February 16, 2022 by DC
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” - Proverbs 17:9
Good health is much more than what you eat. You have to watch what's EATING YOU! Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, envy, and anger can do more damage to your health than fatty foods ever can. It’s hard to go through life without someone offending you, or hurting you. So what should your response be? Forgive. Such a small word. Only seven letters. Yet they carry the weight of the world. Forgiving doesn’t condone what’s been done. But when you hold onto anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, you do the devil’s work for him. Instead, practice forgiving others as quickly as you expect God to forgive you. Keep no list of wrongs. Pray for your enemies rather than plotting against them. One way to know that you've forgiven is when you can pray for them and ask God's blessings upon them. Praying for those who’ve wronged you causes you to release the hurts, grudges, and unforgiveness you have in your heart against them. So how do you get to that point? Where do you start? When it comes to forgiveness, no one owns a secret formula. As long as you’re trying to forgive, you are forgiving. When you let God help you trade anger for kindness, resentment for compassion and bitterness for gentleness... it splits this cold world wide open with the warmth of Jesus. And isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?
Not forgiving someone isn’t teaching that person a lesson, nor is it protecting you. What it is doing though is making the choice to stay in pain. It probably doesn’t feel like that. It might feel more like something is being pried from you: your justice, your sense of self, your dignity. But the reality is, forgiveness isn’t saying what the other person did was right. It’s making the choice to bless in the face of an insult, like Jesus did for you. Think about it. We forgive because we're forgiven. Refusing to forgive someone is hypocritical. We all need forgiveness, so we all need to forgive. It doesn’t let the other person off the hook. It actually places them in God’s hands. God promises to handle the judgement. Right now, think of someone who’s wronged you big time. Forgive them anyway. Sure, it may have been 90% their fault... but way back when, you and I were forgiven for something that was 110% our fault.
Try praying this way… Lord, help me learn to forgive as You have forgiven me. Freely. Completely. Not to excuse what’s been done to me, but to set me free. You are good. Your ways are good. And that means I can trust that forgiveness is good too.