Thistle and Nettle or White Rose?

Thistle and Nettle or White Rose?

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another”
– Colossians 3:13 –

Being a support means giving encouragement, a foundation on which others can build and grow. Paul said in today’s text that we must bear with one another. This is not only a task of mutual building, but also a duty that we have as Christians.

God’s forgiveness for us inspires and commits us to forgive others. We have received such great forgiveness, so how can we not forgive those who offend us? The way, the quantity, the depth with which we forgive establishes the sincerity of our request to the Lord: Forgive us as we forgive our debtors. Forgiveness is the bridge that we ourselves have to cross to attain God’s forgiveness.

“It is most difficult, even for those who claim to be followers of Jesus, to forgive as Christ forgives us. The true spirit of forgiveness is so little practiced, and so many interpretations are placed upon Christ’s requirement, that its force and beauty are lost sight of. We have very uncertain views of the great mercy and loving-kindness of God. He is full of compassion and forgiveness, and freely pardons when we truly repent and confess our sins” (That I May Know Him, p. 180).

Cuban politician and writer José Martí published the poem entitled “Growing a White Rose” in Versos Sencillos [Simple Verses] (New York, 1891). It emphasized the value of true love and friendship.

“I grow a white rose,
in June as in January,
for the sincere friend
who gives me his honest hand.
And for the cruel one who rips out
the heart with which I live,
I do not grow thistle or nettle,
I grow the white rose.”

It is easy to give a white rose to the one who lives by giving us white roses; the hard part is giving a white rose to the one who lives by filling us with nettles. The first can be a transaction or commercial exchange; the second is transformational. Only the presence of Christ in one’s life makes it possible.

Life is too short to live with enmity. Therefore, write the name or names of those from whom you are estranged for some reason on a piece of paper and pray for this or these people.

Then, if possible, make a call or send a message to this or these person(s).

Grow a white rose! May the Lord bless you…