I made a statement that I was going to work hard in 2012 to be more loving and forgiving to others. There is some scripture I would like to address. Acts 20:35b; “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Lets take a little different perspective on that. It is more blessed to give forgiveness than to receive forgiveness. Sunday, our Pastor made mention of harmony within a church. The example he gave was two men who had not spoken in years until one or both received God’s spirit during a revival. Now if one had offered the forgiveness and the other refused to accept it, the situation would be truly sad. They say if two Christians can’t work out a problem or misunderstanding, then perhaps one isn’t a Christian. Maybe when someone is wanting forgiveness and has asked for forgiveness but you are not willing to accept it or offer it in return because you need “more time” or its just not the way you want it…think! Did Jesus want to die as He did? Or was He willing to do it God’s way to provide total forgiveness for all of us. Sometimes we are so petty. And then there are those who profess to be Christian while praying hypocritically at the alter and holding a grudge against another. Jesus Himself told us in Matthew: “If you are at the alter and remember that your brother has something against you, leave and be reconciled to your brother.” When Jesus was asked how to pray; He said to ask God to forgive you, but only as you forgive others. Do you think He really meant that? 1 John 4:20; “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar.”  If you are in conflict with another, go to them and ask for forgiveness and if it is either not accepted or not offered back; who then is at fault in the eyes of God? Jesus tell us in Mark 11: “If you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” This pretty well sums up how Jesus Christ feels about giving forgiveness. If it is just too hard for you to forgive someone, try hanging on a cross for a few hours and being beaten, ridiculed and spit upon…maybe this will help your outlook. Suck it up, deal with it, get over it, and oh yes; forgive.
Bill Davis