No other word sums up God’s character in relationship to us like the word forgiving.
We want the world to see Christ in us and nothing reveals His heart more than when we forgive others. Since this is God’s goal in our lives, you can bet your bottom dollar you will have more than enough opportunities to display His heart! We all have been called to this. (and you were wondering what’s your calling) We are all called to a ministry of reconcilliation and forgivenss is the greatest tool in your belt.
So how is this ministry going today?
I don’t know about you but the more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I get to know Him, the more I want him to please Him. Forgiving others is very pleasing to Him. Why? Because it speaks of faith when we do.
The word forgiving means to let go. It’s trusting God will handle the situation His way, with His sense of justice and fairness. It is letting go even when the situation is seemingly unforgivable. We can have the confidence God will give us the grace to let go and let God.
I used to struggle with unforgiveness until the Holy Spirit begin to point out the kind of life I will live if I continued in it. He pointed out the consequences of my choice to hang on to the offense. I knew maintaining unforgiveness was going to hurt worse than just letting it go. I know that sounds pretty selfish, but when we forgive we also release that person as well. Yep, there were a couple of people I had to ask to forgive me for holding an offense against them.
1 – Unforgiveness left untreated becomes like spiritual cancer. Bitterness will pollute all your fruit. You might teach what you know, but you will impart who you are. If your carrying around an offense, eventually so will those around you. It’s toxic and pollutes the atmosphere in ministry.
2 – The Holy Spirit is grieved (Eph 4:30-32). When the Holy Spirit is grieved our thinking can become distorted. Refusal to forgive means God steps back and let’s you cope with your own problem in your own strength.
3 – You are left to yourself. Unforgiveness speaks of pride. It is in essence saying I want to have the final say on what is justice for this person. We all know God is not attracted to pride, but to the humble. Pride repels God, humility attracts His power. This unforgiveness will leave us walking out things in our own power and strength. Maybe the reason for all the tiredness is the weight of all that offense.
4 – You force God to be your enemy. Unforgiveness says move over God I want your job. You are crowning yourself judge, jury and executioner.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
5 – You lose the potential of your anointing. The anointing is lifted when unforgiveness settles in. We as leaders need to strive to keep the strife out!
1 Cor 13 gives a very vivid picture of lacking love makes us only clanging cymbols, profiting us nothing!
6 – No authentic fellowship with the Father. I find this the biggest tragedy of hanging on to the offense. Think about this for a moment. Unforgiveness shows an indifference to the greatest God act! God paid a severe price for your forgiveness. He displayed incredible amounts of mercy to each one of us, that none of us deserved. When we hang on to unforgiveness and offense it is like thumbing our noses at the greatest sacrificial act of the universe. How intimate do you think you will fellowship with God in that state of mind?
By the grace of God we can forgive, we can let them go.