy it was to forgive the men that molested me as a child and yet it took me decades to forgive my dad for not being the dad I needed as well as cheating on my mom.

But I do thank God I did what he told me to do and that was forgive him. No, we don’t have a “father/son” relationship but I don’t get mad talking to him anymore. There is love there just not as deep as it could have been. Just saying.

Here I go sort of rambling again. Sorry. Back to the stream…

If we start the day and end the day with forgiveness the water can be clear and not murky all the time.

Yes the water will get stirred up from time to time but we should not allow it to get so murky we lose sight of who we are.


7 thoughts on “Power To Forgive: Keep The Stream Pure”

  1. Stu, this devotional is so good. As for me, I am determined to have pre-forgiveness. I choose to forgive others before they offend me. In the past, I had a problem forgiving others until I recognized that I wanted forgiveness from God and forgiving others was a requirement. Filtering the water is so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. By God’s design, both our Sunday School lesson and the sermon this morning dealt with Living Water. In Jeremiah 2.3, God warns us of trying in our own power and our own ways of doing anything: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Instead of reading and living by God’s Word, we think we’ve built a better way.
    When we, in obedience to God’s invitation, come for refreshing to the Living Water of Jesus, we are cleansed and renewed. He can wash away not only our sins, but the resentment / bitterness that we build up.
    70×7, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, this ties in with Maxine’s post from earlier.

      Our better way sort of sucks and I get reminded daily of how far base it truly is. God always shows us that His way is better. It may come after years of us trying it our way until we realize it’s not working.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You betcha! Yes, we three are kind of on the same point. Love it.
        Very good points. I wish I could see the suck-y end result of my own efforts BEFORE I go ahead with my own plans; instead of envisioning how great it’s gonna be.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Forgiveness is powerful and also freeing for ourselves and the other guy. There are just some issues we have more trouble with for deep personal reasons. Maybe it was easier to forgive strangers, more so,
    than your own father who was suppose to be someone you could trust. It takes a lot of prayer and a lot of days sometimes to finally let the resentment go. If we keep at it, one day we eventually realize the resentment is finally gone and we are free.
    Thanks for sharing this devotion.

    Liked by 1 person

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