Won’t Budge? Hold a Grudge? Face the Judge!
Forgiveness………….What a word, what an action, to forgive. Everything we are in Christ is based on forgiveness. There are a lot of words used to describe the word forgive; stop blaming, excuse, absolve, justify, free, pardon, bear no malice towards, not hold something against, understand, acquit, remit, let off, exonerate, absolve, bury the hatchet, let bygones be bygones, the list goes on and on. These are words we as human use to describe the word forgive.
But God takes it to another level. The forgiveness that God gives us in founded in His love for us. The Word tells us in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. What incredible forgiveness, what incredible love. We face the opportunity to forgive those who have wronged us all the time. I know that I have. And there are times that I say, “I forgive you, but the feeling inside is to just set aside the matter, resolve it, and go on. But God shows us in the greatest act of love the world has ever seen, He gave his Son in love, so that we could be forgiven. It is the definition of forgiveness we need to follow, forgiveness is based on love.
Another word to ponder…..LOVE…Wars have been fought because of love. Lives have been given because of love. Books written….movies made…stories told, all because of love. So we realize how powerful love is. So it is with forgiveness, that love is the basis of true forgiveness. Any time love is given or received, there is a tremendous blessing released; love holds, love forgives, love heals, love comforts, love restores, love honors, and true love forgives. God is trying to teach us that in forgiving, we receive more than we give. When we forgive someone who has wronged us we always think we are doing them a favor.
We say things like, “I will forgive you this time, but if you do it again”….WRONG…That is not true forgiveness. God again is very direct on the conditions He places on us for forgiveness and the commandment for us to forgive without malice regardless of the circumstance. He realizes if He can get us to operate in love, use that love to forgive, we will in turn be blessed. Why should we love? 1 John 4:19 — We love because he first loved us. Here’s where it gets sticky and the place the Judge thing comes in….
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Wow, what a statement the Word of God makes. If we cannot find it in our hearts to truly forgive, then God will not forgive us in return. I think He is trying to tell us that if we cannot grasp the love He demonstrated in giving Christ His Son to the cross, forgiving us of all our sin, then we do not understand love at all. And if we do not understand our Fathers love through Christ Jesus, than how can we in fact accept Him as our Lord and Savior. God is VERY direct when it comes to us as humans forgiving others. To be forgiven, we must forgive in return, without condition.
Mark 11: And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
“Luke 6:37″Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Forgive! You must forgive others. No matter what they have done. It is the command of God. To not forgive hurts you. If you desire God’s blessing, you must forgive. You may think it is impossible to forgive someone who has deeply wronged you. With God it is possible. He never asks us to do something we cannot do. Roots of bitterness can grow up in a person because of unforgiveness. This root can be buried deep inside your heart and can block the flow of God’s love from penetrating deep within your heart. It also blocks the flow of God through you, making it difficult to experience God’s love for others.
Unforgiveness is a major cause of depression; many people have unforgiveness but are not even aware of it because it is buried so deep inside. Sometimes people do and say things that hurt us very deeply. Sometimes we are hurt by the ones that are closest to us. Sometimes people are hurt in childhood, at the most vulnerable time of life, leaving wounds that we think are healed but they have left scars that still remind us of the wound. So let’s go back to the beginning. We all want to be loved. God gave us that through Jesus Christ. We all want forgiveness…again we have that through Jesus Christ. So as we have been loved, we must love…as we have been forgiven…We MUST forgive, in Love or we will not be forgiven. Let God bless you…forgive in love… Won’t Budge? Hold a Grudge? Face the Judge