Having a hard time forgiving? It hurts when someone does you wrong, especially if they show no sorrow or care that you've been wounded. You may be suffering from a huge betrayal...possibly from years ago...but it feels as fresh as if it happened today. And yet, something inside is saying "it is time to forgive."
Forgive and Be Forgiven
Forgiveness, and being forgiven, are fundamental to a healthy life. Medically it has been proven that many physical and mental ailments are rooted in the inability, or unwillingness, to forgive an offense. Spiritually speaking, the Bible makes it crystal clear that forgiveness is vital to our relationship with God. If we want to be forgiven our sins, we are directed to forgive. Luke 6:37
But forgiving is not easy. Many times the offender has not changed one bit. They may not believe that they have done anything wrong at all. Even if they do recognize it, there may not be any remorse or an attempt to change on their part. So, what do you do with that?
The Lord loves us too much to give us an impossible directive--especially one that is tied to our very relationship with Him. Yes, He really does say, "forgive and be forgiven." It all begins with us.
So, what does He expect us to do if nothing's changed or even got worse?
Forgive anyway. Forgiveness as an act of loving obedience to the God we serve. It has very little to do with the one who needs forgiveness.
God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die in our place though few, if any, were sorry at all. He didn't wait for us to feel bad about it. Sadly, most would have sinned the same sin again, given the chance. No, God did not wait for mankind to repent or change our ways. He gave His Son with no strings attached. A free gift of amazing proportions.
Afterward, all He asked of those who have accepted that sacrificial gift is that we do the same thing, in a very small way. We can never match the magnitude of what He did for us but we can pursue the power to forgive others, by faith. Ask Him to give you the faith and strength to forgive. He will answer you!
So that's what it takes, an act of faith and obedience. Do you trust Him? He does not ask us to do the impossible. In fact, Jesus said that "all things are possible to him that believes". Mark 9:23
A down-to-earth lesson on how to forgive the unforgivable, by Joyce Meyer.
Forgiveness Test Part 1 -- Joyce Meyer
A Story of True Forgiveness
This wonderful woman from Minneapolis, featured on CBS Evening News, knows the true power of forgiveness. She forgave her son's murderer and, today, that former-murderer actually lives right next door.
The Lord's Prayer
Even if you have not opened a Bible or attended a church for years, you are probably familiar with the Lord's Prayer. When Jesus gave this prayer, it was in response to His disciples' frustrated plea for instructions on how to pray effectively.
They'd watched His prayer life and had seen the results. The lame walked, the blind received their site, miracles happened. They knew that they fell woefully short with their own prayers. The Lord's Prayer is not as much a prayer to be prayed, though we do, but a pattern of the important things to touch upon when we pray.
Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus speaking:“This, then, is how you should pray:“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Matthew 6:14,15 Jesus adds: "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Notice the part in the Lord's Prayer on forgiveness, in bold type. When we pray this prayer it assumes that we forgave others, and therefore we have every right to ask the Lord to forgive us, too. Forgiving is so very important.
About Joyce Meyer
How to Become a Christian
The first step in receiving God's help in forgiving others is to have a real relationship with Him yourself. If you aren't sure that you know Him, here is what to do: God's Four Spiritual Laws.
About the Author...
So much of forgiving, and not taking it back, comes from our thoughts. Conquer your thoughts and you will win the battle! In this recent release, Joyce Meyer teaches how to think powerful, positive thoughts get your breakthrough.