Today’s Attitude of Love: Forgiving Others
All of us have been hurt in our past. Maybe it’s from a broken relationship, marriage, betrayal, slander or physical abuse. And I you are like me, you are or have had a hard time forgiving those who have caused you pain. Well in today’s attitude of love, I want to talk about forgiving those who have hurt us.
Forgiving others can be one of the hardest aspects of the Christian walk. After all, pain caused unjustly can leave scars that we can carry with us for a lifetime if left untouched or unforgiven. Many of us in fact have pushed the pain so far down in our hearts that it has caused our hearts to grow cold and bitter. But harboring those feelings of hurt can be very destructive in many of the areas of the most important relationships in our lives, including our family life and even our relationship with God.
You see, there are countless scriptures in God’s Word that deal with forgiveness. But today I want us to focus on what happens if with don’t forgive and what happens when we do forgive.
When we don’t forgive someone who has hurt us, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we one, cause more pain in our own lives because our hearts will grow cold and bitter. Two, we fail to show the love that Christ has so graciously shown to us. And third, the Bible tells us that if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven. So many times we say things like, you just don’t know how bad it hurt me. Or, they have not asked me for forgiveness. But I want to ask you, how many times have you hurt someone and not asked for forgiveness. And two, do you think Christ doesn’t know how you feel, after all he did bare all our sins, past, present and future.
You see, forgiveness is not only for the person in fault, it is or us. When we choose to forgive someone, even when they don’t repent or ask for it, we take them off our hook and place them on Gods. This frees us and allows us to move on in our life. But it also allows God to start working on them. Who do you think has more power to change a heart and mind, you or God?
There is true freedom in giving forgiveness to those who have hurt us. It allows us to grow and mature, but it also and more importantly keeps us in line who God and our forgiveness with him.
So if you have something you are holding on to today, give forgiveness and show the attitude of love that Christ has so freely shown you. You will find that it will not only free them, it will free you as we’ll.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)