23 Try forgiveness

Encouragement for difficult days (23):

TRY FORGIVENESS

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32

 Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it

(Mark Twain)

 Forgiveness is not easy, but it’s necessary. An unforgiving spirit doesn’t hurt the other person; it hurts us. To harbor grudges, to cultivate malice toward another person, to refuse to forgive – all of these poison the inner man and produce spiritual and emotional sickness that no man-made medicines can cure.

When we have an unforgiving spirit, we think we are better than other people, we are supertensitive and take everything personally, we become suspicious of everybody’s motives and it causes us to withdraw into ourselves. Unforgiving people are usually lonely, critical and nervous people.

One of the saddest results of an unforgiving spirit, is the buildup of aggression on the inside. Many people who carry grudges and harbor malice are filled with hostility. If someone pushes past them on the bus, they take it personally and declare war.

In order to forgive, we have to be forgiven. When you experience the forgiveness of God in your own heart and realize what God has done for you, then you can begin to forgive others and rid your system of the poison of malice. But you can’t be forgiven until you admit you need forgiveness. This is probably the greatest problem with forgiveness.

Paul said: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” On the cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Because of His shed blood, we  can experience God’s gracious forgiveness. There is no way we can earn His forgiveness; it is a gift. If God will give this to us when we ask for it, why should we not be able to forgive others?

Here are 4 suggestions for cultivating a forgiving spirit in our lives:

 1.       Spend time daily with the Lord in His Word and in prayer.

Get to know God better. Ad you do, you will realize what sin really is, and you will discover that there are where we still need help.

2.       Observe the Lord’s supper

If you come to the Lord’s table with a humble heart and leave your sin and troubles at Jesus’ feet, it is impossible to go away from the Lord’s supper with an unforgiving spirit.

3.       Let the Holy Spirit within you generate the kind of love that it takes to forgive others

The fruit of the Spirit is love. You and I cannot manufacture forgiveness; it is something God does within us as we yield to Him. Confess your unforgiving spirit to God; ask Him to forgive you and fill your heart with His love.

4.       Realize how costly it is to have an unforgiving heart

Hannah More wrote: “A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.”

 Start today to cultivate a spirit of forgiveness. Let God cleanse your heart and fill it with His love. The next time somebody offends you or hurts you, immediately forgive him from him from your heart. Ask God to give you a gracious attitude, and treat that person with love.

 

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