Have you ever been done wrong? Have you ever been hurt?
If you’re alive the answer is yes.
Hurt people, hurt people and the truth is we have done this to others as well. This cycle goes on everyday, as our imperfections and need for God are blatantly obvious. The continual missteps and misunderstandings reveal our fragility and that ALL of us are born into sin (see Romans 3:23).
Furthermore, right now this has intensified.
I can see it in church, on social media and of course, on TV. The level of being offended and shut down is running havoc on too many of us because eventually, unbridled anger is an open door to the devil (see Ephesians 4:27).
But the division, strife, bantering and more are a result of being hurt. When our feelings are hurt, we lash out and become territorial while defending our thoughts and; moreover, our heart. This is happening daily in multiple forums, causing tensions that lead to division and ultimately, unforgiveness.
In fact, there’s a common thought of, if you don’t agree with me, you’re my enemy. This is dangerous as it takes away different perspectives and it smashes the ability to, agree to disagree. When this takes root, extremes are emboldened, which then separates and conquers us from each other.
But this isn’t the plan fo God for His people.
He never intended us to be divided over American politics, race and Covid-19. No, it’s just the opposite. He’s created us to be together in unity through our differences to glorify who He is. He’s intended us, to worship Him because of who He is and to show others His love and power right now!
So we must remember, one of the plots against us, is to withhold forgiveness toward others and to live through a grudge. I’ve been tempted with this and I’ve seen this over and over again in Christ followers. But this is a trick and its end is trouble in a variety of ways, which means, we must dismantle this in our lives.
So, how do we dismantle it?
By saying, “I choose to forgive.”
Notice, this is a choice not a feeling. It’s a decision we make through our faith in Jesus to forgive those who have done us wrong or who think things that hurt our hearts. If we wait for the feeling to forgive, we’ll never do it. It’s a choice we make and it’s based on what Jesus did for us.
Paul said this in Colossians 3:13 –
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Wow, what a verse and thought for right now in 2020!
First, in my words, chill out. Give room for people to be human because after all, we need that same grace toward us.
Many times it’s easy to lay expectations on others that we don’t live up to ourselves. For example, this happens with wanting people to forgive us, but then not forgiving others ourselves. I heard one leader say, “when it comes to others, we’re amazing judges. When it comes to ourselves, we’re amazing attorneys.”
How true that it is, but Jesus is calling us higher.
He’s asking us to give room for people to miss it because we miss it. We don’t get it right, so others need that same grace.
Second, Paul says to forgive others because the Lord forgave us. Wow! Let’s think about ALL the stuff we’ve been forgiven of. Let’s think about where we could be, should be and would be if not for God.
Oh yes, we’ve ALL been wrong and done wrong and because of that, we must say, I choose to forgive.
Think about the double standard we act out when we don’t forgive. We ask God to forgive us, but then when God asks us to forgive others, we say no. How can this be?
He’s done too much for us to withhold forgiveness toward others. Therefore, we must dismantle the plot of our enemy and choose to forgive. We must resist pointing fingers, holding onto grudges, majoring on minors and looking for reasons to divide.
We must forgive freely and frequently because He does the same for us.
This is BIG because the enemy uses this stuff to lead us into unbridled anger, addiction, perversion, pride, arrogance, hate, wrath, excuses, abuse, violence, quitting, selfishness and more.
The end agenda of the devil is to destroy our soul and stop God’s purpose in our lives; therefore, we choose to forgive so that we overcome and triumph in Christ.
So is there anyone you can forgive today?
Whether it’s a large group or a specific person, please forgive. Move on and move close to God. It’s not worth it and Jesus has so much more for you. Please consider reaching out to them through a form of communication and say, I forgive you or I’m sorry. This BIG step can do so much in your life and in those around you.
Jesus has a life of promise for you and a place of blessing for you. In Him, you can make a difference and overcome! You can defeat the enemy by saying, I choose to forgive!
No matter what you’re feeling or facing today, Jesus understands it and He gives grace for you. Even if you’re at your worst moment, there’s hope because of Jesus.
I encourage you to forgive. Choose to do it beyond your feelings, so that the grace of God does its complete work in you.
Have a great day and the best is yet to come!