Christians need a deeper understanding of forgiveness.
As a person of faith, you must practice forgiveness for the sake of your future. Your knowledgeable practice of forgiveness affects your earthly future and eternity.
Your forgiveness was paid for by Jesus. He paid it all with His perfect sacrifice.
The Holy Spirit reveals that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them (my rendering of 2 Cor. 5:19). The Gospel’s retrospective good news is not that you can be forgiven, but that you are forgiven. Christ has died for your sins. Tetelestai!
God’s forgiveness means your sins are covered, carried away, sent away, and canceled. But wait, there’s more to your forgiveness! What more do you need to know about your forgiveness? Your confession is required!
In 1986 an award-winning ad campaign began. It was folksy and highly hospitable. The voice said, “I’m Tom Bodet for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for you.”
God’s light of forgiveness is always on, welcoming anyone who wants to come home to repent and receive His forgiveness.
Dying at Calvary, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them.” His prayer was answered. One thing remains. In repentance, will you confess your sins and receive His forgiveness by faith? If you do, your life will only get better.
God has no unforgiveness for us to consider. So, let’s think about Your UNforgiveness. It can look as innocent as low-key ill-will. It doesn’t always spew hatred. But it’s a desire to see your offender get what they deserve.
We often confuse forgiveness with feelings. Forgiveness is an act of my will in obedience to God’s will. My feelings can disagree, but they’re not in charge. They’ll catch up later. If I let my emotions decide my forgiveness, I’m asking for future trouble.
You can choose to obey God, forgive those who’ve sinned against you and release them from any future obligation.
Strangely, we want grace for ourselves, but we want others to get what they deserve!
In Mark 11, Jesus says, “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (25). The word anything means no matter what. I double-checked that word in six different English translations, and they all said anything.
The bottom line for Christians is simple.
Forgiven people, forgive people.Tweet
If you refuse to obey Jesus, you’ll be walking in UNforgiveness. It leads to disobedience and a miserable life.
Christians can choose how they act in their interactions with others. “We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them, and they end up using us” (Eugene Peterson). Guard your heart, watch your mouth, and forgive every offense.
The human race is broken, and our relationships often suffer. Sins’ curse affects every individual, and our relationships are often filled with poor communication and manipulative actions.
The first step toward your emotional healing is courageously forgiving those who’ve sinned against you. Christian, you must practice forgiveness for the sake of your future life. The Holy Spirit says, “Do not grieve Me. Live like a Christian, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Your UNDERstandings of forgiveness have a daily impact on you and the people in your world.
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” (Psalm 46:4, NIV). The Christian life begins because of the gracious flow of forgiveness from His presence.
Psalm 85:10 tells us, “Mercy and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed.” This precisely timed kiss took place as Christ died on the Cross. SO, God’s love flows through Your Forgiveness.
Friend, you can never live free until you forgive your offenders (see Gal. 5:1). The Christian life continues because of the flow of forgiveness in our relationships with one another. Works of forgiveness demonstrate faith. But if you are led by your emotions instead of the Holy Spirit, you will constantly struggle.
Your UNforgiveness and Your MISSunderstandings will frustrate the flow of God’s grace through you. The devil doesn’t want you to have peace from applying God’s Word to your life. But your knowledgeable practice of forgiveness affects your earthly future and eternity.
What a tremendous blessing is afforded us Christians!
We live under the flow of God’s gracious, kind, and tender mercies. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities” (Psalm 103:2-3). But we must never forget! We are blessed to be a blessing. It’s not enough to be forgiven. You must be forgiving.
Two drivers crashed. One of them had insurance, and the other didn’t. The one without insurance also had an expired driver’s license. The insured driver had a choice to make. He could drive around angrily offended about his damaged car, or he could use his insurance. What did he do? He chose to get his car repaired rather than be held hostage by the other driver’s lack of insurance.
If you’ve been damaged by someone, you have a choice to make. You can stay hurt. But remember, hurt people hurt people. Or you can choose forgiveness and healing because forgiven people forgive people.
Did you know forgiveness causes miracles to happen? When you release the blame and past trauma, God can move in ways you forgot were even possible. Did you know forgiveness makes your world a better place for you, your children, and all people? It aligns you with God’s merciful love.
Some of you have been terribly damaged because of the offenses of life. Receive the courage of the Holy Spirit to pursue your healing. If you are oppressed by the devil, the Great Physician has the power to heal you.
The Spirit says to us all, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Rom. 12:14).