Christmas reminds or teaches us many principles related to God and us. Jesus was sent to bring peace on Earth…peace between God and us…for reconciliation. God is Holy, we are sinners. Our sin brings tremendous conflict and is a grievous transgression against God. We need forgiveness…that’s where Jesus enters.
Forgiveness is powerful, and is incredibly modeled to us throughout the Bible. We are involved in conflict in all of our relationships…even with ourselves. God commands to forgive those who transgress us…it glorifies Him.
There are two other reasons why we must act on the Scripture’s instructions to forgive. First, withholding forgiveness is harmful for us. It brings on bitterness, anger, resentment, isolation, depression, health problems, struggles with addictions…and so many more ugly things. Neal T. Anderson wrote that it’s like “battery acid for the soul.”
The second reason is maybe even more distressing. Scripture tells us that if we withhold forgiveness from one another, the Father will withhold forgiveness from us.
Today, in ’10, choose to forgive more. Forgive someone from whom you have been withholding forgiveness. It’s not my kingdom come…it’s “Thy kingdom come.” Then trust God to bring healing to your feelings and memories once we choose to forgive. Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your thoughts on purging the acid from your heart.
Dear Father God, I find it so hard, so painful to forgive. But then I think of the pain and suffering Your son Jesus endured to forgive my sins. I hear what Your word tells me about forgiveness and the consequences of withholding forgiveness. Help me to hear You more clearly and obey Your command to forgive. Bless me, Father, with quickness to forgive in all situations. I trust in You, Lord, that once I forgive, You will provide me with Your healing power. I pray in the name of the one You sent to die for my forgiveness and to teach me to forgive, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.