I read somewhere that Karl Menninger once said that if he could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the next day! The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Colossae, admonished the Believers there to “forebear and forgive one another, because Christ had forgiven them."
Failure to forgive makes one a slave to his unforgiveness. Bitterness rises up, and robs him of the joy and exciting anticipation of living as a Child of The King, replacing it with dread, regret, and frustration.
Jesus seemed to tie our own forgiveness of others with The Father’s forgiveness of us when He said in Mark 11:25, “And when you pray forgive, if you have anything against another, in order that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your offenses." Now that is some very heady stuff.
In Luke 14:4, Jesus said we who profess to believe in Him as Lord should not limit our forgiveness when He said that if a person sins against you seven times in a day, you must be willing to forgive.
One reason you and I have difficulty forgiving others is that we have not transferred ownership of our lives and property to God. If God owns us lock, stock, and barrel we have no standing to be angry with another for his misdeeds toward us, because it is God he is attacking. Rather than live with angry bitterness, why not allow God to set you free from the shackles of unforgiveness bondage by entreating Him to forgive you of your unforgiving spirit.
Since you are never more like Jesus than when you forgive, He will hear from heaven and bring joy and peace which surpasses all understanding.
I heard recently that justice is what we deserve, that mercy is not receiving what we deserve, and grace is receiving what we don’t deserve. Exercise grace toward those who harm, misuse, and abuse you and you will be exercising a Christ like attitude in your doings. God wants this for you, not so you miss out on life, but so that you enjoy living in this age to your maximum capacity. You are not hurting the one who you are not forgiving of. You're only hurting yourself. I've been there, and I don't want it for others.
Purpose today to forgive, even as you’ve been forgiven.
From "A Word For Living" by Mike Rasberry
© Mike Rasberry 2013