We all have experiences in our past that we would just as soon forget—the sting of a parent’s criticism, the broken promise of a friend, the rejections, the disappointments, the heartaches and betrayals…. Even now, many are angry and feel betrayed by their government leaders—by those they trusted. The world is full of evil which results in broken trust and hurt. When we are sinned against we must choose—either to forgive or be taken into bondage by the one who sinned against us.
“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11.
Unforgiveness leaves us with an open emotional wound that cannot heal. We adjust our life around the damage, trying to avoid the pain. Once forgiveness is given, the wound begins to heal. And as we choose to stay in an attitude of forgiveness… eventually, instead of an open wound, there is only a scar that can be touched without pain.
As much as you may believe that some people do not deserve to be forgiven… and as much as “getting even” seems like the only way to find peace… there’s more to it than that. God provides a way through the pain to peace and renewed joy that is not of this world. Understanding “forgiveness” from God’s point of view is the secret. God’s kind of forgiveness does not condone the betrayal or hurt… it does not excuse the evil done against you. But it frees you from the effects of another person’s sin.
When we choose not to forgive, we are choosing to allow the sin of another to affect our life and rob us of peace. Sin has a ripple effect throughout eternity, just as forgiveness does. We each must choose what we will allow to reign and rule in our life. If our desire is to reflect the life of Jesus, then we must choose to forgive as often as needed.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
You may have heard the saying, “sin begets sin” (James 1:15). When someone sins against you, you have the option of stopping the effects of sin in your life by choosing to forgive. But if you choose to harbor and wallow in the hurt caused by sin, you perpetuate the sin and become a victim, trapped in the sin of unforgiveness.
Forgiving someone sounds like a simple thing to do. Yet few of us actually do it. We treat forgiveness as if it were one of life’s additional options, something we can take or leave alone. But it’s not. It’s a basic requirement for every believer and a powerful force in our life. As far as God is concerned, unforgiveness is wickedness. And in Matthew 18, Jesus tells a parable that illustrates the terrible consequences of it. The parable involves a servant who owed his lord a great sum of ten thousand talents (equivalent to millions of dollars). When the debt came due, he pleaded, “…Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.” (verse 26). His master was so moved that he canceled the entire debt!
Soon after, that same servant sought out a man who owed him about $15. Finding this debtor unable to pay, the man who had been forgiven such a great debt, ignored the man’s pleas for mercy and had him cast into prison. When his lord heard about it, he was incensed. He called him a wicked servant and delivered him to the tormentors until he paid all that was due.
Look again at the size of that unforgiven debt. Fifteen dollars. The little debts are the ones that most often trip us up. The petty resentments between husband and wife, between brother and sister. Tiny bits of unforgiveness that seem too insignificant to bother with. Beware. Those are the kinds of debts Satan uses to torment you.
After all, Jesus paid off a debt for you that you would never be able to pay. So to forgive another who has hurt you is something God cares about, because He loves you. God’s love for you is the reason He requires us to forgive. He desires that you are set free from the snare of the sins of others. The only way to accomplish that is to continue to forgive… today, tomorrow and as many times as is necessary.
Spend time with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal any unforgiveness in you. Then repent and release it. And every time it comes to mind, renew your decision to forgive. Forgiveness is a CHOICE… not a FEELING. Eventually, you go through a day and then a week, having “forgotten” about the hurt that used to eat at you daily.
Ephesians 4:32 reminds us that God did not simply suggest forgiveness, but He gave us a directive, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Remember, with God nothing is impossible!
Dale & Paula
SPECIAL OFFERING: Thank you to those who have given toward this urgent need. You have blessed us and we are now more than halfway to our goal.
As most of you have heard, we went through a 4-day blackout. Challenging. Cold. Difficult. No lights, no heat, no internet. On the fourth day we even lost water pressure, so we had no running water. Fortunately there was power in other surrounding areas so we were able to stay in touch and send out some videos.
We are making an urgent request of a generator through a special offering above normal support giving. The amount needed is $2900. Please pray about helping with this need. God bless you.
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What Others Are Saying:
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