you were to Israel a forgiving God…. (Ps 99:8).
I am learning what it means to forgive.
Sometimes the heart wants to hold on tightly to wounds from the past. However, the scripture compels us to forgive, just as Christ forgave us. We know that He has cast our sins as far as the east is from the west. We too must practice the same extent of forgiveness.
If forgiveness doesn’t hurt a little we may not have truly gone to the fullest extent of it. I know in my own heart, sometimes I want my own way of justice. God says, “let me handle it”. He says, “let me see the darkest parts of your soul that want to bury some piece of un-forgiveness.” Until we go there with God, we’ll find that our hearts cannot rest in the place of grace, because our minds are still entrapped by the wrong done to us long ago.
What comes to mind when we think about a certain individual? Is it anger, disdain or a dislike of them? We must ask ourselves why we feel such discomfort in our hearts. Could it be that we have not gone to the fullest extent of forgiveness? Sometimes, we selfishly will not let go until the individual fits our own personal agenda of what they must do in order for us to forgive and release them to God. However, this may never happen. Therefore, we must release that individual and what happened to the Lord. We must let Him be judge over our situation and lives. We must also understand that it is not individuals or situations we should be angered at, but the enemy, the devil, who wishes to cause division and destruction within the body of Christ.
This doesn’t mean we don’t talk about things if we have been wrongfully treated or sinned against, quite the contrary. However, if we do not receive the response we were hoping for or one that in our own eyes ushers in the justice we believe we deserve we must learn to let the rightful judge sit on His throne and handle it in His way and in His timing.
It has been said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The fullest extent of forgiveness releases the debtor completely. Not because you have received the response you were hoping for, but because it is necessary for the health of your own soul and relationship with God.
It is not far from us to stumble into sin when we have been sinned against. Many people are so busy demanding their own justice that they now have moved from the place of sinned against to sinner. We become so blinded to our own personal desire for justice that we start to hold anger and bitterness in our hearts. Now we too are in need of forgiveness.
Jesus, I want to forgive others like you have forgiven me. I want to extend grace in ways that others say, “I don’t understand what you’re doing.” I want others to look at my life and see peace. I want them to see a life changed by grace. I do not want to live with bitterness, anger or the like. I know the devil wishes to steal, kill and destroy. I will not allow him to win any battles in my life, because I have your Spirit. Be my joy, in Jesus name, Amen.