Practicing Forgiveness

When someone hurts us or we experience an injustice, God knows about it.  He knows every wrong that has ever occurred on earth, as well as the good things.

“His understanding has no limit”.

No matter how difficult a situation we face, whether those things happened recently or long ago, we need to remember that God wants us to forgive one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven us. Because “The Lord loves righteousness and justice” we can rely on God to help us overcome injustice by being a loving and forgiving person. It will probably be difficult, but word of God says, that those, who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

You were saved by the greatest act of mercy the world will ever know.  And now your heavenly Father is asking you to share the great mercy you have been shown. He’s asking you to live and operate in his likeness by loving others the way you have been loved. The Bible commands us to forgive others. God doesn’t give us the option.

Colossians 3:13 says, “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you also must forgive.” James 2:13 says, “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

lf we are living with unforgiveness, we are living outside the will of God.

God knows forgiveness is difficult. He knows that it takes courage and strength to offer mercy where it is undeserved. He paid the highest price for our sins by sending Jesus to an undeserving, gruesome death. But he also knows the joy that comes from reconciliation. He knows the goodness of wiping the slate clean that he might have restored relationship with us. And he longs for you to be a minister of reconciliation to all who have hurt you. He longs to overwhelm you with his love and mercy to the degree that offering others mercy and love comes from a place of overflow rather than your own strength. He longs to fill you with courage and perspective so that you can forgive those who need a glimpse of his mercy and grace.

When we forgive others there is a freedom where we are no longer shackled by our own anger. lt moves us from our selfish illusions to a beautiful reality.  It is hard work. But letting go of the fantasies that we can change the past, that we can change others, or even that we are the ones who can change ourselves opens room for God to help us ward off the resentment we feel. Each time we forgive, it paves the way for the next time we need to forgive. Practicing the courage and patience, and letting the Lord into the process of forgiveness becomes like exercising a muscle, it grows stronger and stronger.

Together with Him we can come to a point where forgiveness is intuitive, a blessed way to live.

PRAYER:

Merciful God,

When we were sinners, you embraced us.  When we were unworthy, you accepted us. When we were unforgivable, you forgave us. This love that has no boundaries, this unconditional and endless love has overcome all sin.  Father, we wish to see this love, understand it and fill our hearts with this love. Just as you have forgiven us, we wish to forgive our brothers and sisters. Even though our situations might be very difficult and it is extremely hard to forgive, we wish that we won’t judge with our own judgment.

We wish to leave judgment to you Father, Creator of all things. Rather than that, we wish to forgive. Father, may we have the same love as you have towards us and embrace each other.

ln the name of our compassionate Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN

Sammye Wandick