Sometimes forgiveness does not come easy for me. I am prone to think that I have a right to be angry and hold on to my anger. I may also expect someone to ask for my forgiveness, which may not happen, before I am willing to forgive. Yet, Christ instructs me to forgive.
When I take a moment to fully contemplate and comprehend the forgiveness that I have been given, it helps me to be able to forgive. I would be lost if it were not for the forgiveness of my sins. I have missed the mark because I am not able to love God with all my heart, soul, and strength nor am I able to love my neighbor as myself. Christ came to earth to do just that and to ultimately pay the price for my sin. This makes all the difference in the world for I am a poor and miserable sinner in need of a savior. Jesus paid it all.
When I fail to remember this, then I have trouble forgiving and I am prone to resentment and self-righteousness.
This is exactly what Jesus addresses in Matthew 18: 21-35 in the parable of the unforgiving servant. The master had forgiven the servant of a rather large debt. Yet, when someone who owed him a lesser amount came to him, he was unwilling to forgive the debt owed. The unforgiving servant was not grateful for nor did he fully comprehend what he had been forgiven. Therefore, the master sent the unforgiving servant to jail till he could pay his debt.
Gratitude is Crucial
Stopping first to think of what I have been forgiven and being grateful will make forgiving easier. I am often forgetful that I have been forgiven a great debt. With the Lord’s help, I aim to do better. I shall be forever grateful for my forgiveness.
I am instructed to forgive other regardless of the other person’s reception. For it is about me and not them. In Matthew 6:12, I am to forgive others in order to receive forgiveness of my sins. In doing so, I receive grace, peace, and freedom because holding on to a grudge is only hurting me and my relationship with God and others. I have acrostic for this.
Grace is a freely given gift. I am, in turn, to freely share grace with others. Jesus made it all possible. I am grateful for this because on my own; I would fail.
To forgive is a virtue for every believer in Jesus. It is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. I am to pardon others as Christ first forgave me. I did not deserve it and there were no conditions to be filled before I could receive other than believing and confessing Him. He will help me work to absolve others of their sin against me. All need to do is ask Him to help me.
What it Means to Forgive.
Forgiveness is not that we forget but in choosing not to pick up and mistreat/gossip about it. Matthew 18:15-17, provides instructions on how to go to someone and offer forgiveness for a wrong that has been done to you. Reconciling is a healthy and right thing to do. I heard it said in a sermon that if that person refuses after every effort has been made you are to treat the person as an unbeliever and try to win them back. Reconciliation is the ultimate goal. Yet, this passage is often abused because people will quote it but rarely is it ever modeled in the church. I would like to see it modeled in a sermon via a skit.
Max Lucado put it this way; when I forgive, it sets the prisoner free and that prisoner is me. I can honestly say that I am free! There is no excuse for me not to do this for others. Therefore, I will choose to do the right thing.
I choose to forgive. Is there someone that you need to forgive?
My Prayer: Dear God, forgive me as I forgive others. Remind me that holding on to a grudge only hurts me more than the other person. Cause me to embrace Your forgiveness that I may, in turn, forgive those who have hurt me and offer amends to those I have hurt. Amen.
Here is what to look for and cultivate in your friendships.
Devoted1 Corinthians 13:4
In Harmony Ephesians 4:3
Patient1 Thessalonians 5:14
It was a joy today to attend a one day retreat at my church where I made a new friend. The focus was on love and ways to show love because God first loved us. We put together a quilt of hearts for World Relief and there were skits that taught us what being a true friend really looks like and what wasn’t. In our meditation on God’s word, we asked God to help us to be more patient, kind and to show true humility to others. This included those who are hard to love.
It was a pleasure to make a new friend with whom I have a lot in common. Friendships, I believe, are another way in which God shows us that He loves us. We may have friends that we don’t always see eye to eye with but when we find that friend with whom we can truly connect, with is inspiring and makes our hearts grow. To have someone who gets us is such an encouragement when days are not going so well.
May we encourage and inspire one another onto good deeds.
Blessings to all my friends!
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I am thankful that You call me friend. Help me to be the friend that I would want. May I, too, encourage others onto good deeds. Amen.