Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Forgiveness Part 1

Many people suffer from forgiveness issues. According to Romans, we all have sinned. That means that at sometime we need to be forgiven. Forgiven by God and forgiven by people we have offended. Often, God's forgiveness is much easier to get than man's. People hang on to offenses and let the anger turn into bitterness and bitterness then turns into a hard heart. Some offenses are so grievous that forgiveness doesn't come easily. Ask the child who was abused or the woman who was raped or the man whose wife was murdered. It doesn't come easily but it can come. I know, I fit at least 2 of those categories. Forgiveness was a many year process. I had to come to a place where I realized that the anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness was only harming me. The people that I needed to forgive had either moved on or wouldn't acknowledge that that they had wronged me. The pain was killing me, spiritually.
I am often asked, "How can you forgive someone who doesn't think that they have done anything wrong?" Well, forgiveness has less to do with you and the person than it does with you and God. The moment that Jesus died on the cross, your sins were forgiven. Before you were ever born!!! Before you ever asked! He didn't wait until you asked to be forgiven to forgive you. He just did it! In the same way, we should just release all that is pent up in our hearts to Heaven. Just make it a point to pray to God to help you forgive the person. He will!!!!! But you have to be willing to let it go. Sometimes, holding onto that forgiveness is like a blanket. It starts off make you feel all warm and fuzzy but after many years without washing, it gets smelly and scratchy. God wants to take that blanket and replace it with the clean garment of righteousness. If we can't forgive, how can we expect Him to forgive us? Does that mean that if we don't forgive that God doesn't forgive you? I think that Scripture is very clear in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. If we can't forgive others, then we cannot possibly understand God's forgiveness.
What about yourself? I hear people say, "I just cannot forgive myself." I tell them, "You are correct. You cannot forgive yourself." That sound harsh? If you could forgive yourself of your sins, then Christ need not have endured the torture and death of the cross. If you could forgive yourself, then you would be God. And as far as I know, you nor I are God! You can, however, release yourself from the condemnation that comes from sin. If you are having trouble with that as I have had with my abortion, I will tell you what my wise husband said, "Who do you think you are? If you say you can't feel forgiven, then you are saying that God's sacrifice of Christ was not enough. You are saying that something more has to be done. Nothing more needs to be done." I love his matter of fact way(after I wanted to punch him). That statement really hit home. I was doubting Christ and what He had done.
Are you struggling with some sort of unforgiveness? Let Christ wash that with His blood! You'll be amazed at the freedom you get with it!
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