As a sequel to yesterday’s blog post on forgiveness titled, “The Power of Forgiveness,” the reblogged post below titled, “Forgiveness God’s Way,” by “The Daily Way” focuses on one of the seven last statements Jesus made from the cross. That statement is “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The writer of the reblogged post follows up with this statement on the issue of unforgiveness:
“What we fail to realize about unforgiveness is that it has a remarkable ability to hold us captive and bound to the one whom we refuse to forgive. While the Jews had laws concerning forgiveness, the greater emphasis was placed on the actual act and not on the motive of one’s heart. Forgiveness done God’s way, on the other hand, frees us to live victoriously—the way Christ lived. It gives us an opportunity to be like Him to others—forgiving.”
God knows our heart motives, which can contradict our actions and/or words often made in an effort to appease our own guilt or a pretense at forgiving the other person who has offended us in some way. As the writer states, “We can’t mislead an all-knowing God.”
We need to come clean of our deceptive ways, especially when it comes to the issue of forgiving others. Isaiah 55:6 states, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
Psalm 46:1 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” An unforgiving spirit can give us all kinds of trouble that can lead to regrets and sorrows. If anger and an unforgiving spirit towards anyone is clogging up our lives, turn to God today and ask him for his help in resolving the anger. As the writer of the reblogged post below reminds us, “Let him [God] be the One who deals with our offender.” The outcome is left in God’s hands as we allow forgiveness to flow from us to our offender(s).
In Matthew 5:44-48, Jesus states the following:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
“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.”
In our churches today we hear a lot about the forgiveness of our own sins through Jesus Christ, but not much is said about the consequences if we harbor an unforgiving spirit towards anyone. The verses above give us a clear warning of the consequences of harboring an unforgiving spirit towards others.
And as the writer of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 3:12-15:
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
Unforgiveness is a sign of a hardened heart . . .
And Jesus is the only cure there is . . .
Seek his help today . . . .
Photo credit here
The first of the seven statements Jesus spoke from the cross is crucial to God’s eternal plan of salvation. Most of the people present for the crucifixion probably expected Jesus to curse His executioners, but He didn’t. Instead, He forgave them!
“Father, forgive them, for they do no know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In Christ’s day, forgiveness was not viewed as a mark of strength. Even today, many people refuse to forgive others, thinking that to do so would mean they have become weak.
What we fail to realize about unforgiveness is that it has a remarkable ability to hold us captive and bound to the one whom we refuse to forgive. While the Jews had laws concerning forgiveness, the greater emphasis was placed on the actual act and not on the motive of one’s heart. Forgiveness done God’s way, on the other hand, frees us to live…
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