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What It Means To Forgive (TCM)

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The further in my walk with the Lord I have come…the longer I have recognized that God’s calling upon our lives is a difficult thing. We are not called to live comfy lives, where our comfort zones are not breached and we are not stretched to a limit that we never thought ourselves capable of baring. Perhaps this is most true of a concept called forgiveness that at times escapes me. It is an amazing thought that we are told to forgive others so that we can be forgiven by God as well (Matt. 6:14).

I often think what that command must be like for certain groups of people. How must that command ring with a rape victim who sees her rapists face in her nightmares? How must that command ring with the grown man who grew up with a father who drank and beat him for years? How must that sound to the mother and father who’s child was murdered merely for the color of his skin, or the clothes he wore, or the way he talked? How does a man whose wife and child were murdered right in front of him forgive those who have committed such barbarism? Or…how about this…what if that person in jail came to find Christ…and would later become a brother or sister in the Lord? Would you feel cheated as if God has forgotten you and your plight in favor of adding one more to His number. There are times when the actions of God have baffled humanity and this is one such time for me. I am at a loss for what could be said for people in such scenarios, considering my own rage at the injustices of the world. In these scenarios, all I can do is imagine the difficulty. If I am being honest however forgiveness is an issue that none of us will ever have completely figured out. There are people who have hurt me and said monstrous things to me and in honesty…if I knew that they were in the area I would do everything I could to avoid them.

This is obviously something that I am not proud of and something that the Lord has had to repeatedly teach me, but over time, I have begun to understand what it means to forgive. The command we receive from Scripture to forgive those who have wronged us is something that is done for our favor as well. Nothing helps to blacken and harden a heart faster than unforgiveness and bitterness. It is something that infects the person that can literally reach a boiling point and poison everything the person who was wronged is doing. In this, the person who was wronged allows their anger and rage to build up and eventually it infects every facet of their lives until they are consumed by it.

This is something that I have done personally…where I allowed an unforgiving heart to damage the Gospel of Jesus Christ and myself. You see holding onto that pain doesn’t harm the person whom you are unforgiving toward. Generally, they do not care. It hurts you and those closest to you. For these reasons in combination with the command of Christ we have more than enough reasons to correct our behavior. I pray that if you are holding on to some facet of unforgiveness in your heart that you give it up to Christ right now. Do not allow that poison to continue to fester remembering that people are people and are in need of grace…just like you. Peace and Blessings, and again thank you for reading.

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