Impact: Forgiveness (Day 4)

Have you ever become used to not forgiving someone? I know I have. It is especially hard when they continue the same actions that gave us the hard feelings in the first place.  One of the biggest lessons in my life on forgiveness happened before I came to Tyro.  There were two men in my church that got a bur under their saddle about me.  Instead of talking to me about it, they talked about me to others.  It eventually became so bad that I quit my ministry and moved to Kansas.  It took  months, if not years for my heart to forgive them.  Here are a few things I learned – 
  • God has something better for me when I forgive someone.
    • Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
  • Unforgiveness hurts me more than than them.
    • Matthew 6:14-15 “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.”
  • Forgiveness is not easy, but is a must for my relationship with Christ.
    • Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
  • I become more Christ like when I forgive.
    • I John 1:9- 10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
  • Unforgiveness changes my behavior to those around me.
    • Ephesians 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
The Bible is full of help and instructions for us to love, forgive and care for others.  That doesn’t mean that it is always easy, but it is the best for us, for those around us and for those who look to us as an example.  Remember when the lawyers asked Jesus what the great commandment of God was? Matthew tells us “22:37-39 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 
 
These two commands have everything to do with forgiving others whether they deserve it or not. 
Dwell on them in your life.
 
-Myron Klesner