Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32

 

The Will to Forgive

Have you ever wrestled with forgiving someone?  You know you need to do it, it's the right thing to do, but you're just not ready.  Instead of surrendering to God's plan for true life, you have bound your heart up in darkness which is waiting to ensnare your soul.  Ironically, you may even claim to be a Christian, yet you have given the devil a foothold into your heart by resisting what you know is right.  An unwillingness to forgive actually does more damage to you than anyone else.  And if continued for long, it has the power to destroy everything good about you.  It will wreak such a bitter havoc in your life that you will be turned upside down, unrecognizable in spirit and flesh. 

Our souls need forgiveness in order to be in relationship with God.  Knowing human nature, God set it up so that we are forgiven by Him upon forgiving others.  Thus, delayed forgiveness to another is delayed forgiveness to oneself.  We all fall short of perfection and must be reconciled for our sins.  The only sacrifice worthy to God for our sins is Jesus.  He was God in the flesh here on earth and tempted by sin, yet resisted temptation even to the point of His own death to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb.  All we have to do for our sins to be forgiven is believe Jesus is the Son of God, believe in His teachings, confess our sins before Him and other Christians, repent of those sins (making amends where possible), vow to continue to confess and repent regularly, and finally be baptized in His name.  Assuming these biblical directives have been followed, one thing remains:  to continue to obey God.  And that includes forgiveness.

Forgiveness is one such expectation that God requires for us to follow.  Without it, our lives are distanced from Him.  God wants for us to be close to Him and to each other.  Therefore, He teaches us to forgive one another so that we can continue in relationship with Him.  The bible says that love is the greatest commandment, to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself, for all of the law and the prophets hang on these two commands.  It only makes sense that God would have us forgive one another to allow love to reign in our hearts.  If our hearts are to love God and one another, our hearts must be tender.  There is no other way to achieve this but through obeying Jesus' teaching of forgiveness.  If we truly are Christians, we will forgive and therefore sustain love.  

Forgiveness must be alive, it is a constant choice each day in our relationships.  Embraced as a way of life, regardless of the circumstances involved and any pain endured, forgiveness is unavoidable if we want to move out of the past and into the sweet future that God has prepared.  This can be especially challenging if you have been the victim of abuse, adultery, or any other traumatic act.  If you are in this position, remember that God knows what happened and does not want you to continue to be harmed.  Even though He tells you to forgive, He does not want you to put yourself back in an abusive situation or place of unhealthy suffering.  Though it is necessary to forgive, it is equally imperative to protect yourself.  The bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:7, ...love always protects.  Again, that is one of the greatest commandments, to love your neighbor as yourself.  And in order to love others, you must first know how to love yourself and know how to protect yourself.  

Though it is not easy to forgive, it is possible with God.  He will give you the heart to follow Him if you ask.  He actually is waiting for you, hoping you will seek His help.  God loves us more than we can truly imagine, we just need to believe and trust Him and then He can move in our lives.  God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other.  Because we ALL are fallible, we should forgive because we, too, need forgiveness.  

Click below to listen to spiritual healing music that depicts what you have read about in the article above.  The song's title is "Love Never Fails".  Double click on the song title when the page comes up in order to hear a sample of the song.  The writer reveals in verse one that pride obstructs relationships and even holds a person captive within their own heart.  However, freedom is found in forgiveness and only you can unlock yourself and choose what God desires!  Through the second half of the song we are reminded of how important faith is to help trust again.  Moreover, even the hardest heart can change with the power of God's love and a willingness to follow Him.  It really never fails!

 Love Never Fails on CD Baby.

 Love Never Fails on Apple iTunes.


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