Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Forgive and Be Forgiven

Yesterday as I scrolled my Facebook feed, I came across a post that really touched my heart.  This post was written by a young lady that was expressing her love for her father; a father that is seldom in her life.  She expressed that even though he "wasn't perfect" or "have not always been there" that she still loved him.  What an example of unconditional love!  I couldn't help but wonder if that father knew how blessed he was to have a forgiving and loving daughter.

Forgiveness has been on my heart a lot lately.  Think about it, when someone forgives someone else, it is a powerful thing.  I  know many times in my life I have made some stupid decisions and later felt the heaviness of shame and regret.  However, as I have received forgiveness from either God or the one I wronged, I felt a tremendous relief.  Obviously God thinks forgiveness is important too.  The Bible  tells us what great lengths Jesus went to in order to offer us true forgiveness.  He not only suffered abuse and ridicule, He actually suffered death.  However, that wasn't the end of the story!  He not only died but He rose again and won victory over death and sin.  Forgiveness!

As good as it feels to be forgiven, it often feels even better when we offer forgiveness to others.  When we remember our sin and how much we have needed forgiveness, it is much easier to offer forgiveness. Do you need forgiveness today?  1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.  Don't waste time on feeling shame and regret, go to God today and ask for His mercy.  On the other hand, do you need to forgive someone else, including yourself?  Unforgiveness can latch onto your heart like a parasite sucking all the life and joy out of your soul.  Can you trust God with your hurt?  Can you trust Him to heal the pain you have experienced?  He will give you the strength to forgive and be free of this dead-weight of bitterness.  Matthew 6:14-15 tells us that if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you.  But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

When you think about it, forgiveness can unlock the door to true love and life.  Receiving forgiveness from Jesus can give us a new life, hope and love.  Through God's power, extending forgiveness to others can give us joy and freedom in the Spirit.  Don't wait any longer; forgive and be forgiven!