Abundant life yields forgiveness. It not only offers us forgiveness, but it also allows us to relinquish the right or possession of un-forgiveness. If we don’t forgive others, we will not experience abundant life, the inheritance of the children of God.
Today’s post is a bit of a review. This concept of forgiveness is such a big deal, I feel we must pause just a moment in our study and ask ourselves a hard question, and walk through an uncomfortable process.
- Who do I need to forgive? Ask the Lord to reveal to you even the tiniest bit of bitterness. Friends, it is not worth it to deny it nor hang on to it any longer.
- Stop right now and ask Jesus to be forgiveness in you. Move over and let Him do His good, miraculous work in your heart. Big deal or small deal, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It will eat you alive. It is not worth it. Let Jesus deliver you of the sin of unforgiveness. Confess this as sin and repent of it today.
- Stop right now and pray for that person you need to forgive. You can’t hate someone you pray for.
- Stop right now and ask God to give you eyes to see that person in the way that He sees him or her, and ask God to give you a heart to love them the way He loves them.
- You may need to rehash all the reasons you have unforgiveness. That is okay. Rehash it with Jesus. He knows it all anyway. If you need to, write down every offense that you can think of, big or small. After you write it all down, go through your list one by one. Pray, “Lord, I forgive _____ for _____.” When you have gone through the whole list, it is time for something a bit dramatic, yet symbolic. Take it to the trash can. Don’t just throw it away, demolish it. Burn it or rip it to shreds. Let this be a moment in time that you can look back on and remember that you chose to forgive. You can’t take back a charred shredded mess, and this is symbolic that you refuse to take back your unforgiveness and bitterness.
This is hard stuff, my friends. Maybe this didn’t apply to you at this season of your life. Rejoice if that is the case. But the truth is, every one of us will have times in our lives that we have to forgive. Keep short accounts with God and short accounts with those around you. Forgive quickly and ever guard your spirit from unforgiveness. It can subtly and quickly grow into a bitter root which can rob you of abundant life.
A final note. Maybe you are who you need to forgive. The process is the same. Choose to forgive yourself. You cannot change the past. But you can change today. If you have confessed your sin, God has forgiven you and taken your sin away as far as the east is from the west. It should not define you, nor haunt you any longer. God is not holding it against you, nor should you hold it against yourself. Be free today, my friends. Praying for you!
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.