HOW DO YOU FORGIVE?

4th February 2013 by Bill Davis
There are those who have sinned against us or someone we love. Perhaps we find it difficult to even want to forgive them. It is important to realize God wants us to forgive. He tells us in Paul’s letter to the Romans, that He will be the one to hold others accountable.
Romans 12:19 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, ‘I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”   
Hebrews 10:30 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “We know that God has said He will punish and take revenge. We also know that the Scriptures say the Lord will judge His people.”
It is important here to realize that to forgive someone is not to downplay a wrongdoing they have committed; especially if they have hurt someone we care about. When we forgive as commanded by God, then we are releasing that person from his indebtedness to us. “We relinquish the right to seek personal revenge. We choose to say we will not hold his wrongdoing against him.” There is nothing here to say we allow that person back into our trust. “Forgiveness does not mean we act as if no wrong has been done; it does mean we recognize that grace abundant has been given to us and that we have no right to hold someone else’s wrongdoing over his head.” Sometimes forgiveness is difficult, if not almost impossible, but not to forgive is to directly disobey God’s command. Reach out to the one that has done you wrong. Tell them how you feel in a loving and FORGIVING way.
Ephesians 4:32 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “Be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”
The pain of being wronged is real. It can involve a number of personal emotions and feelings. It is important to remember to turn to God for instruction.
1 Peter 5:7 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him.”
It will almost surely happen, if we harbor bitterness or hatred or an unforgiving heart, all our emotions will be affected. Even our desire to obey God can be challenged. One of my wife’s favorite verses is found in Philippians 4:13;
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”
Within forgiveness, the power of reconciliation grows. Yes, this may take time; but it is the ultimate will of God for His people to life together in harmony and love.
Matthew 5:23-24 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.”
Is there someone you need to forgive? Jesus said for us to forgive as He forgave us.
Bill Davis

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