Hear me out.
Seriously. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it’s for your own good.
For my own good.
We must forgive.
can replace the this simple act that can bring complete freedom.
The tangled web that begins with a tiny thread of unforgiveness turns into a giant web of bitterness and anger and resentment and even hate.
And yes, it tangles us up in a web of deceit that says, “they don’t deserve to be forgiven”,
Trapped in a world of negativity that you don’t know how to get out of. Tangled up so tight that you can’t begin to release yourself from the mess.
Sin is like that. You are lured into the web of “I could never let this go” until you are the one who needs rescuing.
“12Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17
Don’t you see? Forgiveness doesn’t let the other person off the hook–It let’s YOU out of the snare that has captured your very soul.
When we remember the depth of God’s forgiveness–His willingness to send His Son into the world to pay the penalty for our sin…
…how could we not forgive others? Why do we think that we “owe it to ourselves” to harbor unforgiveness, when it is so self-destructive?
“FORGIVE… PUT ON LOVE… AND LET THE PEACE OF THE MESSIAH… CONTROL YOUR HEARTS.”
What do you think is controlling your heart when it is trapped in unforgiveness? Talk about heart problems.
We all know full well what that looks like and it.is.not.pretty. And it’s not healthy.
So the question comes, “Why should I?” ESPECIALLY when it is obvious that they don’t deserve it and will certainly never make retribution.
We are never alone in this battle, you know. Every one of us has been hurt and every one of us have seen someone we love hurt–bitten by the poison of someone’s words or actions.
So, why then? Apart from the apparent freedom we gain, the obvious and most important reason is found in verse 13:
Because He tells us to!
Peace and JOY–did you see verse 16?–come when we submit our words and our actions [v. 17] to the Lord. Saying you forgive someone isn’t enough (ouch!)–you have to live like you mean it.
And choose it–above any emotion you might feel.
I know. It’s not easy. But it’s right. It’s best.
And it is ultimately an act of submission.
Focusing on Jesus. Seeing Him as more than a baby in a manger–recognizing the God of the universe breaking into humanity with a plan to bring the ultimate gift–the gift of forgiveness.
“The true bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33
He came down alright. He entered a world that would mock Him and kill Him. Taking the punishment we deserve, he demonstrated HOW MUCH HE LOVES US.
This Christmas, why not give yourself (and maybe someone else in the process), the gift of forgiveness?
Accept the forgiveness He offers and choose to give a gift of forgiveness to someone else.
Maybe the best gift you receive this year…
“Jesus responded… Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.'” John 8:34-36