Forgiveness …… March 10, 2019
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV
The Bible provides us instructions for living, for all areas of our lives. One such instruction is the need to forgive when wronged or hurt by someone. Not forgiving can be compared to having a cancer in the soul that causes much pain and destroys any hope for the joy and happiness one should be experiencing in life. When a person is unforgiving, it multiplies the hurt experienced. It can also be compared to a wound that is uncared for and becomes infected. It intensifies and prolongs the pain. In short, no good thing can come from being unforgiving. The best way to start the process of forgiveness is to follow the example set by Jesus.
Every action in life creates a reaction. The action of kindness can defuse a situation before it escalates into the action of destruction. Kindness is not weakness; in fact, it is quite the opposite, because it takes more strength to be kind when kindness is not deserved. Kindness is showing love toward a person even when that person may not deserve it. Remember how God loved us?
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV…….. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his GRACE IN KINDNESS toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV
Be kind to others by remembering the great kindness God has shown you…… even when it wasn’t deserved. God’s action created reaction in every person that has ever experienced His grace.
God wants to protect us by instructing us to have tender hearts. Tender hearts are teachable, but hard hearts bring destruction into a person’s life.
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, BUT WHOEVER HARDENS HIS HEART WILL FALL INTO CALAMITY. Proverbs 28:14 ESV
Hearts are hardened when a person continues to do and go their own way with no regard to how God has called them to live. God has called us and instructed us to forgive others when they have wronged us.
Have you ever heard the question, “How can I ever forgive them for what they have done to me?” Remember, forgiveness is setting yourself free from the pain and bitterness that will consume you if you don’t. Does a person who has hurt or sinned against you deserve forgiveness?…. probably not, but then neither did we, concerning our sin. (Romans 5:8) To forgive a person who has wronged you is to show outwardly what Christ has done for you inwardly. It is giving evidence of Jesus in your life and hopefully causing that person to see their need for salvation.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21 ESV
Some might see this verse as a way to get even through kindness, but I do not believe that to be the intention of this passage. Rather, the “burning coals on his head” is God’s conviction of sin that will never rest until either destruction or repentance occurs. The hope of our actions is that we can overcome evil with good by seeing repentance and the salvation of God experienced in that person’s life.
How can a person ever live with a forgiving mindset? By dressing the mind with God’s wardrobe.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, FORGIVING EACH OTHER; AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU, SO YOU ALSO MUST FORGIVE. Colossians 3:12-13 ESV
This might seem extremely difficult, but remember… I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV
Live strong in the Lord by living His word on purpose in your life!!
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David