|Posted on April 4, 2018 at 4:00 PM|
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Many Christians do not understand that forgiveness is a command, not an option. Unfortunately, we live in a world where some people will use their freedom of choice to hurt others. Some husbands who have taken a vow at the altar in marriage “to love, honor, and cherish” will choose instead to commit acts of violence with their words or their fists to the very wife they vowed to cherish. Others will choose to emotionally neglect their wives until all of the life slowly drains away.. To make matters worse, some of this abuse will be done by Christians.
We need to understand that believers are told to forgive, no matter how horribly wronged we have been. To extend forgiveness is to extend grace. Many do not understand that, at the point that we judge someone else, we call judgment onto ourselves. I for one, need grace in my life, in my family, and in the church. I need grace in order to forgive the terrible wrongs done to both me and my children. In order to receive grace, though, I must sow it by forgiving those who have wronged me,
We must learn to ask the Lord to give us grace in order to forgive and release those who have wronged us. It is only by his power and his Holy Spirit that complete forgiveness can be achieved. Biblical forgiveness includes blessing and praying for our enemies. Many stumble at this point, but I am convinced that forgiveness is never quite complete without it. These prayers are not prayers for judgment which can lead to a hardened heart, but for God’s blessing on the individual—not on his actions.
I simply do not understand Christians who are full of hatred and bitterness. There is no room in the Church or in a believer for hatred of any kind for any reason. God is love.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
I am convinced that the totality of the Christian journey consists of learning how to love. God loves us all equally. There is nothing we can do to make him love us more and nothing we can do to make him love us less. Some believe that we have to change to get God to love us, but the Bible teaches that it is his love that changes us.
In forgiving those who have wronged us, we release them to God for his justice. In addition, anything owed to the victim of injustice will be paid back by God himself.
Here is a sample prayer of forgiveness. Please pray from the heart:
Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus and I ask for your grace in helping me to forgive____________(person that hurt you) for all of the hurts he/she has inflicted on me including_______________(name the deepest hurts. I also ask that you forgive me for judging this person and I release both of us from those judgments I have made. I ask that you cleanse my emotions and I bless _____________(name of person) to be all that you would have them be. I release the debt owed to me and ask that you would recompense me according to your perfect will. I thank you Father for this forgiveness. In Jesus” name I pray. Amen.
-Pastor Sherri Falco