Forgiveness is one of the most powerful, least understood, and most commonly underused concepts included in the Bible.
Jesus gives us all a startling warning about not forgiving others; if we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Now we know God does forgive us even though there is no way we can perfectly and totally forgive all those who have transgressed us. But think about it – how long are you willing to go without the forgiveness of God. Great sinners are transformed into exceptional Christians all because of the power of forgiveness…the gift of forgiveness.
You see, when someone hurts us, our pride is wounded and we have a great need to see that person experience hurt and pain in some way to make the “score” even. But, we then become dependent on seeing our attacker experience pain, that we aren’t “healed” unless they do experience pain. Unknowingly, that gives the other person ongoing control over us as they can always interfere with us seeing them apologize or experience consequences or justice for their offenses.
Give this gift of forgiveness to yourself and to others. Free yourself and your offender. Allow God to come heal and teach you both how to grow the Mind of Christ.
Jesus perfectly modeled forgiveness for us. Think of all those who Jesus forgave; the woman caught in adultery, Peter for denying he knew Jesus, the criminal on the cross…and those who crucified Him. The giving of forgiveness brings joy and peace…the withholding of forgiveness brings bitterness, victimization, or need for revenge.
Today, don’t let your pride get in the way of you forgiving others. If you are withholding forgiveness, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to experience joy…and spreading it to others. Make your joy grow today and gain the must-have forgiveness of your Lord for your sins.
Dear Father, Thanks be to You, Lord, for Your incredible gift of forgiveness. Where would I be without it…buried under a ton of sin and shame. I am so quick to ask for Your Forgiveness, Lord…but so slow to forgive others. Help me remember that forgiving others lifts a heavy burden off me…and places me back under the grace of Your forgiveness. I thank You, Lord, for the many examples of forgiveness demonstrated by Your Son Jesus. I seek to forgive as Jesus forgave…I seek the mind of Christ. Help me, Lord, spread Your message about forgiveness. I pray this through Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price so that my sins may be forgiven; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.