All our actions are preceded by our thoughts. Therefore our thoughts need to be purposeful.
In my reading about David and Saul in 1 Samuel, there is a scene that is very purposeful in my mind. David’s thoughts were backed by his governor-value.
Twice he could have killed Saul. Once in the cave (24:3-7), and again when Saul and his army were asleep (26:7-12). What was his governor? He would not put his hand against the Lord’s anointed.
He could have avenged himself. He explained this to Abishai and then said in 1 Samuel 26:10, “…As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish.”
We too have governing verses about forgiveness. Ephesians 4:30 and Colossians 3:13. They both say that we are to forgive as we are forgiven. If these are imbedded in our hearts, they will rise up to stop us from avenging ourselves.
Enter Barnabas. Acts 11:23 says, “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
The Strong’s for purpose is: a deliberate plan, an advance plan, an intention, a design. Our salvation was planned before the foundation of the world. Our walk with the Lord is all set forth through His word.
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s food. That purpose was set before he was in the situation.
We can purpose now in our heart before anything happens. That sets the standard in place to not bury any offenses, to forgive in the moment of the hurt or slight, and to extend grace. Then when the offense comes, and Jesus said they would come, our hearts are preset to forgive on the spot.