Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
One of the greatest lessons every believer needs to learn about forgiveness is this. Forgiveness does NOT release the offender. It releases the offended. Jesus said that if you are offended, you must forgive the offender if you expect to be forgiven by Father when you sin. What we must recognize is that being in right standing with Father is far more important than having someone who has offended you try to make things right with you.
I have been wronged by people, as I am sure you have. What I discovered was that until I released whoever offended me by forgiving them, whether they asked for forgiveness or not, I myself was not free to move forward. You see, to harbor something in my heart towards any other person is to be in strife. I encourage you to read what I find to be one of the most frightening passages of Scripture in the Bible. It’s part of our Manna for Today; 2 Timothy 2:24-26. Can you imagine being a Spirit filled Christian, and all the while being entangled in the snare of Satan who can take you captive any time he chooses, while at the same time blocking Father from doing anything to save you? You may want to read that question a few more times as you read the passage. My friend, that is a frightening place, a horrifying position in which to be found. For that reason, the believer should ALWAYS discipline himself/herself to commit to living a life of forgiveness towards anyone else.
When you hold to the unforgiveness, you are ensnared in strife. When you are ensnared in strife, rather than forgiving, you will ultimately seek for a way to get even with your offender. Now you are seeking for vengeance, and that, dear friend is a place no Christian belongs. Always remember Father’s stand regarding vengeance. He has clearly stated, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Father God has given you the power, tools, and complete ability to forgive, but He has NOT given you the right, duty, or responsibility to mete out vengeance. That is totally in His domain. Release it fully to Him, dear one, and walk freely in the realm of forgiveness.
The Scriptures clearly speak to us concerning that which we are called to do. We are told to abide in our calling. That speaks to a stability in our calling. The kind of stability in which one stands to truly forgive is a stability that arises out of process. It is that process that we will pursue in the coming Second Milers. Stay tuned.
Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10