Monday, July 22, 2013

Some People Cannot Forgive and Here is Why

We are all in the same boat: We have people that mistreat us, disrespect us and are jealous of us in various ways. Many times, this translates into words and actions of meanness from those we see every day. Wow! Now we have to listen to the Apostle Paul in the Bible as he tells us how to deal with this:

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."

Forgiveness is not minimizing the seriousness of the
offense against you. 
-It’s not an instant restoration of trust from someone who has wronged you.  
-It’s not resuming a relationship without any changes.  
-Forgiveness isn’t even forgetting what someone has done to you, because if you literally
forgot it and never remembered it, you’d also forget the lessons you were supposed to 

Forgiving others takes a type of love that says:
"You don't owe me anymore!"

To this, we may say: That doesn't seem fair, just to let someone off the hook for what they have done to me! 
You are exactly right! Unless, you have experienced forgiveness and let off the hook by God Himself through His Son Jesus Christ!

The more you have been forgiven, the more you
understand forgiveness.

In the Bible Jesus went to the house of a man named Simon.  The custom at that time was to greet your guests with a kiss, provide water so your guests could wash their feet, and anoint their head with oil as a blessing. 
But Simon didn’t do any of that for Jesus.  But a woman who was a prostitute did all of those things and more for Jesus. She didn’t wash his feet with just water.  She washed his feet with her tears.  She didn’t just greet Jesus with a kiss, she continually kissed his feet.  She didn’t just put oil on his head, she used the most expensive perfume made and poured it on his feet.  Why? Let us look at what Jesus said:

Luke 7:47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.  (NIV)

Now I understand part of the reason why many cannot forgive others: Perhaps, he or she has not experienced the freedom of being totally forgiven by Jesus Christ. 

We can experience a complete forgiveness in Christ and that will give us power to forgive others!

Psalm 103:12  How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west!  
Isaiah 1:18  …no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! 

My friends, I really believe this is so huge in our walk with God. Jesus even takes it to another level when He said: 
Matthew 5:43-44  You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 

In closing, I leave you this story of our responsibility of forgiving and loving others, no matter what the circumstance:
ILLUST: There’s an old story that tells of a man who went to a Christian counsellor about his marriage. When it was emphasized to him that the Bible tells husbands to love their wives, the man replied that he and his wife hardly speak any longer or do anything together – it is like they are strangers. In response to that, the counsellor flipped in his Bible to the passage that says to love your neighbor. The man then responded that when he and his wife do talk, it usually takes the form of fighting. The counsellor flipped in his Bible again, and said “Now I understand, I have just the passage for such a situation.” He stopped flipping and read “Love your enemies.”