Now I’ve shared a few things I’ve learned about forgiving others in the past but I just want to talk a little bit about it again. As we are preparing for the return of our Lord, I want us to make sure that we don’t have any unforgiveness hiding out in our hearts. We can repent of every other sin but if we are harboring a hard, unforgiving heart we will NOT make it in to heaven. And I know that people have done some TERRIBLE things to us (and to those we love!) but if we won’t forgive them, then God will not forgive us.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15, NLT)
Trust me, I know that it is truly difficult to forgive. And I know what it’s like to be willing but when looking back at the situation (or incident) it just reignites flames. This is why we have to FORGET the offense (and not just depending on what it is!) No matter what someone has done, we have to let it go. We don’t have to be naive and fellowship with them but we have to LOVE, and Love keeps no records of wrong.
“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].” (Corinthians 13:4-8, AMPC)
So with the power of the holy ghost, let’s let these offenses be small things to giants. Especially when our offenders are people of the world, remembering that our enemies aren’t necessarily them (flesh and blood) but what’s at work in them (spiritual wickedness). The majority of this world has been deceived by satan (and are in bondage to sin!). So knowing this, we should have all the more mercy and compassion. And not that it excuses their sin but we don’t need to worry about that because it they don’t repent, God will avenge.
So.. this is just something to think about. I pray we’re all working our salvation out.
By the way, here’s what Jesus had to say about dealing with those who offend us…
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. (Luke 6:27-36, NLT)