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This week's post is about forgiveness. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32 that we should be kind and forgive each other as God has forgiven us through Christ. Jesus also told us in the book of Luke 17:4-5 that "Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, 'I repent,' you MUST FORGIVE THEM." The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
How easy is it to forgive those that offend us? Which is more difficult, to be the one who needs to forgive or to be the one who needs to be forgiven?
Meet Jessica and Andrew . . .
Jessica and Andrew are still angry that their baby died due to the doctor's negligence; they plan to sue the Hospital. Every time they look at their baby's picture, it brings bitterness and anger to their minds.
Meet Sarah . . .
Sarah has continued to be angry about two things 1) Her best friend secretly chose the same wedding date as her, 2) Sarah found out when she saw the wedding invitation cards in her best friend's bag.
Meet Adam . . .
Adam is hurt that his ex-girlfriend spread false rumours to their friends that they broke up because they had engaged in sexual immorality acts; albeit, Adam said he never engaged in any sexual acts with his ex, he broke up with her because of personal circumstances.
Adam is feeling bitter towards his ex-girlfriend, he feels he can never forgive her for spoiling his name among their friends and families.
Meet Noah . . .
Noah is still angry that his father separated from his mother; he has refused for his father to associate with his own family.
Meet Lisa . . .
Lisa is struggling to forgive herself for living a wayward life when she was a teenager. She is ashamed to talk about her past; whenever she remembers the past, she self-harm.
Jessica, Andrew, Sarah, Adam, Noah and Lisa are Born-Again Christians; they are struggling to let go of the hurts that they had experienced. They are also struggling to implement the teaching of Jesus Christ that I quoted above, where Jesus told his disciples that they must forgive over and over again
What's your attitude toward forgiveness?
My experience: I was offended by two people's action, whenever I saw them, I felt angry and I remembered the very reason why I was angry with them. There was a time that I was in a gathering with my Christian friends and I was told to pray for the two people that had offended me, although the person that asked me to pray was not aware of my bitterness towards those two people. I struggled to pray for them. I became broken, I knelt down and I wept, I said to my friends that I could not pray for those people as I was angry with them, I told my friends to say a prayer of mercy to Jesus on my behalf and I openly said a prayer of forgiveness, and I thanked God for revealing the state of my heart to me.
Has someone's conduct upset you? Can you identify with Jessica, Andrew and others? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to forgive and to let go of every hurt. You have to remember that when you forgive those that have hurt you, you are not doing it for them, you are doing it for yourself so that you can be free of bitterness, anger and resentment.
The disciples must have known that forgiveness was difficult, hence they told Jesus to increase their faith.
A few things to learn about forgiveness
Forgiveness does not make what happened right; all it means is that you have made a conscious decision not to let it control your life. By forgiving the person, you reclaim your peace of mind and you are obeying the Word of God.
Forgiveness can be hard if the offender refuses to acknowledge what had happened. Nonetheless, as a Christian, Jesus expects you to still forgive. Jesus is telling us that denying forgiveness to the offender will hurt us more than it hurts them.
Forgiveness depends on the person that is hurt not the offender. Although if you have offended someone, for peace sake, Jesus expects you to humble yourself by apologising and not repeat the same offence again.
Forgiveness is easier when you recognise that Jesus Christ has forgiven you for all your sins and He daily forgives you by His Grace.
Your willingness to forgive will enable you to have a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, one which is free of guilt, sin, unforgiveness, etc. Jesus Christ instructed us to daily build into our prayers a request for God to forgive us in the same way we have forgiven others who have hurt us (Matthew 6:12
Jesus sees it as hypocritical and false if you ask Him to forgive you of your sins, yet you are purposely not forgiving others of their hurt towards you.
As a Christian, Jesus expects you to live differently in comparison to how other people are living, He expects you to live a life of holiness, a peaceful life and a life that is guided by Him so that He can lead you right even until the day He calls you to reign with Him in Eternity.
Ask the Lord Jesus to search your heart and show you if there is any unforgiveness blocking His blessings in your life. Also, ask Jesus to teach you more about the power and gift of forgiveness.
It's time to do a self-assessment, who is that person that has offended you and you are still hurt?
Are you going to give forgiveness a chance?
A) Lord Jesus, increase my faith to forgive others and to forgive myself for all the wrong things that I have done.
B) Lord Jesus, I need Your touch right now. I can't seem to forget the harm that has been done to me. I am wallowing in pain, in anger and in bitterness. I know you have called me to forgive every single person that upsets me. I need your strength and help to forgive. I am done with holding grudges. Forgive me Lord for holding on to them (Amen).
- Myss Lafunky
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