Forgive as You’ve Been Forgiven

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

We’re almost two weeks out from the Easter season. That time of reflection and repentance. The time when we focused on our need for a Savior and asked for forgiveness.

Hopefully, in the process we also extended forgiveness.

For some of us, extending forgiveness is not the first thing we think of when we are courtesy pixabaywronged.

Are you kidding me?

We’re angry. We’ve been treated horribly.

We’ve been hurt beyond words.

If you really knew what happened …

The offender should suffer. They should pay. They should not be let off easy.

Why should we forgive?

Sure, the Bible tells us we’re supposed to forgive, but aren’t their exceptions? You know. For the really big things that happen to us?

The ones that really hurt. The ones that are huge. The ones we’re totally justified in withholding our forgiveness over.

Well, one of the things I’ve found unforgiveness does is it makes the unforgiving person bitter. We keep rehashing and reliving the hurtful scenario over and over and over. We imagine clever come-backs that would put the other person in his or her place. We get the attitude thing going, and let our pain fester instead of allowing God to help us heal.

After awhile, all we can think about is the hurt we’ve endured. Nothing is right with the world. The more we dwell on the pain, the more it consumes us.

But you know what?

All that bitterness pushes us further away from God, and we play right into the hands of the deceiver. Ouch.

Because we know Jesus took our sins on the cross and died to forgive us, we know we should offer forgiveness to those who sin against us, but it is soooo difficult to do sometimes, don’t you think?

courtesy pixabayWe just don’t want to forgive.

In some perverse way, it’s almost as if we’d rather make ourselves miserable holding onto unforgiveness, than be set free of its burden so we can get on with the rest of our lives by forgiving.

And you know what else?

The person who hurt us probably moved on long ago.

I truly believe we need God’s help to forgive others. In our humanness we fail. We rationalize. We hold onto the hurt. It goes against our very being to forgive, but through the power of Christ in us, we can forgive.

Maybe we start with baby steps and work up to full-blown forgiveness. I’ve found that to be the case in most of my situations. It takes time. It takes work. It takes Jesus reminding me I’m forgiven, so how can I refuse to forgive. Sigh.

Are we content to receive forgiveness, yet unwilling to extend it? Something to ponder, is it not?

What have you found helpful in forgiving those who have wronged you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Betrayal and Grace

National Archives and Records AdministrationEver been betrayed? If you’re a member of the human race, I would assume your answer to be, yes. While I’ve been betrayed multiple times before, this latest betrayal irks me. Especially since I had spoken specifically with said betrayer about the issue beforehand, and asked them not to mention it.

I’m sure if one studied the psychology of betrayal, there would be deep, profound reasons it exists. I’d imagine there would be an equal number of rather superficial reasons, as well. While this latest incidence is of little consequence, when compared with the grand scheme of things, and the devastating betrayals others have suffered, I’m irritated.

So, what to do about it? Pray. I pray for God to soften my heart towards this other person. I Bing Photospray for the other person. And I keep praying. Because I know I’m not at a place where I should be.

While I pray, I think about Jesus. I think about Judas. I think about the grace and forgiveness Jesus extended to the betrayer. And the grace and forgiveness He daily extends to me. I think about how Judas’ kiss must have stung Jesus, even though He knew it was coming.

As I pray, God whispers, This too, shall pass. I’ll get over this minor breach of trust. I’ll survive this annoyance. I have a choice. Move on, or stay stuck in irritation. I choose to move on.

Why? Because of grace. Unmerited favor. Something I do not deserve, but which God freely pours down on me, and you. Grace comes to us through the gift of God’s son, Jesus Christ. The Messiah who paid our debt on the cruel cross of Calvary. We’re called to be like Jesus, and that means we’re called to extend forgiveness and grace, even if we don’t feel like it. Especially when we don’t feel like it. Because greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.

Anyone you need to extend grace and forgiveness to? Need grace and forgiveness extended to you? Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift, that makes it all possible.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (TLB)

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions May 5, 2014. Please stop by.