Forgiving others! It’s been hard for me to know how to start todays post. There is so much to say. And talking about forgiveness is not an easy thing to talk about. But, as hard as it may be, God is very clear about forgiveness. So let’s dive in.
Here I am sitting in front of my computer, praying and asking God to show me where He wants me to go with this post. I’ve been staring at a few words I’ve written for a while now and I’m stuck.
One thing I do know is that I’m supposed to be writing about forgiveness today.
I’ve been studying the book of Mark this summer and two verses jumped out at me yesterday.
AND WHENEVER YOU STAND PRAYING, FORGIVE, IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST ANYONE; SO THAT YOUR FATHER ALSO WHO IS IN HEAVEN MAY FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS.
BUT IF YOU DO NOT FORGIVE, NEITHER WILL YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS. Mark 11:25-26
Forgiveness for most people is not an easy thing. Actually, it is impossible without the leading and power and grace of the Holy Spirit.
God has a lot to say about forgiveness! The Bible is full of verses on forgiveness.
We all struggle with forgiveness. I know I do.
But if God says to do something then we must do it. Looking and acting like my Father is important to me! And I hope it is important to you too!
I think we are wired to hold on to a hurt. It’s just part of our human nature.
We tend to and look after a hurt. We dwell upon it over and over and over! We baby it and nurture it until it grows up and becomes a grudge. And although we baby a hurt we love to hug a grudge. Tightly! And the tighter we hug a grudge the bigger it grows!
Why do we love to hug a grudge so much? A grudge is heavy. It taxes our life and weighs us down! And it changes the way we look at the world. It is dark and ugly! And it makes us dark and ugly. But just the same we hug the stuffing out of it!
A grudge’s job is to plant seeds of bitterness! It sows them right into our very heart (our mind, will, emotion, intellect).
It’s like a drug! Demanding and bad for us! It takes control of us! And eventually we become its slave!
And when an offense becomes a grudge and we hug a grudge until it becomes bitter (because it always will), it takes a heart that should be soft and attentive to God and makes places in it as hard as a rock!
So when we hug a grudge our hearts have little room for God. Our grudge becomes our idol! Yes, an idol!
There is nothing good that can come from unforgiveness!
Not only does unforgiveness hurt you but it hurts the person you won’t forgive. Unforgiveness is a toehold that often becomes a stronghold of the enemy!
God, our Father and Creator, knows how we are wired and He is in the business of forgiveness! He understands hurt and pain caused by others.
And he also understands what is best for you and me!
BE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVING EACH OTHER, JUST AS CHRIST GOD FORGAVE YOU. Ephesians 4:32
God forgave us! So we forgive others. We should strive to be like our Father and forgiveness is a huge part of who He is!
HE HAS NOT DEALT WITH US ACCORDING TO OUR SINS,
NOR REWARDED US ACCORDING TO OUR INIQUITIES.
FOR AS HIGH AS THE HEAVENS ARE ABOVE THE EARTH,
SO GREAT IS HIS LOVINGKINDNESS TOWARDS THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST,
SO FAR HAS HE REMOVED OUR TRANSGRESSIONS FROM US.
JUST AS A FATHER HAS COMPASSION ON HIS CHILDREN,
SO THE LORD HAS COMPASSION ON THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
FOR HE HIMSELF KNOWS OUR FRAME;
HE IS MINDFUL THAT WE ARE BUT DUST. Psalm 103: 10-14
God in His goodness and grace forgives us. I love the idea of God taking my sin and forgiving them so completely that they are “as far as the east is from the west”.
And He knows us. God knows how frail we are, “he is mindful that we are but dust”. So He understands!
YOU, LORD, ARE FORGIVING AND GOOD, ABOUNDING IN LOVE TO ALL WHO CALL ON YOU. Psalm 85:51
Forgiveness helps you! And it keeps the channels of communication open wide between you and your Father!
God knows your hurt. Let Him deal with it!
Be quick to ask forgiveness when you are wrong. Make amends and go above and beyond to seek forgiveness!
Also, be quick to forgive. Forgiveness is not forgoing justice. Forgiveness is not claiming vengeance.
DEARLY BELOVED, AVENGE NOT YOURSELVES, BUT RATHER GIVE PLACE UNTO WRATH: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY. SAITH THE LORD. Romans 12:19
But forgive! Do not hug a grudge or plant seeds in your heart and mind that will cause you much hurt and harm!
Talk to your Father and pray!
Here’s what Jesus said…
YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, AND HATE YOUR ENEMY.
BUT I SAY TO YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN; FOR HE CAUSES HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS.
We forgive because our Father forgave us and paid for our sins with the blood of His precious Son!
It is far easier to live in the light of God’s forgiveness than to live our lives carrying around the heavy burden of bitterness.
The choice is ours. God is calling us to forgive! And to live a life of love and grace and peace!
IF POSSIBLE, AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, BE AT PEACE WITH ALL MEN. Romans 12:18
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