Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Forgiveness...It's the law

Forgiveness is the act of pardoning an offender in spite of the offender's shortcomings and mistakes. It's the last thing Jesus did on the cross! Forgiving someone of an offense is not condoning their behavior and saying everything they did is alright. Forgiving each other shifts the source of justice from ours to God's.

"...bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:13-14

Jesus didn't say we're to forgive if we feel like it. He said to do it with no limit set on the extent of forgiveness. It must be given without reserve by faith and not feelings.

"'Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him.' The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!'" Luke 17:3-5

The apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:15 that words and emotions can get out of hand - even among Christians. When this happens, feelings get hurt, friendships are destroyed, the church becomes divided, and the body of Christ suffers. It's crucial that we ask the Lord daily to help us to "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." Ephesians 4:32 We must pray for those who have wounded us, asking God to give us a right spirit and renewed sense of love and trust God to heal the situation.

With just a little foothold of unforgiveness in our lives, we can easily become bound with chains of bitterness, resentment, anger and rage. If we let that foothold linger without dealing with it, eventually it will lead to our own self-destruction. When we release forgiveness, it frees us from a powerful bondage that enemy can put on us. If we don't cut people loose by forgiving them, then we become entangled. Forgiving others sets us free!

Praying that we all learn to forgive one another
Pastor Mike


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