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Stepping Stones: Forgiveness: An Act of Service

Stepping Stones: Forgiveness: An Act of Service
April 7, 2011 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Thought

In some ways forgiveness is so simple and in other respects so complicated. And that’s just when we are just trying to forgive ourselves, let alone when another person has hurt us. As you probably have realized, we often address forgiveness in our devotionals, and for this very reason: IT IS SO HARD TO DO!

Forgiveness is one of the most important acts after being given life and Christ’s death on the Cross. Why? We need God’s forgiveness for our sins to have a relationship with Him and live in Heaven with Him. We then need to live in that forgiveness and forgive ourselves. That’s easier said than done if you really analyze your view of yourself and some of your motivations. As an acknowledgement and understanding of God and His forgiveness of us, we need to extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us and especially God.

Jesus came to die for us so we can live in an intimate and incredible relationship with God … to have liberty from sin and Satan … Life Abundant. God created us for good works, to be shining lights. We can’t become all God designed us to be if we harbor resentment and bitterness towards ourselves or others. It is vital that we make the choice to forgive and even to reconcile, if possible, with the person who has hurt us.

In taking steps to reconciliation, begin with your thoughts. One thought area, amongst several, is to think about the other person’s needs, rather than their faults. How can you serve them and God through forgiving them? Then begin to speak well of him or her to yourself and someone close to you, drawing attention to strengths and needs, rather than offenses. Next take action … begin to seek reconciliation. See some of our past devotionals on forgiveness.

You might be in a difficult situation in which the other party is not willing to reconcile. If this is the case, make sure you have forgiven in your own heart. Then keep yourself ready to pursue complete reconciliation, if and when the other person is ready.

Today, ask God to open your eyes, have spiritual lenses to the other person’s needs and issues. Wait on God’s timing for the individual to join in total reconciliation. It may not be safe to be physically reconciled with some people. Don’t try to force it … let God work it out in His way and time. You are responsible for your heart and your part, not the other person’s. Above all, remember that Jesus loves you, and He will give you the strength and courage you need … abundantly.

Prayer
Dear Father God, in all my relationships, help me dwell on things to praise, not things to curse. And especially help me to do this when I think or speak about the one who has offended me. May I walk in forgiveness and be open to reconciliation in Your way and Your time. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One died for my forgiveness, so I can extend it to others; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious … the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Philippians 4:8

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 3:23-24

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.
Galatians 5:16-17

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