Forgiveness is a game-changer in life. If (by the power of the Spirit) I learn to “speak” this language, my relationships will be blessed! Sadly, the opposite is true, too. If I do not actively exercise forgiveness, all relationships I have will be marked by pride & strife. I bet you are like me-we want good friendships, good marriages, and good relationships with our children.
Many of you know that we try to teach our kids to not say “I’m sorry”. Instead, we ask ” Will you forgive me?” Forgiveness is a TIMELESS issue and one that can entangle us in sin-soaked vines or free us to breathe clean air! As you know, there are certain things that will ALWAYS be TRUE of our walk with God. This topic will BLESS you, FREE you, and CHALLENGE you…it is FORGIVENESS.
Perhaps one of the most powerful responses is the phrase of the little boy who was asked to describe FORGIVENESS. He said, “It is the SMELL that flowers make when they are stepped on.”You can be a sweet aroma of forgiveness. HOW?
I. YOU ARE FORGIVEN IN CHRIST
Christ’s death is the basis of forgiveness of our sin. (Col. 1:13, 14, 2:13, 14) . You WERE forgiven..past, present, and future. How many of your sins were in the future? ALL OF THEM. What difference does it make to you to KNOW you are FORGIVEN? Ponder this. Ps. 103:12, Ps. 32:1-5 As you read, thank Him that you are CLEAN!
II. FORGIVE OTHERS THE SAME WAY
How did Christ forgive you? COMPLETELY. Not partially or occasionally. Your sins were atoned for…they were removed! You are FREE! I want (and NEED) to forgive others because of what I have been given. In addition, I need to forgive QUICKLY or it will become a snare of bitterness. Look at Col. 3:13, Rom. 15:7 and Eph. 4:32. We must learn to put the question “Will you forgive me? as a common part of our language as opposed to the occasional (and only when things are really bad in a relationship!) mediocre “sorry”. Get ready! YOU WILL BE SHOCKED AT HOW ALL OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IMPROVE AS YOU BECOME A FAST FORGIVER!
III. IF WE DON’T
Bitterness and an “Everybody owes me!” attitude will become your life-long best friend. You will known as an angry person. You can push resentment down but it WILL NOT STAY DOWN. Deal with your disappointments and your feelings of “being offended” by the power of Christ. If you know it’s His Will (and apparently it is since it’s in HIs Word!). He will give you the POWER! People are going to hurt you….what are you going to do?
IV. HOW WE CAN
Eze. 36:26 is a favorite verse that promises us ” a new heart”. Rom. 5:5 declares God wants to pour HIS LOVE through us! All I need to do is to KNOW my identity AS A FORGIVEN PERSON. ASK GOD TO HELP TO OBEY HIM AND MOVE FORWARD IN FORGIVENESS.
- Can you imagine the FREEDOM God wants to give you?
- Can you imagine the PEACE at those Thanksgiving and Christmas FAMILY Celebrations?
- Can you imagine how YOU can change your work-place by being a FAST FORGIVER?
- Can you imagine how your MARRIAGE can change by forgiving QUICKLY?
- Can you imagine being the fast FORGIVER in a generationally BITTER family? You will change the FUTURE!
My prayer for all of us is that we don’t wait for the other person. It may never come. Besides that, You are RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU…not them. It takes courage, but you can be a history-changing follower of Jesus Christ .
May you enjoy the fresh air of forgiveness throughout your life!