Forgiveness: It is a difficult concept for many of us. I was glad to read Priyanka’s post yesterday, because I feel that God has placed this topic on my heart as well. Over the past few days, I have heard several messages regarding this topic, and y’all know when you hear something more than once, God is definitely trying to tell you something! As Christians, we struggle with sin on a daily basis, whether it be anger, hate, envy, jealousy, etc; whatever your sin may be it is a daily struggle to surrender it to Christ and not allow it to effect your every daylife. People who know me well may know this, but those of you don’t may be surprised that I struggle with anger. When I am wronged or hurt, I have a hard time forgiving the person who has wronged me. Even at work I have a difficult time suppressing my feelings of anger, as I hear stories all day about how children have been abused or wronged by another individual. Over the past few weeks I have realized that my sin has to be dealt with. There is no need for me to hold on to my anger and have an unforgiving heart. What makes me better than the person who has wronged me?
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. – Colossians 3:12-13
In the verses above Paul tells us, that as Christians we should be compassionate and kind. We should love one another and forgive just as the Lord forgave us. Regardless of what the sin may be, God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Before we even asked for forgiveness, Jesus Christ humbly came down to this earth, and out of compassion and love, sacrificed Himself on the cross for us so that we could be forgiven of our wrongdoings. As a believer, once I truly recognize that I have been forgiven for every single sin that I have committed, than how can I not forgive someone who has hurt me? I know that forgiveness has been hard in my life, because I have lost sight of the fact that I have been forgiven. Scripture reminds us that, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). There was no need for us to be forgiven, yet out of His love toward us He sacrificed His only Son, so that we could be called His children. There is no greater love than this!! With all this in mind, I have come to understand that The Lord was and continues to be patient with me as I struggle through life, and His love for me continues to remain constant, even when I don’t deserve it. You may be like me and feel like the person who has wronged you does not deserve forgiveness, but neither did we. We did nothing to deserve His grace or mercy, and yet I stand here today only because Jesus Christ freely poured out His love on me and forgave me of all my sins.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 3 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:29-32
To those of you who are reading this and are believers of Jesus Christ, I want to remind you that The Holy Spirit of God dwells inside of us. When we sin and hold on to anger, we are grieving the Spirit of God. We are called to be kind and forgiving of one another. Scripture doesn’t say forgive only after the person has wronged you has asked for it, but it says, forgive because Christ has forgiven you. It is a daily struggle for me, but I know that when I surrender this to The Lord, He will help me deal with my anger and will help me forgive. I pray that if you struggle with this that you will lay it at the Lord’s feet and watch Him transform your life and your heart.