The Lord has been dealing with my heart in the area of forgiveness. He’s been humbling me and causing me to recognize where I have been the offender in past conflicts and situations. It can be quite uncomfortable to admit our shortcomings especially in the area of forgiveness, because we tend to lean toward the prideful mentality that tells us we’ve done nothing wrong to be forgiven for. Oh how Job-like we humans are! Remember Job in the bible? God allowed the enemy to test him in some pretty extreme ways before Job finally figured out that it was his pride that needed to change before his outcome would! Well my friend, that’s YOU and that’s ME! And whether you’d like to admit it or not we all need forgiveness just as badly as Job did, and honestly, we probably need it more! So let’s have a chat about forgiveness.
No better place to start than with the very foundation of forgiveness, the bible. So what does the word of God say about it?
When you are praying and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.”
Mark 11:25 ERV
Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.
Ephesians 4:32 ERV
These two scriptures give us a key command: To forgive those who have angered us because God forgives us as we forgive others. And to be loving and kind to each other because God was kind to us by sending Jesus so that we could be forgiven! If we do not follow this basic spiritual principle we will not have forgiveness in our hearts nor will God have forgiveness in his heart for us! There is no way to bypass it, we must all succumb to his act of love in order to receive it! The word of God is literally covered in scriptures on forgiveness from front to back! For the sake of time we will go over just a few but I encourage you to study this topic in your devotional time with God.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Matthew 6:12 TPT
Matthew clearly tells us that we are forgiven as we forgive! In fact we ourselves cannot be forgiven unless we humble ourselves and CHOOSE to be forgiving!
“ And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.” Matthew 6:14-15 TPT
How can we claim to have a heart for and like Jesus if we are not willing to first forgive those who have offended us and secondly, if we do not acknowledge and accept the truth that we are wrong? Each one of us has offended someone, most likely we have been offensive to those who we have been offended by. It often amazes me how two adults can have a conflict in which no one seems to be able to resolve. But instead of both people taking the time to communicate effectively, instead each person decides not to take responsibility for their part in the conflict! Nothing is resolved, neither person is communicating and both people are filled with unforgiveness and bitterness in theirs hearts for the other person. It is a sad cycle that is very simple to fix if we choose to, by forgiving one another and being loving and kind to each other just as the Lord has commanded us to. Do not be fooled by your need to be “right” or justified in your emotions! You will need to be forgiven for something and when that time comes, if you are not willing to genuinely forgive others, you yourself will not receive the grace of forgiveness. God gives us his promises and rewards for our obedience. But he also tells us that we will reap the consequences of not obeying his commands. He has commanded us to love each other as we love ourselves. If you love yourself enough to ask him to forgive you when you need it, then you MUST love others in the same way. Until our next chat, be blessed!
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