And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 KJV
A person very close to my heart told me that she would like to read about Forgiveness. So here we go.
I hope, through this series, to show that forgiveness is fundamental to our faith, our well being and our growth as Christians.
Unforgiveness has the power to destroy you, your faith, your walk with God, your health, your mind. Unforgiveness is a pernicious poison that, if not dealt with, will ultimately destroy everything you are trying to achieve. The lack of forgiveness is a stumbling block that inhibits your growth.
I have struggled with this issue a great deal over these last 20 years. I have sinned, and been sinned against. I have had to deal with both sides of the equation of Forgiveness.
I have had to forgive myself & others. I have had to seek, and am still seeking ways and means to get forgiveness from others. I have had to learn that it is not a switch that you can just flip, and voila, forgiveness happens. It is often a process. Sometimes painful, but necessary. Sometimes it is not reciprocated, or appreciated. Sometimes, others will never choose to forgive you, or receive your forgiveness.
I have discovered that, when God deals with you in the forgiveness arena, it can be painful and joyful. Sometimes the pain precedes the joy. I say this because, when God deals with you over your need to forgive, or receive forgiveness, the dirty laundry comes out.
God will deal with you over your anger, your pride, your distorted sense of God’s righteousness, and the sin of self-righteousness. If you are listening, you will be reminded of just how much you have been forgiven of – all the things you did before you were a Christian, and especially all the things God has graciously forgiven you of after you became a Christian.
This series has already become a challenge for me. In writing the outline for this series, I found I had been keeping a grievance on a back shelf. I had forgotten it was there, until I ran across a few verses that reminded me of it. I immediately had to stop what I was doing and seek that forgiveness from that person, and forgive that person for wrongs done. We both had sinned against each other, and we both had buried it deep. The effort was painful. Obedience isn’t always a “cumbayah” experience. The reward was so sweet, so good, so joyous, I wonder why I ever kept that grievance rotting in my mind. I am free from that chain, and so is the person I went to. We both needed it, and it was very good.
If you are going to be a Child of God, a Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Forgiveness is one of the first muscles you will have to develop. Forgiveness is not for sissies. It is not for the prideful. It is not for the self-righteous. We have to humble ourselves before God in order to be forgiven, and we have to understand grace and mercy in order to forgive.
Forgiveness is more important than I realized. It is powerful. It serves you to forgive others, and it further’s the kingdom of God when you do it.
I ask your forgiveness because I cannot offer an outline for this series. I have only written this introduction and the first two parts of this series. There will be more, because, as with every true doctrine of God, every doctrine is a gem with many facets.
I hope you will get as much out of this series as I have gotten researching it.
I will leave you with this fact, and a question:
FACT: Unforgiveness has its roots in Anger. So does fear.
QUESTION: Why are you angry? What are you in fear of?
That is where I had to start.
I will see you tomorrow with : FORGIVE, Part 1
David G. Perkins