Everyone on earth has committed sins against God first, then his or her fellow human being. It is quite interesting that Jesus said He was not sent into this world to condemn the human race. Rather, He came that ALL might be saved (John 3: 16-18). What does that mean for us? It should mean that WE would be forgiven if we only ask and repent!!!
Now, the important question is: When someone does repent and ask someone for forgiveness, do we have any right to refuse that request? Remember, God looks upon our hearts – our thought processes to comprehend WHAT we are thinking! Have we forgiven the person who has requested forgiveness or refused it? Did we refuse in private, so there would be NO witnesses to our refusal?
The Bible is very clear – you can know by the fruit. If true repentance has occurred, actions between the parties involved would be mended. There would be friendliness, kindness, and a smile with joy to see the other person, with NO more animosity or hard feelings.
Unforgiving poisons the attitude of the one holding the grudge or unforgiving heart. It hardens our sensitivity to spiritual things because we have to live a lie – saying we forgive but don’t really forgive. This strains relations between husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, pitting sister against sister, brother against brother, or some other type of relationship. These things should NEVER be!
Jesus died to forgive each of us of EVERY sin we have ever committed. He said: “Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.” It makes no difference as to whom the person is and what status in life he or she has; if forgiveness is not given and MEANT, Jesus will not forgive us!!! He will not take our name before the Father as forgiven. After all, He is our access to the Father.
Look at this amazing Biblical statement: “For the Father JUDGES NO MAN, but has committed ALL judgment unto the Son:” (John 5: 22). How is your relationship with Jesus the Christ of Almighty God, the Father? If you say you have a wonderful relationship with Jesus and refuse to forgive someone and show it by the way you treat him or her, your relationship is really in shambles!!!
Notice yet another scripture: “… He that hears my word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5: 24). Do we REALLY hear Jesus’ words? “Judge not, that you be not judged. For what judgment you judge, you SHALL BE JUDGED…” (Matthew 7: 1-2a). In direct proportion to the way we judge and determine that someone should or should not be forgiven is exactly how Jesus decides how you and I should be judged and forgiven, or not!!! If we forgive, we are forgiven; if we fail to forgive, we will not be forgiven. I don’t really believe any of us want to be passed over on Jesus forgiving us. Please, please, please – if you have anything lingering that resembles unforgiveness, make it right with the other person NOW!
I have confided in my wife that sometimes I feel like no one listens when I try to show them God’s ways and what we need to do to get right with Him and each other – or – at best, it is selective hearing, hearing only what we want to hear. NO! NO! NO! Hearing and exposing those inner sins is where we grow. If they remain covered up by refusing to obey Jesus’ words, we are committing spiritual suicide.
One person confided that sometimes she didn’t like what she saw about herself. That is growth. If we don’t examine ourselves, how will we be able to find those sneaky sins and be forgiven?
You and I have a GREAT destiny. Let’s not blow it over something so petty such as a failure to forgive. Forgiving others can bring great comfort and peace of mind. Failure to forgive can result in stress and restlessness – always looking for another excuse not to forgive. Forgiveness the moment you realize there is something wrong with your relationship with another can save months or years of pain from a mental aspect. It can cleanse the heart.
How can we develop an attitude of loving honest things if we are in constant turmoil over something that can be resolved but never has been? How can we learn to love perfect justice if we fail to live it ourselves? How can we learn to love things that are pure if we constantly have impure thoughts toward another? How can we look upon things as being lovely if our thoughts are not lovely toward someone else? How can we receive good reports about someone if we constantly think only of bad reports about that person? (Philippians 4: 8).
God bless you if you have listened today! These words were written with sincere interest in each of us receiving a full reward. Jesus forgives! Do you?????